RC mentor Josquin Des Pres Hires from Within
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Producer, engineer and songwriter Josquin des Pres, has had a lengthy and illustrious career stateside. He’s worked with Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s lyricist, and produced for Jack Johnson, Tech N9ne, The Gipsy Kings, Slightly Stoopid, Carly Smithson, and Ricky Skaggs. He’s also composed for more than 40 TV shows and films. Prior to that, Josquin was an in-demand bass player, playing with some of the biggest acts in France, from which he hails, originally.
Sometimes musicians find making the move from creating music for themselves to producing music for other artists quite difficult. This wasn’t the case with Josquin. For him, the transition was exceedingly easy. “I met Bernie Taupin through a mutual friend and started writing songs with him in the late ‘80’s, and landed a deal with Warner/Chappell Publishing. All that came about at the same time [that], I had my own little studio to record my own songs, and so I bought more and more equipment and developed that even more.” Based in Los Angeles for a number of years, Josquin then made the move to San Diego to work with Cargo Records, the label that signed Blink 182. From 1995 to 2000, he worked on more than 30 records for Cargo. The decision to found Track Star Studios (in San Diego, CA) just made good business sense to Josquin who says, “It was really simple, actually. As we were doing more and more records for Cargo and I was getting paid as a producer and then taking the projects to local San Diego studios, I decided, for the money I was paying, I could build my own and collect that money from the record label as well.”
And the work hasn’t ceased. Josquin des Pres records, produces, mixes and masters for an array of world-renowned artists and also works doing audio for film and television. Track Star Studios does all the music for MTV’s Catfish, Pimp My Ride, Cribs and Teen Mom. Many of Josquin’s apprentices get to work on these shows and earn real, professional credits they can add to their resume or CV. Labels and broadcasting companies are in the mix too, including Clear Channel Broadcasting, Virgin Records, Warner Bros and Slash Records to name just a few.
And when it comes to hiring, Josquin turns to his apprentices and Recording Connection’s pool of talent, knowing they’ll have the skills and workplace familiarity it takes. Former Recording Connection apprentices who work with Josquin include: Phil Higgins who worked with Josquin for years and ultimately went on to found his own studio in Nashville (he and Josquin still team up on projects); Thomas Burdett, who took over when Phil moved to Nashville; Tim Schumann who does recording and tracking; Hayden Lewis, also for recording and tracking; and Aaron Castro for electronic and dance track programming.
Josquin’s standards are high and he demands the same of his apprentices. “We take our jobs very seriously. We even have a dress code, for apprentices too. Basically, we have all these rules to follow, how you behave around an artist, how you behave around celebrities, because we do have celebrities coming through. And it’s a great environment…They must understand and love today’s music and also be very good on computers…So basically, people skills, technical skills, and some understanding of music are important.”
Read our full interview with Josquin here.