What is a music producer ? Interview with Sonny Black

Interview with Sonny Black, music producer

Musitechnic is proud of both its teachers and those graduates who share their passion for audio and music with the students. This interview with Sonny Black combines the two as Sonny graduated from Musitechnic in 1998 and has been teaching music production at Musitechnic since 2007.

 

 

MT: Describe your business:

SB: I’m mainly a music producer which means that I’m responsible for the artistic part of a single, EP or an album. It could mean choosing and/or writing the songs, editing the musical arrangements, guiding the artists/musicians though the recording process and then doing the mix and mastering it. Basically I have to make the songs work in such a way so that the final product will be competitive in its intended market.

SB: I’m mainly a music producer which means that I’m responsible for the artistic part of a single, EP or an album. It could mean choosing and/or writing the songs, editing the musical arrangements, guiding the artists/musicians though the recording process and then doing the mix and mastering it. Basically I have to make the songs work in such a way so that the final product will be competitive in its intended market.

Since I have my own studio, (http://www.sonnyblackproductions.com/) there are projects for which I only do the recording, mixing and/or mastering, it depends.

 

MT: Who are your customers?

SB: Artists, managers, publishers and both independant and major record companies.

 

MT: How did you start your career?

SB: I started with 12 years of piano lessons and music theory when I was young.  As a teen-ager I knew I wanted to work in the music business. I had been writing my own material for several years and, so after CEGEP, I decided to take the course at Musitechnic. At that time I knew nothing about technology or recording studios and it has changed my life.

 

MT: Tell us about a turning point in your career.

SB : It was in 2000 when I first had a song placed on an album that was actually being sold in a real record store. It was an album by Yvon Krevé and it gave me the confidence to continue.

 

MT: Tell us about a project you are particularly proud of.

SB : From a commercial point of view, albums for Corneille, K’maro, Marc Antoine were a success in the Francophone world but artistically I am particularly proud of the work I did with Emmanuel Travis. He is an independent artist who mixes pop, rock (on endorphin album), electro (the EP reconstituted love lab) and many other styles. We are having a blast in the studio. I recently started a team of composers, musicians and authors and we are writing for lots of international projects.

 

MT: What are your favorite work tools?

SB: I have a ProTools HDX that I use to record and mix, but for composing I use Studio One de Presonus. On top of that I have several microphones, preamps, compressors, equalizers and analog synthesizers (my favorite: Roland Jupiter 6, Juno 106, and LinnDrum Moog Voyager).

 

MT: 3 tips for those who are starting in this industry.

SB.:

1- Be honest and critical with yourself, you can’t be the best at everything, so surround yourself with competent people who complement you.

2- Be patient, it takes time to develop (a network) and to be recognized for the quality of your work.

3- Stay open-minded. There are lots of musical styles and they all have their place. Try to understand the why and how.

 

MT: Sonny, thank you for your time.

 

Sonny Black productions:

Corneille - Avec classeMarc Antoine - Tant Besoin De ToiVendredi Sauvage - Emmanuel Travis