Blake La Grange on Vision and Building Dreams One Step at a Time
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Grammy-nominated Recording Connection graduate Blake La Grange is someone who doesn’t take life lying down. Once he knew what he wanted, he got busy and was steadfast in working his way towards building his dream.
After discovering his talent for music and the recording arts, Blake was off like a rocket. Fortunately his high school was actually supportive of the arts and of unconventional education:
I went to a pretty arts-driven high school, to where they had recording classes and music production classes, and a I got a handle on a lot of that stuff, and I knew as soon as I started doing that, that that’s what I wanted to do for the next foreseeable future. So that’s kind of how I got started with recording…The next step basically was to get into a studio. I knew that was the next thing, just to kind of double down and finally get inside of a recording studio and basically show that I know what I’m doing to a certain extent, but also I’m willing to learn and pick some pieces where I might fall short.”
Driven to pursue a career in audio, Blake took accelerated courses so he could graduate high school early:
I looked at the years that I had left in high school and saw all the classes that I needed to take. I realized a lot of it was elective and a lot of it was a waste of time. I already knew what I wanted to do. So I just figured, ‘How can I do that as soon as possible?’ I knew that I needed to get out of high school. So I studied really hard and I actually graduated high school in two and a half years. As soon as I was done with that I said, ‘Okay, what’s next?’ And I was looking at a lot of colleges because that’s sort of what you’re told. You have to go to college, get a job, all that stuff, and I didn’t think that that was the best way to go about life, especially not in this field. So I just did some research and found the Recording Connection. What really jumped out at me was I had an opportunity to get in the studio on day one, which is what I knew I needed to do.”
Blake approached his early recording career going through Recording Connection with the same pragmatism and effort that’s since become second nature. He tells us how he nabbed those first early gigs:
So at first it was friends, and then quite honestly, I went, this is back when MySpace was hot, I made a MySpace page for the studio and I messaged something like 3,000 bands in the area, basically telling them that I have a new discounted rate, because I was doing everything for super cheap, and that basically booked me for three or four months. I got a bunch of bands in there (the studio). So it was a lot of one-day EP’s kind of thing, or two-day albums, just really quick. So the learning curve was definitely there. I had to learn how to mic, record, mix, and master in a very short amount of time working with budgets. So that was sort of the beginning stages of the clientele that I would be working with.”
Blake graduated Recording Connection and went right into grinding it out with the connections he’d made. Over the past few years he’s been building his CV by working freelance and at multiple high-profile studios throughout the San Diego area. After that, he found the time had come—he was ready to take things to a new level.
Today, Blake has his own two-story studio in San Diego dubbed Mercury Mastering, located just steps from the beach. Clients he’s worked with include musicians from across the sonic spectrum: Kanye West, Cheap Trick, the members of P.O.D, Chicago, Mase, Ted Nugent, are just a few. Having built a rich understanding of post-production one project at a time, the Grammy-nominated engineer is currently focusing his efforts on revolutionizing the way mastering gets done. Knowing Blake’s superior work ethic and diehard tenacity, we’re sure we’ll be hearing more about that soon.