We had the good fortune of connecting with Yukon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yukon, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Authenticity. Over the years, I have tried many different approaches to “getting ahead,” and most have been great lessons in what not to do. But at the core, especially if you are working in a creative industry, it’s all about being genuine and bringing that quality to your work. As a mastering engineer, I am usually one of the few people hired outside of the production to join the creative process of a song or album. And I’m usually brought in at the end to handle the final 10% of the work, getting everything ready to be released. So my clients need to be able to trust that I am dependable and musical in how I approach their project. I have found that if I approach my business and marketing authentically and am genuine when handling my clients, it’s easier to sell them on why I’m the one they can trust to work with. It is also easier to avoid conflicts or trouble if you are open with the people. So no matter the situation, I have seen that being “real” is usually better and allows me to approach everything my business does as something authentic that helps my clients reach their goals.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I started my audio career back in high school, trying things and learning what worked. Whatever got sound out of the speakers. I then went to college for music, but after the 4 year, I felt I wanted a little more experience in big recording studios so I went to a recording trade school to learn the specifics of audio engineering. From there I moved to Los Angeles to make it big in movie sound effects, but quickly ended up making coffee for a place that did subtitles for TV. Eventually a roommate recommended me to be a runner at Glenwood Place music studio, where my job was to do everything the studio needed (we’ve all heard the recording studio horror stories…). It was weird to realize that the crazy chaos is what I love about working with music and sound, so I have continued to pursue making music sound it’s best. Over the years one thing has led to another; like working for years at Frank Sinatra’s old studio on Sunset Blvd, and now, specializing in Mastering and working out of my own studio; while running my own business…
I wouldn’t say it has been easy. In fact I know I could have done easier things with myself. But in a weird way, the harder things have gotten, the more I love what I do. Even with the pandemic; I have found something enjoyable in rethinking my art, into a sustainable business that can stand on its own.
And for me. Someone who has feared business and solely focused their career on their “art,” working for myself has been the most creative thing I’ve ever done!
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.
Oh too many to list, but one of the places I like to start is Griffith Observatory. Great views and I like how special it feels just walking around the inside and out. If you are going to take someone up to the observatory it’s worth going through the neighborhoods below the park to look at the unique and famous houses. And for a less crowded place to be quiet; Forest Lawn Cemetery.
I like how diverse the food options in LA are so I always try to get a sense of what visitors have tastes for. We have everything to eat or drink here but I recently took a visiting friend for an authentic meal. We ordered tacos from Leo’s; a truck that the locals of NELA turned me on to. And we ate on the hood of my car parked along Eagle Rock Blvd.
Best time ever…Jumbo’s Clown Room…everyone loves Jumbo’s
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been fortunate to learn from some of the greats, not only in music but in life. A few that come to mind are working at EastWest and Glenwood Place recording studios. Both places gave me a home to learn and taught me to be the best I can be while owning my mistakes. Places to learn the ropes while also having access to really master my craft. I’ve tried to take a lesson from every experience, good or bad so it is sometimes hard to point to one thing; but I’ve learned to find encouragement in other’s success, fix and learn from mistakes and keep moving forward.
Instagram: @masteredbyyukon @blueoakmastering
Photos by Yukon