Bunmi Solomon is a 2X Grammy Nominated Music Producer & Mix Engineer with over 20+ years of experience in the music industry. His work has been featured on MTV, FOX, BET, E! Network, STARS and,…etc. He has worked with major label artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, T-Pain, Ray J, Adanna (American Idol), Paige Miles (American Idol), Serayah (aka Tiana of Empire Show ) and other countless artists in between. He also owns a music production company, called GSol Production. Needless to say, his resume is impressive but there's more. He recently added educator to that list when he launched his latest company, NØBS MIXING. Dave Veilman catches up with Bunmi to discuss this latest endeavor and discover how he's teaching his students to "Mix Better Sounding Records."
What was the inspiration behind your latest company, NØBS Mixing?
As a producer, artist, mix, and mastering engineer, we can be our own worst critic. I spent years chasing the ability to mix a great, professional sounding record. Once I discovered the secret to a great mix, I wanted to share my knowledge and years of experience with the next generation of artist, music producers, mix, and mastering engineers.
That's why I created NØBS MIXING. It is the Audio Mixing Academy of the future. I teach you the right skills to take your audio mixing to the next level. My mission is to help music producers, artist, and audio engineers "mix better sounding records", and be more confident in their individual sound taste.
Who’s the ideal student for this academy?
I specialize in teaching "NO BS", step-by-step audio mixing methodologies. Whether an individual is a complete beginner who’s never mixed in their life, or an individual that simply wants to level up their skills in a big way...I have created many courses, different masterclasses and presets that are available to help them with it all.
I know that you offer digital downloadable courses and presets. Can you expand more on your masterclasses and private mixing lessons; for instance, what do students need to prepare for a lesson?
There really aren't much class requirements besides having a, computer or laptop, any DAW, a good internet connection, Zoom account for the online class, basic Mixing & Mastering Skills and a positive attitude.
Let's take it back to the beginning. How did it all start? What first got you into music?
I got into music at the age of 7. I joined the youth church choir playing my first instrument; the Clave. By the age of 14, I was proficient in playing the Drums, Bass Guitar and Keyboard. I had an amazing childhood and music was at the center of my happy place.
How did you end up becoming a Music Producer and Mix Engineer?
Through my love for arrangement and musical experimentation of unique ideas, I co-founded my first indie recording label, "Imperial Records" with a friend where I started making my own original music and mixing it, earning me 3rd place on the Top Ten listeners choice of UNILAG FM in 2005.
This creativity quickly fueled my desire to migrate to the US to pursue a career in music production, leading me to further develop my skills.
“Stop judging yourself. Ease up on the self doubt. Let your creativity flow. If you make something, don't hold on to it because it will never be perfect. Upload it, Post it, and Share it. I guarantee that it will resonate with someone.” ~ Bunmi Solomon
I know that being a Music Producer requires a tremendous number of late nights and early mornings. What time do you normally go to bed? What does your average week look like?
Early in my career, I did not value sleep. I was definitely a night owl. But now that I'm a little older and much more wiser, I highly value my sleep. Sleep is truly important and not getting enough sleep can impact your overall health and well-being.
I started noticing that whenever I was able to get a good night's sleep, my concentration and productivity improved. That was the end of my #nosleepgang membership. Now, I find myself going to bed at around 11pm or midnight and for me that's a decent time. Compared to 4am. An average week for me is a start time of around 6am and finishing around 11pm.
I read “Psychologists have found that the creative personality contains layers of depth, complexity and contradictions which makes many artists highly sensitive.” How do you approach the sensitive task of discussing changes and rearrangements with artists?
I guess you just present it like an Idea. Suggest trying it a different way and if it doesn't work, let them know that it can always be taken out.
What is the one thing every song must have for it to be solid?
The song should have a memorable melody/catchy hook.
Cool. Let’s circle back to “NØBS Mixing.” You’re providing tons of great information. Why is it that you seem to have no qualms about revealing so many of your techniques?
Well, I'm all about giving back and helping the next generation. It serves no purpose to keep it all to myself.
NØBS Mixing is really much more than Bunmi Solomon. You have a great team. Norell is fantastic.
Yes, “Norell” is fantastic and It helps that she’s also my wife. I couldn’t put it together without her and the amazing virtual team. They do the real leg work and I get the glory.
So, where do you see NØBS Mixing going? It seems to be gaining popularity – it’s a fantastic academy. What’s the goal?
My current goal is to help 10,000 students across the globe.
We've made it to the Quick-Fire Round. One of my favorite sections of the interview. Let's get started.
- What is your favorite DAW? Least favorite? Most favorite would be Ableton Live. Least favorite would be Reason.
- What's your favorite quote? One of my favorite quotes is by the legendary Mixing Engineer, Dave Pensado that says “It’s better to sound new, than to sound good. But the great ones do both.” In my opinion, truer words have never been spoken. I mean the man is brilliant.
- Name your top 5 Music Producers of all time? Wow! This is a tough question. Haha But if I had to only name 5, then these are my top 5 listed in no particular order: Max Martin, Pharrell, Quincy Jones, Prince, and Timbaland.
- Favorite genre of music to produce? Pop and Contemporary Gospel.