Good*Fella Media recently caught up with TDE’s resident engineer and Kendrick Lamar’s tour DJ MixedByAli following a live show in New York City. During the interview, Ali discussed his passion for engineering. He explained that his first encounter with Pro Tools made him fall in love with the art of mixing, and that recording local artists at an early age helped him hone his craft.
“[What drew me to sound engineering] was just sound. I’ve always been interested by sound, and when I found Pro Tools [and] when I was able to peoples’ vocals and manipulate it and change it, make it sound a certain way, EQing and adding whatever I add to it…that pulled me in right to it,” he said. “It was like fate almost. The first day I learned to do that on Fruity Loops, I fell in love with it ever since…I was like 16 or 17, I had my own studio [in] a garage…I used to record the local people, the local homies or whatever…that’s the first thing I learned about mixing.”
Ali also talked about his relationship with Kendrick Lamar, with whom he tours as his DJ. He said that his and Kendrick’s relationship extends beyond the studio and stage, adding that the two have an extremely similar approach to their live music.
“[Kendrick’s] a workaholic, I’m with him 24/7 – studios, [at] shows, just shopping,” he said. “Everywhere we’re at, we’re always together. That’s my brother, my mentor, he’s a remarkable individual. He’s a genius, he’s a workaholic, as am I. We’ve got this bond, we just work [together]. It’s natural. You’ll see him do a show, he’ll not rehearse and we just have fun.”
Check out the full interview below.