Grammy-Winning Engineer Manny Marroquin on Working With Mac Miller, What Makes Post Malone So Unique

Surpassing cumulative gross sales of 250 million information globally, listeners may assume mixing engineer Manny Marroquin is getting ready to retire after twenty 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 one of the best 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 document 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 finest rap album, along with his ultimate album, Swimming. "For me, it's bittersweet. ... It hit lots of people arduous and me as a result of as a human being, Mac] was a very particular individual. As a musician, he was a really underrated artist," Marroquin defined.

Billboard related 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Your household moved to Los Angeles, California whenever you have been 9 years outdated because of the Guatemalan Civil War.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 airplane to LA, we have been presupposed to be right here on trip. She promised us a visit to Disneyland. So, at any time when a day will get arduous within the studio or something, I at all times say I'm nonetheless on trip. Laughs] So, it might't be that dangerous.

For me, it was not even concerning the American dream. It was like, “Let's acquired to Disneyland. Come on!” That was positively 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 relations do, across the age of] 12.

I actually, actually loved it. I might not say I grew up within the powerful streets of LA as a result of I'm positive there may be at all times someplace] more durable. Still, I grew up round] the gang tradition in LA. I feel that wasn't me. Laughs] So, I used to be searching for a means out. Music was positively the way in which to keep away from sure crowds. Also, once I say music saved my life I really consider that. Laughs]

At current, you're generally known as an eight-time GRAMMY-award profitable mixing engineer. What your avid listeners could not know is that your journey started at Enterprise Studios as a runner. Describe your hustle in the direction of changing 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 actually take it from a really fundamental strategy. 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 strive entering into their thoughts, whether or not which means 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 course of] isn't about my sound or what I can convey to the desk. It is at all times about how I can create a second,] whether or not it's a tune 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 type 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 are attempting 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 one thing within the studio], is what, thirty thousand now? Laughs]

Alongside Post Malone, you have been Grammy nominated for “document 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 -- however] he has an amazing group round him. He has Louis Bell which is his engineer/producer. Post has Frank Dukes. That is one other wonderful producer. He has an incredible A&R group. And, I've been touching his music for years. So, doing this new album, I bear in mind one thing was actually particular about it.

Also, I bear in mind being in a special nation once I acquired a name from the A&R, Rob Stevenson. He mentioned,] "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 totally 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 immediately's world, I don't even know what style he's. He is without doubt one of the solely artists the place you can't pin him down. I name it genreless music. You know? Nowadays, individuals query,] “Is it hip-hop? Yes. Is it different? Yes. Is it type of rock? Yes. Is it pop? Yes.”

I imply you can say "sure" to all of them. So that's thrilling for me. If you have 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 perform a little little bit of all the things. So, that's nearly like a perfect artist for somebody like myself -- the place I can convey my different information into the studio. I carry a pop sensibility, too, so it might compete with the Ariana Grande's of the world. And, it additionally had this cool hip-hop factor 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 mentioned,] "Oh, that is one thing that I had not heard earlier than." I've heard components of it in different individuals's music, however not . The unbelievable factor is that creating with Post Malone] shouldn't be compelled. It is natural.

Particularly, how does it really feel to be a contender in 2019 for "finest rap album" with Mac Miller’s Swimming, amongst different nominations?

Yeah, that could be a powerful one. That nomination is a very powerful one. Mac and I acquired to spend so much of time within the studio. I acquired to know Mac properly, personally, and creatively. So, once I heard the information of him passing] as you possibly can think about, it was past devastating. It was like shedding a member of the family.

I'm positive for those who ask anyone that knew him and even examine him, I feel everyone feels that very same means. Unfortunately, we acknowledge stuff like this when somebody] is now not with us. He walked in a room, and there was simply this gentle that allow you to know] he walked in. If you have been having a nasty day, he would make your day a lot better. He positively had a expertise that we can not even describe.

So, for me, it's bittersweet, as a result of once we have been doing the album, it turned] a really musical album. People who didn't know Mac had no thought, he was a really inventive man. Even earlier than I labored with him, I didn't understand he was that musical.

His musical journey actually exhibits. This album proves that. I hope that this album acquired nominated due to its' high quality. I bear in mind engaged on it pondering, "Wow! This is such an incredible hip-hop album." The incontrovertible fact that it acquired nominated is nice, however I hope individuals take heed to what it truly is.

So, that was powerful. I miss the man. It hit me and hit lots of people arduous as a result of as a human being, he was a very particular individual. As a musician, he was a really underrated artist. He ought to have been a lot, a lot; I don't know... larger. Yes, he ought to have been lots larger than what he was on the time -- primarily based on how proficient he actually was.

Your discography is overwhelming. Among your 14 No. 1’s on the Billboard Hot 100, from this, are there three classes that have been exceptionally memorable?

That is like asking, "So, you may have ten youngsters -- which one is your favourite?" Laughs] That is like unimaginable to reply. You know there are specific situations]. Gosh! I have no idea if I've a solution to that, as a result of I actually attempt to say that I respect each artist, whether or not I like them personally or not. I really feel just like the power you place out is the power you get.

Thankfully, I might have a boring e book if I ever determined to write down one. My experiences, ninety-five % of them have been tremendous optimistic. When you get individuals with the identical widespread aim, I really feel like ninety % of the time it's drama-free.

It is collaborative in a productive means. It is extra good than it's dangerous. So, if I named three, it might be unfair to the others that have been equally as keyed up. So, it's bizarre. It is tough to select three classes that stand out. I can consider 100 simply now. Laughs]

Earlier this 12 months, you partnered along with your longtime collaborator Malay to launch Britannia Row Recordings with BMG. What can we anticipate from you on this function?

This new function is type of beginning a brand new] label with my good buddy Malay. In soccer, there was a play the place we] referred to as, "slash." The participant] would do something that the coach wanted him to do. Laughs] I really feel like my function at BMG is a "slash." Obviously, I combine stuff.

Still, I additionally oversee A&R. Malay could have questions on songs, sounds, or path. So, I'm appearing as an A&R. I'm serving as an government. It is a place that I used to be not capable of make earlier than so far as budgetary causes or inventive causes.

Sometimes I'm a co-producer. Sometimes I join songwriters with different producers. There are different occasions I'm searching for new artists. So, it's actually what I envisioned if I ever acquired a label -- to signal stuff that we're pleased with. We push stuff that we care about, and never solely musically, however as individuals, too. Hopefully, we might help some careers get to a different stage.

My infrastructure at Larrabee Studios] permits us to do this. At Larrabee, now we have a complete of seven studios. Some of the brand new] stuff, for instance, Johnnyswim, is a good band. We simply completed the album. We are dropping the one subsequent week. It was created, recorded, combined, mastered, and produced all in-house.

Also, I'm engaged on a restaurant venue live performance that's proper subsequent to Larrabee Studios. Now, not solely will we be capable of create from starting to finish. They will be capable of carry out. We can seize the reside efficiency and put it on vinyl. That was at all times a dream of mine, to have the power to create issues like that -- primarily based on issues that I actually like and wish to be part of.

With accumulative gross sales approaching 250 million information, what do you're feeling is left to perform in music?

For myself, having my music venue that may] hopefully be] open this summer season. I feel, additionally, serving to on the reside sound with artists]. I wish to discover that world the place reside recordings are important and necessary -- particularly sooner or later.

I wish to preserve mixing information. That remains to be thrilling]. It doesn't matter if the information I've labored on have offered 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 preserve 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 can be profitable, and we will preserve signing artists that may make an impression.

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