Updated: Oct 3, 2019
CEO/Engineer Arieas "AJ" Lee working out of his studio in South Carolina. His studio, Quantum Beats, has been around since 2006 and is one of the most prominent recording studios in the Carolina's. He's worked with diverse artists such as Anthony Hamilton, Future, DJ Khaled, 50 Cent just to name a few.. Pressed had the opportunity of interviewing him to talk about audio recording, his passion for music, new studio, SO Cent and plus more.
PRESSED: When did you start developing your passion for music?
AJ: I developed a passion for music at the age of about six. I come from a musical family where pretty much everybody around me sang or played an instrument.
PRESSED: What makes a great engineer?
AJ: A great engineer not only provides great sound quality but, also can connect with artists and make them feel comfortable. Also, should be able to troubleshoot any technical problems in the studio.
PRESSED: Is there any one thing that is most important than the rest?
AJ: Making sure the artist is satisfied with their session and they leave feeling like their vision was brought to life.
PRESSED: You have been labeled as an innovator and at the forefront of quality audio engineering. When you hear this from your peers, what does it mean to you as a professional in your field?
AJ: It means a lot! I hear it all the time, an I always remain humble looking at ways to improve the sound and ways to change the game.
PRESSED: How would you describe the music scene now compared to when you first started out?
AJ: The music scene today is definitely much faster with the Internet now, than when I first started independent music. Seems to be the way of the future.
PRESSED: You worked with everyone from Anthony Hamilton. Future, DJ Khaled, Big Bub, 50 Cent just to name a few. What is it like working with these Grammy Nominated and Award Winning Artists? Who is on your wish list?
AJ: Working with the greats is always an honor, while trying not to be too much of a fan while we are working. So far, everyone I have worked with, has really been down to earth and really cool. I'm currently working with Anthony Hamilton, I have completed a few movie and TV show soundtrack features. I will be starting on Anthony’s album very soon.
PRESSED: What could great - sounding recording do for an artist’s career?
AJ: A great sounding recording can really boost a artist and, give them an edge to compete in the market. Quality is super important!
PRESSED: What advice do you have for aspiring recording engineers looking to pursue a career in your field?
AJ: The job of a recording engineer has really evolved over the years. You have to be a Co - Producer, chopping and rearranging the beats, a vocal coach for the singers, and a A&R. When they ask you what u think about their music. In addition, of course the engineer make sure the session cows smooth and the sound quality is right. Definitely have to be, a people's person with many different personalities on a daily, and have a lot of patience.
Credit: Junor 203
PRESSED: You are CO - Owner/Head Engineer of Quantum Beats studio located in Columbia, SC. Tell me what was your vision when you decided to open Quantum Beats back in 2006.
AJ: I started Quantum Beats actually in 2004, in my house and pretty much had the whole city coming thru to record, which pushed me to expand and get an actual building. My vision was to provide artist quality sound, direction and advice in their music career. My partner Aaron Johnson, came along and was in charge of the graphics and promotions side of things.
PRESSED: Two years ago, you opened your second studio Audio Box in Charlotte, NC.
AJ: I always knew i wanted to take my talents and vision to a bigger market so, Charlotte was always in my plans. Audio Box was actually, already a studio that my now, business partner Michael Izzard designed. I came in as a 50/50 partner, an provided the experience in the business and engineering leadership that was needed to take it to the next level. Since then, he and I have not looked back working with such artists as; 50 Cent, Anthony Hamilton, Boosie, DJ Khaled and the list goes on and on. I see Charlotte as, an open market with unlimited possibilities. The Queen City needs a King and I'm trying to claim the crown!
PRESSED: What can we expect from AJ heading into 2018?
AJ: In 2018. I am going into producer mode and want to put out as many collaboration albums as possible, using all the relationships I have built with major and independent artist over the years. I want to score movies, I also have a few more businesses I'm working on opening. Therefore, a business mogul is in the making! I want to give a quick shout out to my team who helps make this possible on a daily. At Quantum Beats: DJ Scribble, Rnb Stefon, Aaron " A - Town" Johnson, Cip, Antonio Nation Boy, Meez; and my big bro in the music biz "Big Bub"... Audio Box: my partner Mike, Willie, Frank and 20 the Producer. It takes a team to win and I will never forget that!