Much has been made of Alex Tumay's ability to "keep up" with Young Thug's breakneck recording pace. The two have worked together as engineer and artist for years now, from Thug's Barter tapes to this year's Beautiful Thugger Girls.
Thug's reputation as an artist has grown with each passing release, and Tumay has kept pace: his clients now include Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, Migos—the list goes on and on. Thanks to an early job at Atlanta's legendary DARP Studios, he learned from watching others, spending hours studying the movements of head engineers. One tactic recently became permanent: Tumay had the "save" shortcut tattooed on his hand as a reminder.
But Tumay's celebrity isn't an isolated incident. On a larger scale, the role of an engineer has emerged from the shadows, now recognized by the mainstream as an integral part of music production. Professionals like Tumay and Lil Uzi Vert's engineer Kesha Lee are cultivating followings of their own. The fact that Tumay's French bulldog Gordie is prominently featured on the livestreams also helps.
Rather than release music, Tumay is sharing knowledge. His live mixing sessions on Periscope are step-by-step tutorials that show anyone watching the "why," rather than a simple "how."
"I don't think it's necessarily information I need to protect," Tumay says. "It's better shared. Music would be better off if people understood... how to record someone the right way." Watch our latest episode of Music Life with Alex Tumay above, and get familiar with some early Thugger below.