Lorenzo “Zo” Cardona [RADIO INTERVIEW]

Grammy Winner, Lorenzo Cardona 
Stay Connected with the Sound Engineer here.
LASM x TDR: You are now listening to Trip Digital Radio by DJ Journey. Trip Digital Radio presents L.A STYLE Magazine. TizThaTime, Markeeda Monét and Tricia Love. What’s going on guys? We’re back. It’s about, it is fire in here right now.  It is fire. This cat right here though. I don’t think we’re even ready for this man. Did we qualify for this interview? It came in on another boat, man. We had the answer though. Tricia bring him in. We have in the house, Lorenzo Cardona, Grammy nominated sound engineer. What’s up?
Lorenzo: Thank you. You’re about to make me blush…
LASM x TDR: Also, Boriqua in the house…
Lorenzo: Let’s go. Let’s go.
LASM x TDR: So, tell us about you though. Where are you from?
Lorenzo: Okay, well I’m from Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
LASM x TDR: New Jersey!
Lorenzo: Yes. New Jersey. Born and raised in New Jersey.
LASM x TDR: Love it.
Lorenzo: Been into music all my life since I was a little kid. So it’s been, life has always been about music and sports. That’s what I was always into. I used to run around and get in trouble because I was always trying to be in the studio.
LASM x TDR: It’s not bad though, right! So, tell me this. So when the nets went to Brooklyn, where you not at set?
Lorenzo: No. I didn’t care.
LASM x TDR: You didn’t. Okay, cool.
Lorenzo: Jersey don’t care about, well I’m from in Jersey, we don’t care about the New Jersey Nets. Everybody is Nets friends. So we went to Brooklyn…
LASM x TDR: Wait. Are we talking about basketball?
Lorenzo: Basketball.
LASM x TDR: Got It. Okay. I’m there with you. So is that like a Yankees or Nets thing? What are you?
Lorenzo:I’m Yankees all day. Born and raised… I know my history.
LASM x TDR: There you go.
Lorenzo: I only have a one sports team that I’m a fan of. The next in New York Yankees.
LASM x TDR: There we go. Really. Take me out to the ball game.
Lorenzo: If you asked me who my favorite football team is, I say New York Yankees. For real. They’re the only team that can mess up day. They lose. I have a bad day. I watch football. I can’t have a team in football because it’s too competitive.
LASM x TDR: You got that loyalty. I’m noticing that loyalty is like the, what is it? What do we call…The vibe? The Vibe for tonight like that you got, we have some really loyal like guest. Like you guys are loyal to your teams. You’re loyal to your dreams. I thought you’re going to say loyal gangsters.
Lorenzo: You got to be loyal in a lot of things you do because especially in the industry, if you’re not loyal, you show like you care or your like, you have like…
LASM x TDR: It’s a weakness.
Lorenzo: …sense of responsibility. Yes, it’s a weakness. Exactly. It’s a weakness.
LASM x TDR: You don’t stand something, you’ll fall for anything that comes your way. Exactly. That’s our mother’s teaching right there. That’s old school teacher. You said from Jersey, so what was the town?
Lorenzo: Perth Amboy. New Jersey.
LASM x TDR: Perth Amboy?
Lorenzo: Perth Amboy.
LASM x TDR: Perth Amboy?
Lorenzo: Yeah. A-M-B-O-Y.
LASM x TDR: I don’t even know where that is.
Lorenzo: There’s no other place in the world as named that.
LASM x TDR: No.
Lorenzo: No other place.
LASM x TDR: Sounds like a crystal. Wow. If it does, yeah.
Lorenzo: So fun fact, if you want to know about my town, there’s a story that Bugs bunny and Daffy duck or from Perth Amboy.
LASM x TDR: How cute.
Lorenzo: If you go online and you look at like the old…
LASM x TDR: That’s more famous than Drake.
Lorenzo: …Yeah. If you go online and go like watch the old school cartoons, you can find little scenes where like bugs bunny says, oh, I’m going to Perth Amboy, or Daffy duck says the same thing.
LASM x TDR: I love that.
Lorenzo: So, there’s always a thing that we always was told that they were from our town.
LASM x TDR: That’s just crazy.
LASM: I don’t even know that.
LASM x TDR: Sounds creative. Another creative came from there. How did that environment shaped your creative sense in who you are?
Lorenzo: In my town, we were, when I was growing up, we were diverse. So I grew up in a town that’s five mile radius. And we were all Hispanic and black and a couple of white people. When I was going up, there was a few Jewish people in town, but it was mostly Hispanic and African American. And we were real well niched. We were real diverse, around each other to the point that African Americans know how to speak Spanish.
LASM x TDR: That’s beautiful.
Lorenzo: They go to the corner store and they get this, do you know the talks to the corner store, the owner and in Spanish telling them what they need?
LASM x TDR: Yes. it’s a Romans but it’s chill.
Lorenzo: And in the Hispanic culture instead of sweet sixteens, we do sweet fifteens, Quinceañera.
LASM x TDR: Quinceañera.
Lorenzo: Yeah. So all those parties, all my African American friends used to come by and they’re all dance Spanish music with us.
LASM x TDR: Yeah. I was in the Quinceañera. My best friend was Veronica Torres.
Lorenzo: I have friends that they cook better rice and beans and chuletas then some Spanish families. [Crosstalk 00:05:04]
LASM x TDR: Alright.
Lorenzo: So like…
LASM x TDR: I can say so.
Lorenzo: …So it’s was…
LASM x TDR: Go down.
Lorenzo: So like, we really grew up in very niche community in that way.
LASM x TDR: Yeah. It’s beautiful.
Lorenzo: Yeah, there’s a lot of turmoil, a lot of things that happened in urban areas. A lot of drug and violence. But, a lot of that really happened before I was growing up because my mother grew up there. So when she was growing up, there are race issues.
LASM x TDR: That’s real.
Lorenzo: When she was younger and when she was a little girl, the Ku Klux Klan tried to come into the town and take over. But my town didn’t let it happen and the riot broke out. So there’s like, there’s stories about that, what happened over there. So a lot of things like that happened before I was born. And when I was born it was just a very just niched family, like niche culture there, niche family, you’ll find different cultures and peoples houses. And it was the norm. So when I got, when I left high school and went into college, that’s the first time I really noticed like I was the first Spanish person some people I ever met.
LASM x TDR: What year was this?
Lorenzo: This was 2005, 2006.
LASM x TDR: Where did you go to college at?
Lorenzo: First, I went to William Paterson University in Wayne New Jersey. And then I transferred to Bloomfield College. In Bloomfield, New Jersey. But when I was at William Paterson University, that’s when I noticed, just meeting new people that there’s so many few that just don’t know a lot about a lot of things. So you got to understand when, you have to understand when people do know and they’re ignorant about it, and people just don’t know.
LASM x TDR: Right. There’s a difference.
Lorenzo: There’s a whole, there’s a big difference.
LASM x TDR: Absolutely.
Lorenzo: Real, real big difference. So as a person coming from round from, it helped me to differentiate the two. So it was, that was a real big part of like growing up for me as a person. But, I think where I grew up from really got me ready for the world.
LASM x TDR: That’s right. That’s right Lorenzo.
LASM x TDR: Being diverse.
Lorenzo: Definitely.
LASM x TDR: Our journey. Yeah. So fast forward a little bit into your professional career. You went to college. What were the degrees that you got?
Lorenzo: I got two majors and a minor. My first major is music performance, concentration, percussion. So everything about the drums. And then my other one is music technology with my concentration being an artist development and my minor is music theory.
LASM x TDR: Beautiful.
Lorenzo: It sounds all good but I kind of like, finessed it. Because some of my classes counted three times.
LASM x TDR: Yeah. Exactly. That’s what we do.
Lorenzo: So when I was going to school, then I remember my adviser was like, Hey, you take two more classes, you’ve got a minor. Give me a damn. Take the two classes. I was going to stay here for that semester anyways. I might just finish up and come out with something special.
LASM x TDR: Special. They’re pretty easy.
Lorenzo: Yeah, it was super easy.
LASM x TDR: Raise that GPA up.
Lorenzo: Yeah, exactly. I would right over 3.5 with that one.
LASM x TDR: Exactly. You’re welcome.
Lorenzo: Yeah, definitely. But yeah, just went and got my degrees from Bloomfield college. And then after that I was just trying to make it, trying to make something happen. But after I graduated from college, I didn’t even get into the industry doing anything for like a year and a half. So I was working at a warehouse.
LASM x TDR: So that puts you in the 06?
Lorenzo: Yeah, no, that put me, I graduated college in 2011.
LASM x TDR: In 2011.
Lorenzo: I went to college for six years.
LASM x TDR: So that sums up to 12.
Lorenzo: Yeah. So in around 2012, I was working at a warehouse. Worst job ever in my life. It was a tile warehouse, moving like 70 pound boxes…
LASM x TDR: I love to hear the story.
Lorenzo: …all day, every day. And then having to put the pallet together with the boxes and getting ready and then putting it on 16 wielded trucks and putting things on and off. The worst job I ever had. So, at that time in that area of Jersey, New York, the tropical storm sandy hit.
LASM x TDR: Oh yes. I remember seeing that one. Yeah.
Lorenzo: So what happened was, it destroyed the warehouse
LASM x TDR: Your dream came true. They paid you.
Lorenzo: It wasn’t even that. This, I’m telling you, this was the worst job I ever had to the point that the warehouse, it was only me and one other person there.
LASM x TDR: Wow.
Lorenzo: Working there.
LASM x TDR: That sounds like…
Lorenzo: So when the storm hit, it was a relief. And I was like, oh my goodness, thank you.
LASM x TDR: So it’s going to whim and one other person.
Lorenzo: And so it was horrible.
LASM x TDR: Moving 70 bound boxes all day.
Lorenzo: It was horrible.
LASM x TDR: That’s slave labor, that was you?
Lorenzo: Yeah. It was bad.
LASM x TDR: Hold on.
Lorenzo: It was bad. It was bad.
LASM x TDR: I love this because people see your glory and this Grammy nomination and all of these things you’re attached to. Big shout to Sandy. Yeah, Sandy. Sandy did that, right Derek?  I’m going to elevate a little bit and say thank you God for Sandy, I don’t know how people feel about that.
Lorenzo: Into Sandy?
LASM x TDR: Oh good. We thank God for Sandy. I don’t know the other thing.
Lorenzo: So when the storm hit it. And the warehouse got destroyed. I was like, Oh hell no. I got is find something else to do. But at that same time when that happened, I got myself into some trouble. So like I was, I caught a case I was going through. Yeah. I was facing…
LASM x TDR: Talk to us.
Lorenzo: … I was facing three years in prison, so yeah.
LASM x TDR: Helping somebody. Talk. Talk.
Lorenzo: So at that point in my life I really wasn’t afraid or didn’t care what was going to go on because I graduated college but I wasn’t finding anything and bills have to get paid. So I’m running around, not really care. And then I finally, I got arrested, got pulled up on by the cops. So I get arrested, I caught a charge and I had to fight it. Okay. So at the same time I’m fighting it, the storm hit and I’m like, okay, I got to do something else in my life. I got this degree. I’ve been having it for like a year, haven’t done anything. So I took a day off from work and I went to this New York and I went with my resume, hit up the studios. Before I went, actually I had contacted a studio to see that any openings, they’re like, oh yeah, come by, check it out, we’ll talk to you. Okay, cool. So I went to that studio.
LASM x TDR: What’s the name of the studio?
Lorenzo: It was called flux studios it was in the lower east side of New York. So I go to flux studios, right. And they show me around and the guy goes to me, Oh, see your resume is great, but we don’t have any openings here. And I’m like, in my head, I’m like, then why the hell are you telling me to come here today? You just made me… I just missed a day of work to come over here. Right. And then he, but that’s what I was saying in my head, but at the same time he’s telling me, but I really think you should go and bombard the studios in New York. You’re like pretty overqualified. And he goes to me, what are you doing for the rest of the day? And I was like, I don’t know, I was about to just go home and hang out. And then he’s like, No, I suggest go back to the city.
LASM x TDR: He was your angel. He was.
Lorenzo: And he’s like, go hit the other studios. So I get back into midtown, I go next to a Dunkin donuts to get some Wifi.
LASM x TDR: Bomb Dunkin Donuts.
Lorenzo: Right next to Dunkin, I’m outside right next to Dunkin Donuts. I get the wifi, and the first studio I look up is Quad studios, it’s the first one that popped up Quad recording studio.
LASM x TDR: That’s where Tupac got shot. Wow, they’re huge. It’s a lot of things going on. Yeah.
Lorenzo: So I called them. I asked them that any openings, they’re like, we do, but we can’t have you come up here right now. I was like, but I’m in the city. Can I just come by and drop off my resume? So I finessed…
LASM x TDR: That’s right. you don’t take no for an answer.
Lorenzo: I finessed them on the phone. He had me come up. I go up there and the owner interviews me and it was the worst interview I ever had in my life.
LASM x TDR: Wow. I love how you’re telling the truth.
Lorenzo: The absolute worst. And I was seeing things in my head and I was like, man, you are one. you’re just f****** stupid for saying that. So stupid. I’m like, oh my goodness. So anyways, I go after there, I go to a couple other studios, I do some interviews and at the, I leave New York.
LASM x TDR: After that I get home and my sister’s like, so how was it today? I was like, it was cool. But there was one studio already wants to work at, but I bombed the interviews. Horrible. Which one? It’s the Quad studios? Oh, it’s Quad.
Lorenzo: So my sister goes to me, she goes, well, you should just send them an email. Thank them for the time that they took to talk to you and just say if there’s anything that they can do to help you out, just to let you know, like you’re open to anything. So the owner gets back to me the next morning, he’s like, Hey, we have these hours open for these three days. Are you willing to take it? And I was like, yeah, men. So I took it. I started doing my internship, trying to work at the warehouse at the same time. I finally get fired from there. So I go on unemployment and I’m interning at the studio and I interned there for like 13 months before they hired me.
LASM x TDR: Okay. Hold on. I just want to get this timing down. So now we are in, what, 2014?
Lorenzo: 2013! I interned at quad studios from September, 2012 to October 2013.
LASM x TDR: Okay, so we’re in 13 okay. I just want to make sure that people understand where we’re at right now.
Lorenzo:Yeah, it took a long time. It takes a while. It’s like finally getting the door and the owners to trust you to work sessions and to be around these big artists. You have to have a certain mindset to be around them.
LASM x TDR: Totally.
Lorenzo:You can get nervous. You got to be able when your session with people to work with the fire in the fire.
LASM x TDR: Exactly.
Lorenzo: You feel the heat on you in that seat.
LASM x TDR: And that’s what I want to see. Because when you were talking about the timing as to what it took. I mean, there are people that go years and years and don’t get to the space that you’re in, but you were blessed, like you said, there was just some things that happened. But then when you get there and you’re in 13, now we’re in 19 and when you look through these credits, and this resume, and these things as you’ve put out there. Being put in the game, getting a Grammy, I mean, come on bro. Get nominated for that. You have really done some amazing work in a short period of time. It’s pretty awesome, man. Absolutely.
LASM x TDR: Freaking awesome.
Lorenzo: It just, you just, there’s a time, I feel like there’s a point in time in everybody’s life where it’s like you have to decide what you really want to do. Like you were either you’re going to make sign over yourself or are you going to be a bomb? And I just always told myself I didn’t want to be a bomb. No matter what I did to mess up or that I did right. It was like I got to keep going. I got to see how far I can go. That’s the only thing I tell myself. Like all this, this is luxury to me.Doing things like this. Everything else I’m doing right now has been luxury, grammy nomination, all that. I’m the first one from my town to get a Grammy nomination. From artistry, Engineer wise, anything like that. No one has ever seen that happen around my way up. I’m looked at around my way, like the local celebrity right now. And I’m an engineer, you know what I mean?
LASM x TDR: Yes indeed.
Lorenzo: There’s a big difference of how engineers are looked at now to send back in the day. So, right now, this is just, everything, all this is just a blessing to me. I expect this. A year ago, I was not expecting any of this stuff. I was in a crossroads. I’m like, man, how much longer am I going to get to do this without having to worry about going to do something else with my life?
LASM x TDR: Yeah. But all of it was like bringing you to this point. It was like it was preparing you and I love the way Tiz is lot in that time up and making sure that everybody is hearing that timeline because it’s encouraging somebody. We’re big on that.
Lorenzo: You have to be willing to make sacrifices. You have to tell yourself how important is this to you. How badly do you want this? Because it gets to the point where this becomes an obsession. It’s passion but it’s also an obsession. Think about it for an artist point. Artist, did they want to do this? They want to get in the game so hard. So they, they wrap into doing everything that got to do, they’re singing, they’re going everywhere. They want to go now you get there, you got the money, you got the fame. You want to keep going because that’s all you’re getting now. It’s an addiction. Money’s an addiction. Just like a drug.
LASM x TDR: Driving force. That’s literally a question that I love to ask the artists that we interview here on our show. I asked them, what is the driving force behind you, behind your career? And it’s like you literally answering all of that like pretty much up to this point without me even having to ask it. That motivation, the money so that you have to be homeless or like a Hobo. That means that you’ve seen that before. It was very impactful. Something you saw triggered that. Even though you kind of got caught up into some things because you were trying to, you were hustling, you were trying to make your money. It is what it is, but you didn’t want that life.
Lorenzo: No. I know.
LASM x TDR: Do you know what I’m saying. But it was just a situation that you were in.
Lorenzo: And I did it more because I want it to be independent. I didn’t want to go ask my mom and dad for money. You know what I mean? I don’t want doing any of that stuff.
LASM x TDR: That’s real right there.
Lorenzo: I was trying to take care of everything I need to take care of. Because that’s what it was put on me. That’s why I should be doing what I was supposed to be doing. But the game, hustling, drugs, whatever, you have to have that same mindset with the music now.
LASM x TDR: Wow.
Lorenzo: The same thing. It’s the new drug.
LASM x TDR: That’s same thing you did. You gave that same commitment, prepared. What are some of the proudest moments in your career of, one of the proudest accomplishments that you would say that you made. 
Lorenzo: One of the first ones was just getting hired. Just being finally at Quad Studio.
LASM x TDR: At Quad Studio.
Lorenzo: Just being able to get paid to do this. That’s the first thing, because you do it for so long without getting a dollar.
LASM x TDR: Come on.
Lorenzo: So long and then you finally…
LASM x TDR: Keep talking though.
Lorenzo: …And then you do so much work to get there and it’s like, wow, finally I can invoice and you guys pay me for this. Great. That’s cool me. And then like, you got a couple of personal goals, like people who you worked with like, [Inaudible 00:19:29] with this person and things like that.
LASM x TDR: Tell us of your favorite. I’m looking at a very long list and I can name it if you’d like. That’s a perfect question… I mean… because I have one more. That’s perfect. Answered that one.
Lorenzo: So, one of the, definitely one of the groups I have worked with that I was like so surprised. I couldn’t believe it was earth, wind and fire.
LASM x LASM: Oh my god… I knew it.
Lorenzo: I remember, I was at the studio. I woke up from the couch because I was there the night before. I go, I see them in the lobby. I wasn’t expecting them to be there. I go run in the bathroom, I call my sister. I was like, you’re not going to believe who’s here right now. So I tell her who’s here and she’s like, oh my gosh, shut up. I was like, yes, I’m doing a session with them. This is crazy. Oh my God. Call me after. So I get into the session with them and they were doing a collab with this DJ named Dj Cassidy and Cassius was taking their music and was revamping it. And they came in to hear what he was doing and give some pointers and say, Oh yeah, we liked that a lot. We don’t like this, whatever. So, when I was in there, I’m hearing their music with them and seeing how happy they were for what Dj Cassidy had done. It was amazing to see their faces and then vibe out with them and then talk to them, and hear stories about those songs. I remember when we recorded it as though you remember when we did the show over here in Australia. We perform and then this happened and you’re like, this is amazing. So cool.
LASM x TDR: History man.
Lorenzo: So, so cool.
LASM x TDR: That then better than that.
LASM: With that being said before I even ask this final question, I mean guys, we are sitting here with Zo grammy nominations, his credits, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Travis Scott, Post Malone, the Migos, I mean Todd Dallas side and the list goes on and on and on and on.
LASM x TDR: Don’t forget KRS one… Throw out one Tricia. Throw at one Journey I mean, you got Bazi Neo, Bad Bunny. Walk up flop of flame of in this camp.
Lorenzo: Bad bunny was funny. So like I said…
LASM x TDR: Give this man his props in his praise he deserves, he’s been through for this.
Lorenzo: Yeah. Definitely. It’s been a lot. Bad Bunny. I worked with before he became bad bunny. Oh yeah. So what happened was, like I said, my town where Hispanic and African American, mainly Puerto Rican. So we throw our own Puerto Rican festival on our town. We had bad bunny come to town and perform. But the night before he came to Quad studios and worked with me looking good. So we’re working with each other and I go, well, what are you doing tomorrow? Because I knew the next thing was the Puerto Rican festival in New York and we have ours the same day as the one in New York. He goes, yeah, I’m going to a couple of festivals. I’m going to one in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. I was like, Oh shit, that’s where I’m from. You’re going over there. He’s like, yeah. He was like, man, he gave me his number. I’m going to call you when I’m in town. Just hang out, come on stage with me, blah blah, blah. He literally came to my town and like hung out with him and showed him around.
LASM x TDR: Tricia, you hear this?
Lorenzo: He was so surprised to see how many Puerto Ricans came from this small town and like came out. It was probably like 8,000 people.
LASM x TDR: Devine time and just timely.
Lorenzo: And then right after that show he blew up. He goes all over the place.
LASM x TDR: So talking about this is history, this great, this majestic history. Are there any projects that you’re currently working on? We’d love to hear that.
Lorenzo: I’m working on right now. Artist’s name, black bear. His next album is coming out in two months working on that, working on a couple tracks with couple of Latin artists that are up and coming. Love it. Before I came out here for the Grammys, I had worked with Neo for a couple of days in the studio. Yeah. Good friend of mine. And once I go back home, I know I have a couple of sessions with the artist named little TJ. He’s up and coming artist. He’s blowing up in New York. You should be…
LASM x TDR: Little Tj Young?
Lorenzo: Little TJ.
LASM x TDR: Yeah, that’s my friend’s son. Absolutely.
Lorenzo: He’s all over the place.
LASM x TDR: Look at that Kisa. That’s my boy, like my nephew. Do you see this? That’s like my little nephew, like I need to text her right now. Oh my goodness.
Lorenzo: And then I’m working on two projects with fatboy SSE. So it’s a good friend of mine, both from the Jersey, straight family. So like we got a couple of things coming out soon too.
LASM x TDR: So I want to go back to that timeline. I want people to understand that transformation from college from 04, from going in, being in the studio and actually getting into the studio and then come in now to 14, 15 and 16. And you’re just putting in work, 17 and 18 getting a nomination.
Lorenzo: With the bulbs, man, when I first started, I started in the basement that I couldn’t even stand up straight. I started in a basement that we had a mixing board and you had to go get a cassette tape from the corner store for a dollar 25 to put in there so you can run it. And then it was connected to a PC that have pro tools on it. And then we had two turntables and probably like 30 crates of records all over the place. That was from the seventies and eighties from my boy’s parents. And we used to just go through their stuff.
LASM x TDR: What was that unit? A tascam four track?
Lorenzo: Yeah, it was a Tascam four tracks, some reverb machines from Radio Shack…I have all of that... All of that stuff. All of that.
LASM x TDR: And so, blank tape.
Lorenzo: Yes. So, black tape… We made our own like dome around the microphone and out of cardboard. So like, yeah I come from that. And when I go home I go to that still. So it was like, cause it’s my home means they still there. I still going over there, I’m still going to check out what they’re doing. Loyalty.
LASM x TDR: You didn’t get…
Lorenzo: I still know how to work all that stuff.
LASM x TDR: You didn’t get any crack programs about.
Lorenzo: Oh gone yeah. But in your college and everything you definitely get cracked programs. You got to try and use this out there.
LASM x TDR: You got to upgrade the homies.
Lorenzo: You got to try and upgrade this stuff. Hey, I get stuff now from the audio companies. Well you don’t think they’re not going to get it. I was like, oh they gave me the password. I could put it on three computers
LASM x TDR: I love that.
Lorenzo: And in school too because I’m the youngest out of all my homies from home. So like they’re all like 46 years older and I was the little brother, so now they got kids and like I’m still the youngest one. And their kids are now like, oh my God, I love that song you did. I love this and that. All my homies is as proud of everything’s going on cause it’s like, what motivated me to do all this too was situations my friends were in growing up. They might have not grown up with a father. I grew up with my mom and dad, so I know friends that didn’t grow up with a father. I felt bad for that they didn’t have a dad. And I would be the one like, man, I wish I could share my dad, or maybe there was, I have friends that they had dreams and aspirations, but could it make it because they might have a kid at a young age. They got him to drugs or something and I was like, man, I can’t have that happen to myself. So I do this a lot too for those people that weren’t able to get to what they wanted to do in life. And for the people who are so like they want to do something or I felt that they were better than me, but they didn’t get there. So I’m like, if God’s giving me this opportunity I need to take it. And whatever he’s thrown at me then he just knows I can handle it. So I’m just going to take everything he’s throwing to me and just run with it.
LASM x TDR: Yeah. There we go. Beautiful. That’s beautiful man. That’s beautiful. And I would love to know that you’re going to be working with TJ. We gotta get you get back in here with Tj. Hopefully that’ll be bombed. When you’re ready. We’re going to bring you all back here.
Lorenzo: You got to hear this. This kid is talented.
LASM x TDR: Oh, it’s ridiculous.
Lorenzo: He is ridiculously talented.
LASM x TDR: And he’s a baby like…
Lorenzo: He’s so smart. So smart. The way he speaks, his intellect. That’s why I can hear in his music where all that comes from. He either read the dictionary when he was growing up something. Someone taught him and made sure that he knew how to read, write, and because he knows so much.
LASM x TDR: Great mom. Kiza and the aunties, his biological sisters, one of my best friends, Paulette shot out, my people. Paulette shout out. I mean everybody, it’s a community. You ever heard that saying like you said, it takes a village.
Lorenzo: It takes a village to raise a child.
LASM x TDR: The whole village that surrounds you. And his dad like is like nonstop. Like he is hard as it relates to TJ coming out. But you guys, if he’s working with you…
Lorenzo: He’s got something.
LASM x TDR: …Oh this is a moment right here.
Lorenzo: He has a lot. He’s coming out. Watch. He’s definitely like, out of all the artists have been working with that I’m actually working with this year. He’s like, if I had to have something like the ones to watch, he’s one of them you have to watch.
LASM x TDR: TJ, auntie Marqueeda giving you a shout out and the dream team. So, that’s awesome man. So you got it man. You’ve got so much going on and so many blessings that come about to you. What do you want to have people that know about you? I mean, what do you want to say to those people out there that are like watching you and then and like MVN and whatever and it’s just like, wow, what do you want to tell them?
Lorenzo: You can do this, you can do it. But it just matters about how much your willing to sacrifice. It matters how much shit you can take and get up from it.
LASM x TDR: Amen to that one.
Lorenzo: And it’s always like that. Like I noticed that I’ve been so passionate about doing music and wanting to make myself happy. That you go in, I’ve been in this tunnel vision for my pursuit of happiness. And I feel like if you pursue what makes you happy, then that’s the definition of success. And it’s working for me. It’s keeping me content. So I’m just going to go with it. And if I’m going with it and if it’s, if it’s working for me, I’m going to work with it. I’m going to keep going with it until it doesn’t work for me anymore. So you can really do this. I was told so many times I couldn’t do this. I was told since I was in the sixth grade, I wasn’t going to be anything. I’ll talk about my sixth grade teacher. I was going to work at Mcdonald’s my whole life. When I got into college, my college professor told me that they didn’t think that this was for me. But you just can’t let them take away what you want to do. Take away from your dreams. And I’m a living proof of it. And I know I’m living proof of it because I’ve seen the positive vibes I’ve brought back to my community because of it. And it’s a beautiful thing, it’s such a beautiful thing. So, what ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
LASM x TDR: Exactly. That’s me. I’m a creature of habit. I broke, no need to fix it. That is awesome man. So, let us know where people can follow you, man.
Lorenzo: You could follow me on Instagram and all social platforms at zoedaengineer. That’s Z. O. E. D. A. L. E. N. G. I. N. E. E. R. You can find me also just looking me up on to Google search, Lorenzo’s Joe Cardona. You can also find me on the quad studios website.That’s quadnyc.com/lorenzo. And if you go on my Instagram, I have my email there. You guys can always contact me, send me new music. I’m always trying to find the next new artists. Always listening to music every day. So if you guys want to submit anything to me, my email’s on my Instagram. Once again, that’s zoedaengineer. So yeah, that’s work.
LASM x TDR: Let’s make it happen.
Lorenzo: Let’s make it happen.
LASM x TDR: Make it happen. Alright. So as we go out, we always ask our guests one question. I got to find this out, man. We’re very interested to know what is your superpower?
Lorenzo: My superpower?
LASM x TDR: Yes.
Lorenzo: My superpower is the ability to read people.
LASM x TDR: The ability to read. I like that.
Lorenzo: I’ve always been someone ever since I was younger and ever since I was hustling, I was the guy in the corner of the room watching what everybody else is doing. You never knew what I was doing or what I was thinking, but I would watch everybody and see what their mannerisms are.
LASM x TDR: That’s spirit of discernment.
Lorenzo: That works a lot. That really works a lot, especially in a business where you, is cutthroat and you have a lot of people that are just putting this face on. But they got their fingers crossed behind their back. You got to learn how to read between the lines.There’s a lot of gray in this business. A lot of grays. So you just, once you learned that,once you learned how to read people and how to adapt to their environment or whatever environment you’re in, it makes it makes everything a whole lot easier.
LASM x TDR: Yeah, definitely. Amen, you’re a blessing man. Congratulations with all you, I need to say it.
Lorenzo: Appreciate it.
LASM x TDR: Most definitely.
Lorenzo: Thank you so much. This was fun.
LASM x TDR: Yes indeed. So Zo, I got to ask you this question before we lead you out because there’s a lot of kids that are indie. This is the age of the Indie, right? So a lot of kids are in that bedroom mixing and mastering and stuff like that. How much would it be for a session with Zoe?
Lorenzo: Well…
LASM x TDR: At this point. At this point, because you’re dope, you’re winning grammys and you’re…
Lorenzo: It’s automatically a minimum four hours. For sure, for sure. Like I get a lot, rule of thumb. Don’t come to an engineer and tell them you can record four songs in four hours because it’s not going to happen. I don’t care how fast you are, you’re not going to happen. Just not going to happen. I won’t let it happen because I don’t do just one takes. We have to keep doing it until it’s right. My name’s on the project as well, just like theirs, so that’s one thing. It’s always a minimum of four hours to just get one song done. But like a session, a session with me and probably a recording session with me can run you probably close to $500, $600. And then a mixed by me could probably run you up to like $1500 just, it varies on what you send me. What type of audio recording and all that is. But it takes a long time to get to those prices.
LASM x TDR: I should say.
Lorenzo: Trust me.
LASM x TDR: That’s what’s up. And, and I had to ask this question because there’s a lot of indie artists out there. They think they can make short cuts, they can buy programs and so on and so forth. There’s no shortcuts.
Lorenzo: You can’t do shortcuts. I tried all the shortcuts. There’s no shortcut out there that I didn’t try my whole life to get to know all these programs. So whatever shortcut you think you have is not a shortcut anymore. It’s not at all. There’s no shortcuts at all. You can record your songs and everything in your room, in the closet. I’ve done all of that, but I can hear still the difference from a closet and from an actual studio because I came from recording in the closet. I had people come to my college dorm, we’re recording in my closet. You know what I mean? There’s just no shortcuts. You could get the crack plugins, all that, but they have serial numbers on them. You can get in trouble using that stuff.
LASM x TDR: But can you see the people that have the potential because everybody doesn’t have the 500 right away or the 1500 right away, but they’re stellar. Can you see the potential in somebody that did it in their closet and say, you know what, let’s figure out something. If you feel it’s worth it.
Lorenzo: Definitely. If it’s worth it, then you do a lot of…
LASM x TDR: How can I get this on the back end.
Lorenzo: …You do about that. Yes, you do a lot…
LASM x TDR: Because this person right here…
Lorenzo: …of the different things to try and get on the back end. But you can really see when someone is serious about it and where they’re not serious about it. Because sometimes there’s artists and there’s plenty of artists out there right now that we know. They get into this pilot mode and they’re just right in or just saying stuff on beats now. You want the person who’s going to pay attention to detail that’s going to take the time to write their lyrics and try to be creative with it and also think about what the listener will be thinking as they’re writing this. Because the listener, psychologically, listen to music totally different than the people who are making the music.
LASM x TDR: Absolutely.
Lorenzo: So you have to keep that in consideration. It’s like a restaurant with their menu. You don’t want to have it too big. You don’t want to have too small. And you want to have everything onto that everybody’s going to like. It’s the same thing with a song. You’re trying to get everyone to like the song. That’s what makes it hot. That’s what makes it go Grammy nominated, win Grammys and all that. And also, you always have to have the best quality you have. You have to spend money on yourself. If you’re doing music independently, you want to get to where you want to go with this. You cannot cut corners at all. It just doesn’t work anymore. It does not. You have to be a student of the game. Watch what everyone else is doing. Try to figure out how you can make it different or what are they doing that can help you get to the next step where you want to go. If you’re not a student, you’re not going to really learn anything. You’re not going to get anywhere. You’re just going to be going in circles running after the tail.
LASM x TDR: Amen. This is good. That was a good question Journey. That is good.
Lorenzo: That is true. I get a lot of songs that people send me in and it just sounds like the same thing over and over and over. That’s not what the industry is looking for. That doesn’t make sessions fun to work with artists. You want someone that’s trying to be original, trying to find the next thing that’s going to happen that can pop. You’re trying to be ahead of it. But that is the hard part. You have to go through all this dirt and shit to find that one that can be like the one. But it’s the hustle.
LASM x TDR: It’s the hustle and they’re out there.
Lorenzo: Yeah, they’re out.
LASM x TDR: They’re out there.
Lorenzo: They’re definitely out. They just have to be found.
LASM x TDR: That’s it.
Lorenzo: But the artists too just have to be open minded, understand that it takes a team to get you where you want to go.
LASM: It takes a team and it takes time.
Lorenzo: A team and time because you’re not going to be, not everyone here is the best at everything. So you have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and have the people that around you, that make your reconsider stronger.
LASM x TDR: Amen, that is. Let’s give it up for Zo. They got to tune in That stuff, man. There you have it. Trip Digital Radio presents L.A Style magazine, we will be back, man. Thank you so much for your time.
Lorenzo: Thank you guys. I appreciate it.
LASM x TDR: And your music.