Mix engineer of Pharrell Williams's smash hit "Happy".
Interview by Prince Charles Alexander, Professor of MP&E.
Winner of several Grammy awards, Leslie Brathwaite is originally from the Virgin Islands, where a vibrant local music scene made a great impression on him. He started out with a small multitrack recorder and set up a studio in his bedroom. To expand his horizons and learn more about recording he went to Full Sail in Florida, where he attended the Recording Arts program and graduated in 1992.
Following this, Brathwaite moved to Atlanta, where big‑name producers like Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Babyface and LA Reid were building a big scene. Brathwaite found a job working with Dallas Austin at his studio, called DARP.
Brathwaite moved to Patchwork Studios in Atlanta in 2001 and to Akon's studio facility Music Box in 2012. While working in these three studios over the last 22 years, Brathwaite has amassed an astonishing amount of credits. Allmusic.com lists a whopping 349 credits, including Outkast, Boyz II Men, Cypress Hill, Toni Braxton, Björk, Aretha Franklin, TLC, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Beyoncé, Akon, T‑Pain, Eminem, Jay‑Z and Ricky Ross.
Leslie was a wealth of information, providing valuable insight into the life of a mix engineer. He discussed difficult choices he had to make, uncomfortable work experiences, and how to handle these situations. He also encouraged students to never limit themselves, and never talk themselves out of anything.
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