Engineer Ethan Stevens Speaks on Mixing Albums for Future, Gunna #Gunna

xxlmag November 09, 2022 Gunna 17
Engineer Ethan Stevens Speaks on Mixing Albums for Future, Gunna #Gunna

Engineer Ethan Stevens speaks with XXL in an exclusive interview on mixing albums for Future, Gunna and more.

Interview:Robby Seabrook III Editors Note: This story originally appeared in theFall2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now. A passion can easily become a career. Originally a high school rap producer who also engineered his friends sessions, Ethan Stevens did it for the love. After graduating from The Los Angeles Film School in 2013, the now-29-year-old California native turned his Paramount Studios internship into a job as an assistant engineer two years later. He then became Metro Boomin s engineer in 2016. The two have been inseparable since, working on everything from the original Savage Mode with 21 Savage to Metros forthcoming album. Recently, Ethan talked about his road to success, believing in Gunna early on and engineering in s kitchen. How would you describe your role now? When I first started working with , Im recording, hes producing and thats about it. As our relationship started to build for the past two years, weve had our own rooms. Were in the same building right now. He makes beats and Im up here recording, mixing, arranging. I just maintain it and handle all the songs getting done and keeping track because Metro makes 10 beats a day. How did you start working with Metro? I had done my internship at Paramount. I was a runner. One of the clients Paramount had was DJ Mustard. I knew him very well, so he had me be his assistant engineer. Mustard had gone on tour. I was just kind of left behind. Metro booked the studio. I got put on his session and we were pretty much locked in. It progressed into Savage Mode. A lot of those songs were just 60 bars, no hooks, no verses. So, we spent months just listening to every single bar and arranging. What was it like mixing Gunnas DS4EVER? Metro had introduced me to Gunna in 2017 and it was just like, Yo! Hes hard. And I thought he was hard, too, so I ended up just doing all of Drip Season 3 for free. is probably the first album that I did just completely by myself, as far as Metro wasnt an executive on it. I would work on a mix and then the next morning I would walk my dog, Id listen to it in EarPods. Listen to it on over the ears. Id listen to it on a Beats Pill. Then when Id go to the studio. I knew what I need to tweak. I just kept doing that every single day. I just lived with it. You also worked on Futures I Never Liked You, his highest-selling album yet. How did you get involved with that project? Future is just one of the realest people Ive ever met. I worked with him a few times over the years, but this past year, I had started recording him a little bit more. I was at Futures house a lot while I was finishing the DS4 album. I finished Pussy Power in Futures kitchen. He was like, Yo, I want you to mix my album. I was like, For sure, man. Id love to. Read Ethan Stevens' interview in the 25th anniversary issue of XXL magazine, on newsstands now.Check outadditional interviews in the magazine, including our cover story with Eminem,plus conversations with

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