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API Visionary Scholarship Awards Justin Rhody

This week we wrap up our API Visionary Scholarship Winner series with Justin Rhody. This year we were able to acknowledge four up-and-coming producers and engineers with awards towards their school tuitions. This was the eighth annual award, which students apply for by sending in an original recording along with written statements. In order to qualify, applicants must be enrolled and continuing to attend an institute of higher education that features a 1608, Vision, Legacy or Legacy Plus console in their program's studio.

Justin Rhody is a senior Studio Production student earning his Bachelor's at SUNY Purchase, which features an API 1608 as well as API preamps and rack mount modules. Justin says his submission began "as a class project where we had to complete a song given just a drum track and hip hop vocals." Justin is a multi-talented writer, producer and engineer: "I tracked multiple performances of the horns and vocals, and layered each harmony 4 times (or more) over to create the effect of a large horn section/ chorus. On a micro level, my production process also included creative techniques such as mixing just the decay/ room tone from a hand clap recording with the snare drum, and putting a moderate degree of distortion on each melodic vocal track."

Justin intends to support himself with his music by taking a flexible approach to the field. "After I graduate, I plan on either opening my own small studio, or working at a larger studio while continuing to produce, write and mix." He also has advice for other API scholars hoping to win the Visionary Scholarship next year: "If you produce music, never underestimate your imagination. I've learned that there are ways to make things sound 'perfect', and ways to make things sound interesting, and for me, it's all been about finding the right balance between the two."

2016's Visionary Scholarship will open for submissions on January 1st, 2016. Submissions will be accepted until April 1st, 2016, and winners will be announced by June 30th, 2016. See more on our other scholarship winners here and here.