Atlanta Recording Connection graduate Garrett Pace lands a job with his mentor!
“In the situation that I was in, I almost gave up,” says Garrett Pace of his Recording Connection experience. “But it turned out actually one of the greatest experiences besides college. So my word of advice would be, don’t give up. Ride it until the end.”
Garrett understands the importance of “sticking with it” more than most. When he first started externing with Nick Chahwala of Bravo Ocean Studios in Atlanta, GA, he felt very much like a fish out of water (pun intended).
“When I started working at the studio, all the coworkers were really into hip-hop and rap,” says Garrett. “And then there’s little old me… I’ve never really worked with rap ever in my life. I came from a classically trained school.”
In fact, Garrett had graduated as a classically trained singer and multi-instrumentalist from Western Carolina University—but also having explored electronic music, he had decided to try moving toward the music industry direction. “I was inexperienced,” he says. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a job in the industry, for sure…Even though I got my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to continue my education.”
Garrett’s mentor, Nick, picked up quickly on Garrett’s apprehension, but felt the best way for him to overcome his insecurities was to make him face them by immersing him in the experience. To his delight, instead of flinching, Garrett rose to the occasion.
“He was like, ‘All right, I’m gonna get on this track, I’ve got to provide a hook. I gotta record hip hop, I gotta mix hip hop, I got to record R&B, I got to tune R&B vocals,’ says Nick. “It was really good for him…[Now] he can record, he can produce hip hop, he can do country, folk, he can play instruments and all that stuff…Of all the students that we’ve had, he’s been like the best.”
Remarkably, when he graduated from the Recording Connection, Garrett Pace—the classically trained fish-out-of-water—found himself being offered a job as secondary engineer at the studio!
“[Nick] was like, ‘I enjoy your work…You actually have a set of skills that we can use around the studio,’” Garrett recalls. “When I shook his hand, it was truly an incredible feeling.”
Now an employee of Bravo Ocean, Garrett is enjoying a new career doing what he loves! “At first, it was supposed to be more education, more learning to improve my skills,” he says, “and from there on, it turned into a job opportunity.”