One of the most incredible experiences in Khaliq Glover’s career was to participate on the “We Are The World” project produced by Quincy Jones. We had to find out more about this incredible experience as well as his involvement with music legends Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Diana Ross.
Khaliq Glover (Grammy Award Winning Recording Engineer, Producer and Songwriter) began his career working for Kenny Rogers at Lion Share Studios, Los Angeles, CA. From 1981 though 1986 he worked as an apprentice to learn from the top engineers in the music industry, such as Humberto Gatica, Tommy Vicari, and John Guess. Soon Glover, aka Khaliq-O-Vision, became a 1st engineer on records by Kenny Rogers, Jermaine Jackson, Donna Summer, Justin Timberlake, Prince, and Christina Aguilera – only to name some of them.
Khaliq, you’ve been working in the recording industry for over 30 years now. When did you decide you were going to get into it?
Me getting into the recording industry was quite by accident. I was originally a guitar player in a band as well as a songwriter and producer and a guy named Jay Antista, who was the head engineer at country music star Kenny Rogers studio, called Lion Share, watched me for 2 years teach myself how to record my own songs in a Tascam-based recording studio of a publishing company. They said that if I learned how to use their gear I could use the studio to record our music so I dug into the manuals and asked him questions whenever he visited sometimes. One day he came to me and said that he knew that I was a songwriter, but there was an opening at the studio and wanted to know if I would be interested in learning about engineering by being a runner. I had never even considered that before but I definitely said yes I would like to check it out. That moment changed everything, so goodbye guitar, hello faders. [he laughs]
This was around 1982 and I worked there for 5 years before singer Jeffrey Osborne asked me to be his personal engineer at his Wings West Studio and I went independent.
Which projects have you been busy with lately?
I recently mixed a project for Diana Ross for her performance at Rockefeller Plaza and it was a true honor. Also, I’m currently working with a startup record label called Love Conquered Records whose tagline is “A Partnership In Artistry”. They want to give musicians opportunities to release their music who wouldn’t normally get a shot. Plus get a bigger chunk of the pie and ownership as opposed to the way standard record deals usually give the creators peanuts. I’m advising and consulting to help them get things off the ground. It’s very exciting for me because I get to pay it forward.
‘We Are the world’ is probably one of the biggest songs ever written. You define this as one of the greatest moments in your recording life. How did you get involved with that, and how was it working on it?
I’ve been truly blessed all my life, so that was another happy accident. Not many people know that ‘We Are The World’ was mainly recorded and mixed at Lion Share Studios. The iconic vocal session was only one night at A&M Studios right after the American Music Awards, because it was big enough to hold all the singers at one time and everyone was in town. I was the newest engineer on staff and I wasn’t originally assigned to the project but I had a burning fire in my belly to get better, so Quincy Jone’s head engineer Humberto Gatica requested that I be added as well because there was a ton of stuff that needed to be done. Luckily I was ready because I practically lived in the studio to learn as much as I could and guys like Humberto, John Guess, and Tommy Vicari helped me out TREMENDOUSLY and put me on the fast track. Like I said, I am truly blessed.
Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones (l.t.r.) during the recording of the charity song ‘We Are the World’, 1985
Talking about studio recordings… What’s your favorite Plugin Alliance plugin and why?
Well I first reached out to Dirk via email when I was working for Prince at Paisley Park Studios and he introduced me to some of the Brainworx Audio plugins and I was hooked. Then when Plugin Alliance came along and started partnerships with all these great companies, it gave me an opportunity to check out many things I probably never would have known about or tried. So I really can’t pin it down to just one, but my Top 3 that always get used are… the Brainworx bx_digital V3, the Vertigo VSM-3, and the Black Box Analog HG-2. I like to clean up, grimey up, and sparkle up things in the mix.
What is the one thing you absolutely can’t go without in the studio?
FEEL. I’d rather have the track and performance feel great over sounding great any day (and you can fix bad sound). Ultimately you’d like to have both, but if I had to choose the one thing that MUST be present, it’s feel. [he smiles]
Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to hearing more from you in the future!
Thanks very much guys!
For more on Khaliq visit: http://khaliq-o-vision.com