Surpassing cumulative gross sales of 250 million information globally, listeners would possibly assume mixing engineer Manny Marroquin is getting ready to retire after 20 years of musical excellence. Yet with a discography that boasts names like, Bruno Mars, 2Pac, John Legend and Nas and has garnered eight Grammy awards, Marroquin’s final 12 months of musicianship places him in place for extra accolades than ever earlier than.
The Guatemala-born, Los Angeles-raised mogul is a two-time contender in the most effective engineered album, non-classical class on the 2019 Grammy Awards. Additionally, Marroquin’s work is eligible for 2 of the night’s highest honors, as Post Malone’s Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Rockstar” is up for file of the 12 months and his Billboard 200-crowning LP beerbongs and bentleys is nominated for album of the 12 months. Still, maybe the night’s most humbling recognition will arrive in reminiscence of a collaborator Marroquin thought-about “household”: Mac Miller.
The late Pittsburgh MC earned his first-ever Grammy nomination posthumously, for greatest rap album, together with his last album, Swimming. “For me, it’s bittersweet. … It hit lots of people laborious and me as a result of as a human being, [Mac] was a very particular particular person. As a musician, he was a really underrated artist,” Marroquin defined.
Billboard linked with the chart-topping engineer to debate his contributions to upward of 40 No. 1 Billboad 200 albums, what he has en route alongside BMG, working with music’s largest icons and past.
Your household moved to Los Angeles, California if you had been 9 years outdated because of the Guatemalan Civil War. At that time, what did the American dream imply to you — was it at all times music?
It is humorous as a result of when my mother [took us] on a aircraft to LA, we had been speculated to be right here on trip. She promised us a visit to Disneyland. So, at any time when a day will get laborious within the studio or something, I at all times say I’m nonetheless on trip. [Laughs] So, it could actually’t be that unhealthy.
For me, it was not even concerning the American dream. It was like, “Let’s acquired to Disneyland. Come on!” That was undoubtedly the American dream. I acquired into music as a result of there was at all times music round with my household. My mother sang and performed in a band with my uncles. Music was an enormous a part of our tradition and family. I began enjoying drums as I noticed my members of the family do, round [the age of] 12.
I actually, actually loved it. I’d not say I grew up within the robust streets of LA as a result of I’m certain there may be at all times [somewhere] more durable. Still, I grew up [around] the gang tradition in LA. I feel that wasn’t me. [Laughs] So, I used to be in search of a manner out. Music was undoubtedly the best way to keep away from sure crowds. Also, once I say music saved my life I really consider that. [Laughs]
At current, you’re referred to as an eight-time GRAMMY-award profitable mixing engineer. What your avid listeners might not know is that your journey started at Enterprise Studios as a runner. Describe your hustle in the direction of turning into the person with 100 Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200.
You know, I don’t see issues that I don’t take into consideration once I work on mixing. I don’t take into consideration Grammys, clearly. I don’t take into consideration the charts. I truthfully take it from a really primary method. The artist or producer involves me to work on their child. That is what I at all times say. I’m an costly babysitter. [Laughs]
Whenever they arrive, I attempt entering into their thoughts, whether or not meaning speaking to them, and even the music [will] converse for itself. I attempt to perceive what their imaginative and prescient is. It isn’t about me. [The process] isn’t about my sound or what I can deliver to the desk. It is at all times about how I can [create a moment,] whether or not it’s a track that makes you cry, dance, sing-along, or no matter that true emotion is: (a) I’m attempting to not fuck it up, and (b), I’m simply attempting to verify it feels like what they envisioned. [Laughs]
But, I by no means take into consideration a sound. That is sort of attention-grabbing as a result of I’m coping with what most individuals understand as a technical discipline. I really feel it’s extra of a inventive discipline with technological instruments. But what we try to do is create that emotion that the artist as soon as had. So, I focus subconsciously on that. Thus, the ten thousand hours I used to take a look at [something in the studio], is what, thirty thousand now? [Laughs]
Alongside Post Malone, you had been Grammy nominated for “file of the 12 months” with “rockstar” and “album of the 12 months” for beerbongs & bentleys. Creatively, how was it collaborating in the direction of two of the Grammy’s highest honors?
You know, I heard — and I’ve been working with Post for a very long time now — [but] he has an excellent staff round him. He has Louis Bell which is his engineer/producer. Post has Frank Dukes. That is one other superb producer. He has an amazing A&R staff. And, I’ve been touching his music for years. So, doing this new album, I keep in mind one thing was actually particular about it.
Also, I keep in mind being in a distinct nation once I acquired a name from the A&R, Rob Stevenson. [He said,] “Hey, man! We’ve acquired the brand new Post album.” I’ve at all times been a Post Malone fan from day one, even from “White Iverson.” So, one thing felt completely different about these songs, particularly, “rockstar.” The second I introduced up the faders I knew, my intestine instructed me that it simply felt proper.
In at present’s world, I don’t even know what style he’s. He is likely one of the solely artists the place you can’t pin him down. I name it genreless music. You know? Nowadays, [people question,] “Is it hip-hop? Yes. Is it various? Yes. Is it sort of rock? Yes. Is it pop? Yes.”
I imply you would say “sure” to all of them. So that’s thrilling for me. If you take a look at my discography, I don’t simply do both R&B or Pop. I do hip-hop, rock, and really, I are likely to do some little bit of every little thing. So, that’s virtually like a really perfect artist for somebody like myself — the place I can deliver my various data into the studio. I carry a pop sensibility, too, so it could actually compete with the Ariana Grande’s of the world. And, it additionally had this cool hip-hop aspect to it. That is my background, mixing hip-hop.
It was a match made in heaven once I actually went deep into the album. [I said,] “Oh, that is one thing that I had not heard earlier than.” I’ve heard parts of it in different folks’s music, however not . The unbelievable factor is that [creating with Post Malone] will not be compelled. It is natural.
With accumulative gross sales approaching 250 million information, what do you are feeling is left to perform in music?
For myself, having my music venue that [will] hopefully [be] open this summer season. I feel, additionally, serving to on the stay sound [with artists]. I wish to discover that world the place stay recordings are important and necessary — particularly sooner or later.
I wish to hold mixing information. That continues to be [exciting]. It doesn’t matter if the information I’ve labored on have bought [an upward of] 5, 5 million, or 500 million. I nonetheless actually take pleasure in that course of. Also, establishing work with the label — I wish to hold constructing catalogs.
[I intend to] proceed the gathering of artists that we’re all pleased with. So, these are the issues that I’m actually specializing in sooner or later. Keep mixing. Hopefully, my venue will likely be profitable, and we are able to hold signing artists that may make an influence.