Name: Sean Giovanni
Location: The Record Shop
What do you do?
I own and operate The Record Shop recording studio and production company. As a producer/engineer I work with a wide variety of independent and major artists on record production, programming, mixing, and overall brand development. Our studio staff handles general recording projects across the spectrum of audio production. We also have a mobile division that handles live recording and on-location audio. On the development side of things, I oversee multimedia projects like video production, website development, and online marketing campaigns with the assistance of partner companies that team up with us to develop a strategic stream of content for artists.
What are you working on currently?
I just wrapped up working on a new album with country duo Big & Rich. I co-produce a syndicated country radio remix show called The Country Fried Mix. We produce the Nashville division of an online music show called Balcony TV. And we just wrapped new records with Rick Monroe, Denny Strickland, and Benji Harris. The studio is always buzzing with new projects, we currently have a handful of other records in various stages of production that we are really stoked to share soon! Our multimedia team is always busy developing new content for our artists, managing online marketing campaigns, and seeking out new opportunities.
What are you listening to currently?
Typically, whatever record I'm working on at the time. haha Aside from that I'm always scanning the charts to stay current with what's starting to break. When I do get a break from the action, my guilty pleasure is old school hip hop and classic rock.
What are you proud of in your career?
I've been very fortunate in my career to have the opportunity to work with so many great artists. I honestly find myself feeling more blessed than proud when I sit back and think about my career. If I had to pick one thing, I'd say I'm most proud of having been able to develop a successful production company that provides me the great privilege of being able to focus my time on music that I am authentically passionate about. I think in everyone's career in this industry, you start in a place where you have to take on whatever pays the bills. To be in a situation, in the short time that I've been in Nashville, to be able to walk into the studio inspired about whatever is on the books, is easily the most rewarding aspect of what I do.
What is one thing you do that has impacted your business positively?
Most recently, the biggest positive impact on my business has been setting aside time for myself. When you start out in the recording industry, it's typically a very demanding job. Logging 12+ hour days, 7 days a week, and spending every free moment building new relationships was a complete necessity to the development of my business. However, there was a point, a little over a year ago, where I realized that finding a balance between work and allowing my mind some time to recharge was essential to maintaining an efficient workflow. Once I started making time for that, I found that I was still able to be even more efficient and focused overall. Of course, the biggest thing that made the possible was the incredible team I have at The Record Shop that helps keep the tape rolling when I'm out.
What have you learned the hard way?
Early on in my career, I took on every opportunity I could find. Having a unrelenting work ethic played a huge part in the development of my career, but I learned that taking on more than you can handle can be a huge detriment. In the early stages of my career, I had an opportunity to assist on a session for the lead engineer at a major studio in town. I had been developing a relationship with him for awhile, and there was a good chance that this opportunity was going to lead to a staff position. The night before the session I got a call for another project that started late at went into early morning. I decided to take a quick nap before heading in, and needless to say, I slept through my alarm. I missed the session, lost the opportunity, and was incredibly embarrassed. That situation has continued to be a constant reminder to never take on more than you can manage.
Another extremely hard and expensive lesson I learned was to ALWAYS back up your files after EVERY session. Early in my career, I was working on record over the course of a few weeks. It was a pretty intensive project that we were working on out of a couple different studios. We had a main drive and back up drive that we would archive everything to at the end of each day and compile everything for the next day of sessions. After one of the longer tracking days, everyone was beat and we left before backing everything up. Sure enough, we came in the next morning and the drive wouldn't mount. We brought it in to be recovered and the drive had been severely damaged by a mechanical malfunction. Luckily, we had a back up and only lost one day of work, but after the repair cost and bringing everyone back in to re-track, it was a costly error that will never happen again!
How do you educated yourself in the industry?
I subscribe to a variety of print and online industry publications and spend the first part of every day browsing articles, listening to new music on the charts, and staying up to date with everything related to the industry. I try to attend every industry event I can find, and keep in touch with colleagues on a regular basis to see what other people are learning. One unique and unexpected educational tool was when I became a mentor for The Recording Connection and started holding workshops at local schools. Teaching the next generation of audio professionals has actually taught me a ton! These guys and girls are always telling me about new gear, software, and techniques that they are introduced to. It's really become a great way to stay current, In a world where we spend nearly all of our time working.
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
Be patient, but be persistent. All great things really do come in time, but they only come when you've put in the work to earn them. In every stage of my career, I have found myself reaching a hurdle that I wasn't sure I would be able to overcome. As with most artistic individuals, seeking an artistic endeavor, we struggle with the faith that what we are doing is good enough to be successful. We wonder if blazing a new trail will lead us to our desired destination, or if following the beaten path would have been the better, safer option. Safer, maybe, but rarely better, and never more rewarding. As my career has developed, I have become more and more aware of this truth. Every time I reach a new roadblock, I look back at where I started, remind myself of when I felt I could never reach where I am currently positioned, and confidently continue forward to take on the road ahead. If I were talking to my younger self I'd say, "never look back to see if you took a wrong turn, only to remember where you started, and recognize how far you've come. Then turn around and keep pressing on.
We've recently teamed up with an amazing online production site call Trackster. (gotrackster.com) The site offers a free account with a drop box style profile that allows music creators to organize their projects in an extremely effective platform. It also integrates a community feature that allows for efficient collaboration for projects, and a service provider section for studios, producers, and musicians to offer their services.
To learn more about Sean head over to his website. http://therecordshopnashville.com/