This is one of the biggest lessons to take away from the story of Recording Connection grad Garrett Pace, because at first glance he seemed the most unlikely student to get hired by his mentor. Classically trained as a singer and multi-instrumentalist, Garrett held a bachelor’s degree in music and seemed poised to go in another direction entirely. But also having an interest in electronic music and dubstep, he decided to attend the Recording Connection because he wanted to learn more about the industry side of things.
Placed with Nick Chahwala of Bravo Ocean Studios in Atlanta, GA Garrett soon realized out out-of-place he felt. , From a certain point of view, Recording Connection graduate Garrett Pace might seem the least likely person to extern in a recording studio, let alone get hired by his mentor as a staff engineer. A classically trained singer and multi-instrumentalist with a bachelor’s degree in music from Western Carolina University, he seemed poised to go in a completely different career direction.
“All the coworkers were really into hip-hop and rap,” Garrett recalls. “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.”
Nevertheless, Garrett was determined to overcome the learning curve. His mentor, Nick, remembers being impressed by his willingness to stay outside his comfort zone. “He was like, ‘All right, I’m gonna get on this track,’” says Nick. “’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.’…It was really good for him.”
Not only did Garrett meet the challenge—he became so good at what he did that when his externship was over, his mentor offered him a job!
“When I shook his hand, it was truly an incredible feeling to have,” says Garrett. “I just wanted to tell everybody in my family.”
Today, Garrett works as a second engineer at Bravo Ocean, and continues to make his former mentor (now boss) proud. “He can record, he can produce hip hop, he can do country, folk, he can play instruments and all that stuff,” says Nick. “Of all the students that we’ve had, he’s been like the best.”
To some, Garrett Pace might have seemed the least likely to end up being hired at a recording studio, let alone extern in one. But his story is proof that with determination and passion, anyone can succeed.