2 GRAMMY Nominations For 56th Annual GRAMMY Celebration!!!!


After many years of hard work, 2 records engineered by Starita have been nominated by The Recording Academy for the 56th Annual Grammys to be held on January 26th, 2014 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.

The first nomination comes in the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative category for one of 2013’s funkiest and most celebrated records “Repeat After Me” by Los Amigos Invisibles. The Top Ten Billboard charting single “La Que Me Gusta” was also nominated Song Of The Year for The Latin Grammys. Needless to say, this was a big year and great honor for Los Amigos Invisibles and Starita.

This year’s 2nd nomination comes in the Best New Age category from the amazingly talented Laura Sullivan for “Love’s River”. Released on her own independent record label, Sentient Spirit, Love’s River boasts songs produced by Will Ackerman of  Windham Hill fame featuring beautiful compositions and instrumentalists from The Bay Area. Laura is no stranger to the industry having released 6 albums on her own and is a testament that if you are talented and driven, you can make your dreams come to fruition.

Congratulations to all nominees and be sure to watch the pre telecast to see who wins!!!!!

GrammyPro: The Role Of The Producer By Starita

The role of the producer is vital but most don’t exactly know what it means. Starita wrote a blog post on this very subject for GrammyPro and you can check it out below.

A lot of independent artists have asked me, “Do I need a producer?” I like to reply with a deeper question: Do you want your project to be as great as it can be? Of course, the answer is always affirmative on both accounts. As a DIY artist, you’re probably executing the thousands of tasks an artist needs to in order to make a living. Wouldn’t it be nice to focus solely on playing the music with the confidence that someone else is making sure you’re doing things right when you invest in your recording?

Artists work tirelessly to save money, write songs, rehearse, hire session players, and then go into the studio with the hope that their vision comes to fruition. As the old saying goes, hope is not a strategy. The producer’s job is to bring your vision to life – no hope required.

The producer can also oversee the recording process from start to finish, and can work with the artist, writers, session players, engineers, studios, and programmers to ensure the creative vision of the project is brought to light. The role of a producer in any project is ever-changing, and can consist of many different roles to make the project the best it can be.

Task Masters
To create the best recordings, a producer should be involved in the entire process of pre-production, recording, and mixing, and he or she may wear many hats throughout the life of the project. Depending on the artist’s needs, a producer can be heavily involved in all creative decisions, or they might simply act as a guide through the recording process. For instance, a singer/songwriter may only have a basic song idea and a vision of what he or she’d like it to sound like. In this case, the producer may be arranging, hiring session players, writing hooks, programming drums, and playing instruments. On the other end of the spectrum, a band may have songs and performances that are well arranged and tightly rehearsed, adhering to a unified vision. For them, the producer can be a voice of reason and experience to pick the best take or act as a liaison between the studio engineer and band.

A producer can fill various roles crucial to realizing the full potential of a recording. When looking for a producer, it’s important to have a chemistry with that person, and for both parties to have one thing in common: an unflinching drive and desire to do what’s best for the project. This is dependent on a particular producer’s skill set. There are a few different types of producers, but most blur the lines and have skills in all areas. So what are the types of producer?

The Gear Guru
There are producers that know the technical aspects of recording and can make certain decisions in the studio to get the overall sonic sound of the project by selecting mics, using mixing techniques, etc. This is useful in the case where you are going for a certain sonic quality that is very important to your vision.

The Partner In Crime
There are others who are players and songwriters themselves. They may dig a little deeper into the writing process and help with melodies, chord progressions, and arrangement. These producers are crucial when you just have ideas for song or sounds that to need to be worked through.

The Ears
There is also a producer type who doesn’t play an instrument or engineer, but who has a great ear, and talent for bringing the best out of people. They usually bring a different perspective since they aren’t making any decisions based on music theory or engineering.

Regardless of the producer type right for your particular project, it’s critical to be aware of how to craft producer/artist agreements that benefit all parties. For more, be sure to review our recap of the San Francisco Chapter’s Music Business Night School session on the subject featuring attorney Michael Aczon and A&R expert Jerimaya Grabher. In the meantime, consider focusing on your art and craft, and don’t forget to thank your producer for the work they’ve dedicated to their own.

Childish Gambino 'Marry You'

As you may remember, the multi-talented recording artist and actor, Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), ripped through the Bay Area performing a one off, sold out show at The Greek Theater with legendary artist Erykha Badu. While in town, Childish Gambino and Starita went into Jingletown Recording to lay down vocals on a cover of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” for the film Magic MIke XXL in which Donald is one of the main characters. The movie and soundtrack dropped last month so check out the tune here!

Lyrics Born In The Studio for KQED

Bay Area hip-hop veteran Lyrics Born releases his new album Real People this week, and to mark the occasion, KQED caught up with him at Jingletown Recording for a sneak preview of the title track.

“With the title track ‘Real People,’” says LB, “I really wanted to open the album with something that you could really see what I experienced as a kid – immigrating to the United States, single mom, being in a situation where maybe it wasn’t ideal, but still there was support and there was love in the family. And especially in the business that I’m in, we have such overblown images and ideas of who artists are. So, you know, I just wanted to do something that was real.”

The band performed Real People and Rock Rock Away live in the studio while Starita captured the magic with help of Lee Bothwick. The tracks were then mixed at San Francisco’s Different Fur Studios making for a great all around Bay Area recording.

Watch the performance below, and be sure to check out Lyrics Born performing “Rock-Rock-Away” for KQED’s cameras.