As part of a new Dirac Blog Series, we’re interviewing members of the audio and technology community about their lives, inspirations, and their passion for all things audio-related. In our first installment of this series, we’re speaking with acclaimed music producer and songwriter Rami Yacoub.
Rami began his professional career working with his Cheiron Studio’s production partner Max Martin on acts such as Britney Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and more. He has since collaborated with many other artist, including One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Tiesto, AVICII, and Madonna, amongst many others.
In 2008, Rami launched his own Los Angeles and Stockholm-based production group, Kinglet Studios. In 2017, Rami joined forces with Dirac Research as an investor, music industry consultant, and a proud advocate for the advancement of audio optimization both in the music production industry and beyond.
1) How did you first get into music production?
Describe the moment in which you first knew that producing music was what you wanted to do as a career. I first found my way into music when I was 14 years old. I played bass in a local Stockholm-based band, and often wrote my own songs. We eventually purchased some recording equipment and from there quickly added on samplers, synths, and other production equipment. I quickly fell in love with the entire music production process – and specifically with creating something from nothing.
However, at no point did I ever think I would end up working as a professional music producer and songwriter. There was never a moment where I realized “a-ha, so now this is my job!” I just loved the music creation and production process, and thought I should give it an honest chance. One project led to the next, one relationship created three more, and eventually I started getting paid for my work. I followed my love for music and it led me to where I am today.
I’ve always been very stubborn, even as a kid, and have never considered failure as an option. I’ve no doubt faced my fair share of challenges and obstacles throughout my career; however, I’ve never allowed them or anything to get in the way of doing what I love.
2) Who influenced you growing up and what did you learn from these mentors?
My parents worked hard to give us a good life. They were amazing role models. Music-wise, I listened to The Beatles, Prince, and even some Tom Jones, haha. But for an era I was very much into heavy metal. Motley Crue, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, to name a few, had a huge impact on me. The late, great Denniz PoP, who was my and Max Martin’s music industry “Godfather” and personal mentor, taught us a very important lesson – one I still think about as I produce today. He taught us to “Kill Your Darlings,” which basically means that if it’s good, yet not great, kill it and start over.