We’re incredibly excited to introduce our new recording engineer and producer, Enik. So far, we’ve been loving the tracks he’s recorded for our students. To listen to some samples of his work, check out our student recordings: “Let Go,” an original by Aly and Emily, Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt,” sung by LaNee, and Bruno Mars’s “Talking to the Moon,” sung by Abigail. Enik is accomplished, to say the least. He’s an experienced international producer, who’s placed his own compositions on major releases, remixed works from groups like ASIATIX, and scored hit movies in Taiwan. What his impressive bio fails to show about him is how nice and fun to work with he is as well.
MM: How did you get started in music? How old were you?
EL: I was fortunate enough to grow up in a very musical-oriented family. My mother is a piano and vocal coach and my father sang opera all throughout college, so they started training my sister and me at around the age of 3.
MM: When did you get into the recording/production aspect of music, and how did you become interested in that?
EL: Well, there are two sides to that answer. When I was in the 5th grade, my parents introduced me to the music pastor at our church that we went to. He was a super tech-savvy guy, so my dad always went to him for computer-related questions. One day, my father took me along to his house, and he had this incredible synth setup. Everything running into his computer for midi-based recording. I was so fascinated with it that for the next couple of years, I interrogated him with questions. Throughout Jr high, I found ways to ghetto rig a bunch of tape recorders together so that I would record a guitar part on one, then play that through another to record a second part.
Here’s the second part of that answer. Later on, when I decided that I wanted to play music as a career artist, I learned how to record and produce, simply because I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do it. Of course this wasn’t something that I could learn quickly as the technology that is available today wasn’t when I first started. But I remember recording my album with a producer that I had dreamt of working with and that bill came out to $13,000. That debt would haunt me for years to come, and it was enough encouragement for me to go and learn everything I could to do it alone because I wasn’t going to stop being an artist.
MM: Who are your biggest musical influences?
EL: I honestly have too many to name. But I grew up listening to indie rock bands like Underoath, Taking Back Sunday, Further Seems Forever, etc. Pretty sure kids have no idea who they are now haha. Those type of bands would later on influence my writing for completely different genres.
MM: It sounds like you’ve met some really interesting people. What’s your favorite recording or “music industry” story you have?
EL: At this point in my career, I honestly have too many to pinpoint one. But I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by some of my biggest childhood heroes, and the fact that I can say that I’m actually friends with some of these people still kinda makes me giggle today.
MM: We have lots of students interested in trying to “make it” in the music industry one day. Do you have any advice for them?
EL: I think the best advice I could ever offer anyone trying to enter the music industry is to “make absolute sure that it’s something you want to do.” The music industry is hard and heartbreaking, and talent is only a small ingredient of the chemistry. However, with that said, it is also extremely rewarding and addicting! If you’re going to do it, be ready to give 110%. Be ready to fail because you will fail a lot, but you will also learn from each experience. Be humble because there will always be someone out there who has more connections or is more talented. That’s just how it is. Most importantly, have fun, because once it is no longer fun, then there is no longer passion.
MM: Do you have any favorite recording work you’ve ever done?
EL: I have a funny answer to that. I always think that every song that I write and record is my best ever until I write and record the next one hahaha.
MM: If you’re interested in learning the production side of music, which steps would you advise people take?
EL: These days, music production tools are readily accessible and available. The first tool you’re going to need is a strong desktop or laptop. I’m an apple guy, but it really doesn’t matter which one you decide to go with. Just make sure it has some power to it as music production eats up a lot of computer resources. The next thing you’ll need is an audio recording interface, some decent studio monitor speakers, headphones, and a mic! These days, you can learn a lot from watching YouTube tutorials, but nothing beats one-on-one sessions with someone who knows what they are doing. I learned more in 1 hr with one of my mentors than I ever learned by watching any video.
MM: What are the biggest challenges you face when you record people?
EL: Every artist has certain requirements that allow them to perform at their peak levels. Even if you’ve never stepped foot in a recording studio, the minute that you do, you’ll realize that you will do better when you’re mentally comfortable. The art of recording isn’t the same as the art of performing. Great performers will not always record well and vice versa. Music is a very emotional thing. It’s important that the person is on the same mental path as the song they are trying to record. If you’re sad trying to sing a happy song, it’s not going to compute. So part of my job as a producer is to find that mental space for each artist. That isn’t always easy. It’s not the same thing as telling someone to fake a smile while they work at McDonald’s.