Ken Lewis shows us how to use the Brainworx bx_rooMS on some audio mixes.Watch Video
Ken Lewis is a seven-time official Grammy Nominee with credits on 50 total nominations, as well as 82 gold and platinum albums, singles, and 60 Billboard #1’s. In 2011, Lewis launched Audio School Online to bring his knowledge as a producer, mixer, and engineer to the next wave of aspiring studio rats. In 2016, Ken launched Music School Online to share his extensive experience as a studio musician and vocalist with aspiring musicians of all ages and levels.
In 1993, when he was 22, Lewis moved to New York City to pursue his career. He worked for two years as a staff engineer at Soundtrack Recording Studios, with a “who’s who” of East Coast hip hop and Urban artists including Puffy, Busta Rhymes, Heavy D, Queen Latifah, and dozens more. Among the highlights of his early career were the weeks he spent engineering for super-producer Butch Vig and Soul Asylum on the #1 platinum selling “Let Your Dim Light Shine” album.
Lewis went freelance in 1995, working eight days a week in all the major NYC studios and traveling to studios around the world, where he worked as a major label tracking engineer, occasional mix engineer, and studio musician. He frequently worked with Mary J Blige, SWV, Tyrese, Craig Kallman, Rawcus Records, RCA, MCA, Big Beat, and others. In 1998, Lewis made the transition to full time mix engineer, scoring five mixes for Public Enemy on the “He Got Game” album, as well as mixes for Aretha Franklin, Pete Rock, Diana Ross, Big Pun, and Mad Lion. In 2002, Ken connected with rising super-producer Just Blaze, and over the next decade, mixed for him on albums by Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Beastie Boys, Usher, Jay Z, Shaggy, and countless others.
Also in 2002, Lewis connected with then-producer Kanye West, mostly as a studio musician and sample re-creator. In 2003, Kanye chose Ken to help make his debut album, The College Dropout, and since then Kanye has called upon Ken to work on all his subsequent albums, earning Ken around two dozen credits on Grammy Nominations with Kanye’s albums and productions. Ken’s roles varied on different songs, and included writer, producer, engineer, mixer, arranger, sample re-creator, vocalist, and musician. Ken’s favorite Kanye moment happened during the making of Watch The Throne. Lewis recalls, “I got a call at noon that Kanye needed me to arrange, record and deliver a live horn section for ‘New Day’ by 7pm that evening, and I delivered it on time. The album wrapped that day, and later that night they had a private album wrap party at Submercer, where a slightly intoxicated Kanye says to me ‘Ken you’ve got these skills that, like, nobody else has’ and my response was ‘So do You!’ That was a classic moment of pure happiness to be so acknowledged by one of the greatest."
Today, Ken’s primary focus is his writing and production team Katalyst (Ken Lewis and Brent Kolatalo). Katalyst has racked up production credits with Eminem, Future, X Ambassadors, John Legend, J Cole, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and a plethora of other insanely talented artists. And in non-producer roles, Lewis has worked on some of the biggest songs of all time, such as “We Are Young,” "Uptown Funk,” “Gold Digger,” “Heartless,” “Power,” “All Of the Lights,” “Girl On Fire,” “Christmas Eve Sarajevo,” “B Boy Document 99,” and many others.