On September 6th, I attended IMSTA FEST in Toronto. Its a trade show for music software nerds. Ryerson was the host. The main speaker was Young Guru. Young Guru is an engineer, DJ and professor. He engineered 10 of Jay-Z’s albums. He was supposed to speak for an hour. He went for about an hour and a half. Its been over a week and his words are still heavy on my mind. The crowd in attendance were hanging on his every word. I’ll leave you with ONE of the many jewels he dropped on us.
We, as engineers, are in the Service Business. Much like a hotel or a concierge. Our ONLY aim is to satisfy the customer. If a customer wants me as an engineer to record their farts, they will hear the best recorded farts in the history of the world. Our ego is secondary (or even tertiary) in relation to the needs of the customer. Humility is a crucial factor in survival in this industry.
Again, this is one of the many pieces of wisdom that Guru dropped. After the session, he stayed for over an hour answering questions from the attendees. I was able to get one in.
‘Guru, you have been in this game for a while. You’ve seen people rise and fall. How have you survived the game?’
‘Always stay hungry. Never stay stagnant. I don’t ever look back and say “Look at this record I did”. I’m always trying to be better as an engineer. I don’t have plaques up in my house, except for the first plaque we as Roc-A-Fella achieved as a milestone. My mom can have my plaques.’
Guru, you have gained an admirer. Thanks again.