Dez Ward learns from Grammy-winners in Dallas

Dez Ward learns from Grammy-winners in Dallas

After graduating with a degree in sports management from Rogers State University in the Tulsa, OK area, Recording Connection student Dez Ward found himself at a crossroads, and decided to pursue music as his true passion. That passion led to a move to Dallas, Texas to try and break into a bigger music market.

Dez knew he needed some training in audio engineering, but didn’t want to go back into traditional school. That’s when he found the Recording Connection and decided to enroll. Before he knew it, he found himself in the company of Grammy-winning producers, engineers and recording artists, learning from people with a true track record of success!

Paired with veteran producer engineer Tre Nagella (J. Cole, Lady Gaga) at Luminous Sound in Dallas, Dez wasted no time in making the most of the opportunity.

“When I was watching the introduction to the school,” he says, “one thing stood out to me: ‘Make sure that you bug your mentor.’ And I started laughing. I was like, ‘That’s totally me.’ I’m asking all the questions. I’m writing down everything I can.”

That persistence has paid off for Dez, who has built a solid rapport with his Grammy winning mentor. “If you’re in an actual school setting with a professor, you have the books,” he says. “You’re going to learn as well, but you’re not going to get that hands-on experience and that one-on-one relationship with top artists and people like my mentor Tre. We’ve become pretty close.”

As it turns out, Tre isn’t the only Grammy winner Dez has been able to connect with during his apprenticeship (externship). “I’ve had a chance to experience a whole album process with Kirk Franklin,” he says. “To sit right there with Kirk Franklin and see how he works and all that type of stuff is pretty inspiring as well.”

Tre not only watches his mentor behind the board—he’s taken note of the business side of things, also.

“From the ground up, I’ve learned what it takes to build a studio,” says Dez. “It’s not easy…There’s a business side to it as well. If you want it, you really gotta go get it. Nobody’s going to babysit you or anything like that. It’s teaching me a lot.”

As Dez finishes up his apprenticeship (externship) with Tre, he doesn’t take the opportunity for granted, and he looks forward to building his own career based on the inspiration and training he’s receiving now.  “Knowing that I’m going to learn something new each time I go in there is definitely exciting,” he says. “I’m inspired by some greats, and that’s my goal—not to be exactly like them, but I want that level….I’m going to give it my all because this is my passion.”