The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

Behind the Song: A Visual Symphony of a Music Producers Day

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Walking up Harding Ave, in my home state of New Jersey, I feel nostalgic through my now 19-year-old eyes. It was around three years ago when I started coming to the recording studio myself to intern and work in the music industry. Now here I am ready to spend a day in the life of one of the producers who mentored me. Greeted by a bright red door with a funky circular design was Kevin Vuong, better known by his artist name, Chini Slickback.  

The producer can’t produce without his coffee (seen on his equipment). His order is a black hot coffee, suitable.

Shortly after graduating high school, Chini took his interest in music, which was once very inconsistent, very seriously. He began exploring the world of music composition, engineering, and production by storm. Today, many producers, especially in the world of hip-hop, prefer the digital approach to music. Chini gravitated towards live instruments and also taught himself how to play the piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Bouncing around many internships and studio jobs, he finally found a place where he felt he belonged. When starting out, I found myself being taken as a joke at a lot of my first studio gigs and internships, but the second I introduced myself to the crew here, they made me feel just like them.” 

As he is usually the first producer in due to his high demand, Chini has to set up all the studio rooms. This Prince-inspired room is cleverly named, the Purple Room.

Although Chini has only been working at this studio for a few years now, he made himself quite the portfolio and has worked with many hip-hop artists such as Fetty Wap, IV Jay, and Justina Valentine. We walked into the main building of the studios, being greeted by the sounds of light music and instrumentals coming from different rooms. I’m usually the first one in here, so I usually make sure all the studios are ready to work in.” Chini turns on the lights in the eight studios, starts up the computer systems, turns up the speakers, and places water on tables so clients feel comfortable. 

Here is the inside of the booth in the purple room. Chini reveals that “It’s super important to make sure all of our equipment is prepped so our clients have no wait time”.
Here is Chini checking his emails on the latest updates for his day. Usually, clients will contact him on their own or send him demos.

Before his first client arrives in half an hour, Chini picks his favorite studio, “The Purple Suite,” which is a homage to rock icon, Prince.  Making up the suite is a humongous mural of Rock icon, Prince. Purple LED lights, keyboards, recording technology, and a very comfy purple velvet couch, all make the room an inspiring place to create music. We have all kinds of legend-inspired recording suites at So Amazin Studios, we have a David Bowie one and even a Biggie Smalls suite,” Chini informs. Shortly after, his first client comes in ready to start working on a project for this upcoming year. They go directly into the recording booth as Chini starts to mix up an organic beat in minutes, a gift only one could be born with.  

Chini working up a beat for his first client. His natural talent can create a beat in minutes.

Chini works meticulously with all of the buttons in his workspace. I asked him what everyone would naturally think looking at a producer‘s work, ‘How did you learn how to do this?’ He responded, It took me a long time to understand how to produce a great track, starting out in high school until now it took a lot of trial and error for me. Learning from my peers watching videos to taking seminars and classes showed me all the basics and tricks. However, when you get all the tricks down you start to develop your own style of production.” Chini takes inspiration from musical artists such as Jay-Z and Pharrell, both artists and producers having their unique style of producing that you can put a name to from a mile away.

Chini has some time before his next client so he works on his musicianship in the study are. He plays, “Fix You” by Coldplay on piano.

Throughout the session with his first client, Chini switched from playing live instruments to working up beats on his recording system. With his first job ending, he preps the studio for the rest of his clients throughout the day. For one of his clients specifically, he draws inspiration from a myriad of sources, ranging from personal experiences to diverse musical genres. That is what sets him apart from many of his crew mates. The pulse of daily life, emotions, and societal trends all contribute to my creative reservoir”, Chini explains, in a very wise manner.

Throughout the day many of his co-workers come in to hear what he is working on. Having a studio like this one, everyone is like family.
His new client is here and ready to work. Chini uses Logic ProX to create his words of art.

As the day ends, Chini reflects on the blend of artistry and work with his artists today. Whether crafting beats or tuning melodies, each day serves as another chapter in the ongoing symphony of his professional life. Closing shop for the night we stand on the corner of the studio building, streetlights dimmed on each other’s faces. So, the work here is done for the day huh?” I asked the tired producer. He laughs at my comment, locking the studio doors behind him. Music never sleeps when you are passionate about it, knowing me I’m going to go home and work on my projects until I pass out”. With a sense of fulfillment and anticipation for what the next day holds, the young producer steps away bidding me goodbye. He knows very well that the rhythmic heartbeat of his creative process echoes into the night whether that means on his car radio on his drive home, and back into the studio the very next day. 

At the end of his workday, Chini loves taking in the sunset view on Harding Ave. “it’s super quiet and relaxing after being in headphones all day”.


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