We had the good fortune of connecting with Omar Akrouche and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Omar, how do you think about risk?
Simply put, the whole thing is a risk. I know that sounds dramatic, but I really think it’s true… I feel like I’ve learned to love risk and to actually use it to my advantage. Taking on jobs that I might feel unqualified for, buying a piece of gear and figuring out how to to make it pay for itself later, sharing art, being vulnerable, trying to make a living working in music, etc. I think the pandemic made me more honest and comfortable with the idea of risk assessment, really just looking at things at weighing them out in my head. I couldn’t count all the things I’ve learned while operating just on the edge of my abilities, I think taking risks is the only way I’ve really accomplished anything.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel very lucky to be a freelancer, and I can’t really see myself living any other way. My father was a freelancer growing up and I think I picked up a lot of little habits and tricks from him, and as I mentioned earlier, I’ve had so many invaluable freelance artists bring me into work and show me the ropes. The other day I was catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen since I had moved to Los Angeles and started doing music full-time, and he told me that I seemed really happy to be where I am and to do what I do. Something about the way the conversation played out really hit me and I realized that I was “living my dream” or something… He explained to me that years ago he was living in NYC freelancing and it just never felt natural to him, and here he was seeing me and watching it actually work for me. I never even questioned my path, I just thought that since most musicians and engineers work like this, so will I.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To be totally honest, part of me doesn’t want to contribute to the co-opting of certain places/establishments, but there are certain institutions in LA that I love like Walt’s, Non Plus Ultra, Taco Zone in Echo Park, Joy on York, The Silverlake House, etc.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honestly, there’s so many people to shout out. Inline with the question about taking risks, I’ll never forget my dear friend Daria Novo (Bay Area) telling me about how she felt like she had to quit conducting in order to take composition seriously, even though she knew it would be hard and that she didn’t have a full plan figured out yet. I want to shout out more Bay Area royalty Zach Miley for mentorship and employment at the inception of my career in audio. Zach entrusted me with so many gigs really early on for me and taught me so many skills like going with the flow, always striving to learn more and to do better, taking myself seriously, how to do my taxes and so many others. Other shout outs include but are not limited to Taylor Rankin, Jason O’Connell, Sahba Aminikia and everyone at Tiny Telephone.
Other: thx u for asking me to speak to u
1. Mac Mercutio 2. Nat Shaheen 3. self 4. Omar Akrouche 5. Yousef Hilmy 6. Marisa Bazan