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My interns continue to make me proud; Jake Santiago sent in these thoughtful insights about his time at the studio. Hopefully mentors and mentees reading along can learn from each other’s experiences. Having interns always reminds me of the importance of being organized, and of students following their inquisition to improve their careers.

Questions by former intern & assistant Brianna Caleri.

Why did you choose to pursue this internship?

I chose to pursue an internship with Barry because of recommendation from one of his other students. We go to the same University and he did his internship with Barry and said he might be able to help me set it up. I am very grateful to Barry for taking me in. Music has been a part of me since the very beginning of my life. All my family members are musicians–some professional, some just as a hobby–so it’s been around me my whole life. I had a teacher in high school who during a parent teacher conference told my mother and I that I could be something if I went to school and seriously learned. That tiny belief that’s what drove me to this career. 

What are three things you learned with Barry, and how did they make you a better musician and collaborator?

1. Organization: Barry is the most organized person I have ever met in my life. He has every minute of his day on a schedule and he follows it strictly. That’s how he gets all his projects done in record time.

2. When and when not to make changes. I saw a bunch of people in and out of Barry’s studio and sometimes they’d like suggestions and sometimes they had their own vision, and that was that. I learned when to say something or when not to.

3. My mixing has definitely improved due to Barry. Every song I tried to ask as many questions as I could to further understand not how he was doing something, but why. I think that’s always been my struggle: not how to do something but when to do something.

Has the internship made you confident musician or otherwise changed your outlook?

I think the knowledge I gained during the internship definitely made me more confident overall. I have a better understanding of concepts I had no real idea about before. I sat and participated in recording sessions, which also gave me experience in that department. I think with the internship and my classes at school, I really evolved from where I was. 

What are your goals going forward?

My goals moving forward are to work in a studio as an assistant engineer and then a senior engineer, open my own studio, keep pursuing my artistry, and keep growing in my art and be the best I can possibly be. 

What would you tell someone who wants to pursue a similar experience?

I would tell them to go for it and find something that ultimately works for them. There’s always going to be a reason not to do something but if you truly love music or art or have a passion, just go for it. Give it your all, your 100%. Barry is a great Engineer, he’s a nice guy, and you will learn something if you ask questions, stay engaged, and take notes. Thanks again, Barry. 

A photo of Barry and his helper, Snuggles, taken by Jacob.
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