“In those situations, you’re not really selected for your technical ability”: Engineer and producer Gloria Kaba says landing jobs with big artists is about personality and temperament

Kaba currently works as Technical Director at New York’s Power Station Studio.

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Gloria Kaba on a red carpet. She is smiling at the camera and standing with her hands behind her back.

Image: Manny Carabel / Getty

Gloria Kaba, an engineer and producer who’s worked with some of the biggest artists in popular culture, believes that personality and temperament can sometimes prevail over your skill set when it comes to landing jobs.

Kaba has been working for roughly a decade in a studio environment, often under the name Redsoul. She’s worked with the likes of Madonna, Beyonce, Phil Ramone, Kanye West, Salaam Remi, Aretha Franklin and Frank Ocean, with A Tribe Called Quest on their final album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, and on Solange’s famous A Seat At The Table. She’s also worked closely with hip-hop artist and producer Q-Tip

In the latest episode of EarthQuaker Devices’ Show Us Your Junk, Kaba provides a tour of New York’s Power Station Studio where she is currently serving as Technical Director. Here, she also teaches classes on engineering. She explains that having good chemistry with an artist is at the core of operating as an engineer/producer.

“In a lot of those situations, you’re not really selected for your technical ability,” she says (via Music Radar). “It’s really about being a good fit for the people around and that artist… I’m sure [Q-Tip] was sizing up my personality, my temperament – because that goes a long way.

“Being able to stay calm in high-pressure situations. Not being distracting in a creative environment. Being likeable and pleasant to be around – that goes a long way,” she adds. “That’s a lot of it.”

In the video, Kaba also explains how she brings both her skills in production and engineering together when working on a project: “To me there’s no real clean distinction between the production and engineering as I approach a project. So I could be producing and I’m thinking about a mix so that factors into my sound selection.”

She adds, “An artist, and I can say that for myself too, gets used to what they’ve been hearing, so I like to be intentional and deliberate about the effects I’m adding in the production process or early on in the engineering process.”

Watch the full studio tour with Kaba below:


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