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Most of the music I record is Pop, RnB, and Hip Hop. I’ve been the recordist for Akon for over a year now. I’ve recorded Dizzee Rascal, SisQo’, Becky G, Ozuna, and countless other incredible vocalists. I say all that to say this: I record a lot of vocals in genres which are heavily vocal-centric.

Recording vocals is an interesting process. There’s a technical side and an artistic side to it. There’s an ideal way to do it, and a practical way to do it. Ultimately as an engineer or producer, it’s our job to facilitate the artist’s performance, so we’re always catering to that.

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The word “wizard” tends to conjure images of old, bearded Gandalf types casting spells in Middle Earth or some other fantasy land. The Wizard we’re about to introduce you to, though, is the beautiful daughter of Beres Hammond, and, as far as we know, Jamaica’s only working female music producer. Just a few years removed from her first production credit, for the title track on her father’s A Moment in Time album, she’s already got a sound of her own (think Timbaland meets dancehall) and a growing resume that includes the entirety of Mr. Lexx’s upcoming Lexxicon album, and her cousin Courtney John’s latest effort, The Courtney John Experiment. She’s also produced remixes for Nelly Furtado. Our Martei Korley visited The Wizard at her sonic lair—her father’s Harmony House Studio—for her first ever photo shoot, after which I spoke with her about her unusual name, her unique position in the Jamaican music world, and life with Beres.
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By Ian Vargo

Vocoders can now be heard pretty often in popular music. Dating back at least 40 years, they have been used by influential electronic artists such as Kraftwerk, legendary songwriter and drummer Phil Collins, and more recently by forward-thinking pop performer Imogen Heap. Although the vocoder effect eventually found its way into our music production toolbox, it was originally intended for a much different purpose.
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