Berklee today

JUN 2015

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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Summer 2015 33 Summer 2015 33 James Morales '06, Matt Morales '08, and David Rodriguez make up the New York–based production team the Elev3n (the Eleven). The trio has found success producing pop, hip-hop, and r&b—including charting songs for such artists as Meghan Trainor and Sean Kingston. They recently returned to Berklee for a clinic hosted by songwriting chair Bonnie Hayes and spent three days with students in Berklee's new Q-27 Production Suites. It was like song- writer's boot camp: three days of intensive creation. Matt told the students, "It's important to collaborate; it's what we do in the real world. Building the bond between the songwriters and producer is so important. Once you leave here," he added, "[it gets] much harder. You've got it all here, the tal- ent, equipment, and education. Take full advantage." James Morales came to Berklee with intentions of becoming a jazz drummer, but switched gears. "I met one of my closest friends, Mateo Laboriel '03, at Berklee," he recalls. "We connected instantly. One day, I saw his laptop—this was before everyone had a laptop—and he had this program called Logic. I'd never seen anything The Elev3n (from the left): David Rodriguez, Matt Morales '08, and James Morales '06 like that and I asked what it was. 'This is the future of how music will be cre- ated,' he said. That made me want to get into [MP&E]." James soon started to understand the importance of the way music is produced. After then- faculty member Carl Beatty made an introduction to producer Rodney "Dark Child" Jerkins, James did an internship with Jerkins. "Rodney and I hit it off," James says, "He told me that after I fnished at Berklee to pack my bags and come to Atlantic City to work with him. As a student, this is the kind of story you hear and dream about." Matt Morales grew up play- ing trumpet in jazz and salsa bands and followed James to Berklee. As an MP&E student he was fully entrenched in Berklee's studios. "I can remember living in the studio," he says. "I was there from whenever I could get in until they kicked me out at 6:00 A.M." This arduous schedule would be a proving ground and a pre- cursor to the Elev3n's reputation for a strong work ethic. Regarding form- ing the group, James recalls, "For years I hustled, and connected, trying any way I could do something, whether at an independent level or producing a project, I was going for it." David Rodriguez met James play- Visit: Valencia alum notes neW YoRK sPotliGHt ing at a church and met Matt a few years later. "We became a team in 2011," Rodriguez says. "Being part of the Elev3n has been an amazing ride. The remarkable aspect of our jour- ney has been the growth that we've seen in each other." Of their produc- tion company, James says, "One of the beautiful things is that I have two partners and we're always trying to make each other better. We're always sharing, working together, and trying to push the envelope." Matt remembers the team's early days. "We rented out a garage that was converted into a studio, and treat- ed working there like it was our job," he says. "We got together every week and created instrumentals because we had no songwriters." One fortu- itous day, Nils Gums '06, now in artist development as an executive at the Complex Group, called to schedule a dinner with James, his former Berklee classmate. Gums, who now manages the Elev3n, listened to the music they were making and helped them make connections. Shortly thereafter, the Elev3n signed a production deal with L.A. Reid at Epic Records and a publish- ing deal at Sony/ATV. With the major shift in produc- tion and so many recordings being done on the West Coast, the three are determined to put the East Coast back on the map. Riding high after cowriting and producing "Bang Dem Sticks" for Meghan Trainor's gold album Title, and with upcoming proj- ects for Bea Miller and X Factor, the Elev3n just might be part of an East Coast production renaissance. Visit Michael Gaskins is Berklee's director of alumni affairs. Indian vocalist and multi-instru- mentalist Ganavya Doraiswamy MM'13 is pursuing a doctoral degree in ethnomusicology at University of California, Los Angeles. She has toured and recorded with Berklee alumni in Spain, and continues to record for flm and television scores. Her book Sound of Indian Music is available at the Berklee bookstore in Boston. Visit Flutist, vocalist and educator Erin "Marisol" Corine (Johnson) MM'13 worked with multi-award winner and Latin Grammy nominee Miguel Poveda on his 13th studio album Sonetos y Poemas Para La Libertad (Sonnets and Poems for Freedom). The recording was released in March by Universal Music Spain. Corine works as new project leader and teacher in Madrid, Spain, and offers the vocal master class entitled "English for Singers." Ludovico Vignaga MA'13 has launched the company Intorno in Barcelona, Spain. Intorno creates technologies for live performances and 3-D surround systems to create the ultimate immer- sive sound experience. Jad El Alam MA'14 of Paris, France, works at the Agency Group Ltd. in London, along with Berklee Boston alumnus Sean Goulding '98. Misty Jones MM'14 is a music produc- tion professor at Kent State University in Canton, Ohio. She recently scored sections of the award winning docu- mentary flm Rise of the Wahine. Alexey León MM'14 developed a new jazz program at Sedajazz Valencia. He has also performed with Alain Perez Javier, Caramelo Massó, Israel "el Piraña" Suarez, and Carlos Sarduy among others. León played on Sebastian Laverde's album along with Melon Lewis and Georvis Pico. He has just released his debut album Cuba Meets Russia, which was recorded at Berklee's studios in Valencia. Felix Mayr-Melnhof MA'14 of Graz, Austria, accepted a position in the marketing department of Mysteryland in Holland, the longest running elec- tronic music festival in the world which sells 60,000 tickets each year and has its other divisions in the United States and Chile. Visit www. Alexandra Morancy MA'14 of East Waterboro, ME, is working as the licensing manager for !K7 Records GmbH, in Berlin, Germany. Initially known for electronic music, !K7 Records now releases music across the stylistic spectrum and offers music publishing services and distribution for several independent labels. Aishwary Narolia MA'14 of India, started the company Musiculture Agency, a booking agency that con- nects promoters to artists and promoters to other promoters. Musiculture also creates experiential marketing modules for brand lever- aging the artist to facilitate connec- tions with fans. Bassist and composer Daniel Toledo MM'14 of Quito, Ecuador, released the album Elapse featuring pianist Piotr Orzechowski MM'13 and drum- mer Joshua Wheatley. Toledo is a faculty member at the College of Music of Universidad San Francisco de Quito, a member school in the Berklee International Network. Visit. Nick Zeigler MM'14 of Las Cruces, NM, is currently living in Berlin, Germany where he works as a pro- ducer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist. He is recording his debut album to be released later this year. Compiled by Maxwell Wright by Michael Gaskins '93

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