Interview: Josh Bonanno

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by Danielle Holian

For our readers, please describe what you do.

A little bit of everything! I record, produce, mix and master music. I also help artists make it in the music industry with things like marketing, business, social media and development. When I’m not doing all of that I will occasionally pick up a guitar and attempt to write some songs.

Why and how did you get into audio engineering, mixing, producing, songwriting and photography?

It really all stemmed from my younger years and writing music. I needed a way to capture my songs to remember them for later. I started on an old desktop computer with a cheap usb microphone. As I recorded more I started helping local artists do the same and I have been at it ever since. Things like photography, videography and everything else just came from my interest and sheer curiosity of how they worked and how I could make them work for myself and my work.

Among your works, which is your favourite and why?

That’s like picking a favorite kid! I’m not sure I can answer that, to be honest. A lot of times my scope of work is very different from project to project so a lot of times it’s like comparing apples and oranges. I can say, though, I have worked for clients both large and small and every single project has something I can point out that I’m proud of.

You gained a formal music education in musical theory as well as graduating from SAE Institute in New York City with a diploma in Audio Technology and The Recording Arts, how did this all impact on what you do today?

It was a lot of fun and a really great experience. The friends, peers and skilled teachers I was surrounded by absolutely impacted my career in many ways. The real world experience and hands-on knowledge was awesome. To be honest, though, with the powerful tool of the internet, I’m not sure there was any real “books smart” knowledge that I hadn’t already learned online prior to entering school. Going to school for something is an awesome thing, but at the same time, not required in any sense of the word. People use that as a crutch sometimes as a reason not to do something. The truth is, though, your dream job could only be a few google searches and a quick online webinar or video course away.

What would you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic career?

Like I said before, every day is a little bit different for me. Every job or client I work with is slightly different. I think that’s the beauty of it though. Finding out where the artist is, where they want to be and then strategically creating a plan on how to get them there. It takes some creativity and clever thinking to do something like that. Or, the ability to look at a song and detach yourself from it enough to be able to say “Hey, let’s change the melody a little and shorten the bridge so the listener doesn’t get bored”. Sometimes it’s even admitting that totally scrapping the song is just the best way to go. So, whatever the project, it is definitely filled with those sort of sharp, defining moments

What has been a highlight for you so far?

Again, that’s like picking a favorite child haha. I mean I have worked for some really cool clients. Large casinos in Atlantic City, Hard Rock Hotels, TLC Network, and large marketing firms. The truth is, though, I still love working with a small client and artists, because there is nothing better than seeing the passion and excitement in their eyes when they finish a song or reach a goal they set out to achieve. Those are always highlights for me.

Where can people get in touch with you?

I’m super active on Instagram so follow me there @joshbonanno! But also, shoot me an email at Josh@JoshBonanno.com. I would love to talk and hear a project you’re working on. I’m always all ears and will be super quick to throw you some tips to make it better!

Any last words?

Thanks for taking the time to read about me a little bit and thanks to everyone at the ModernRetro for listening and having interest in my work! I’m always posting new blogs and little tips and tricks over at JoshBonanno.com so if you need some help in the industry feel free to check it out and shoot me an email. I look forward to talking to every soon!

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