Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Gleyzer.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My journey through music has never been as surefire as many others I have met… I have always been drawn to music, but coming from a non-musical immigrant family, it was hard for me to really find a way into it. The turning point for me actually happened when I was away at a sleepaway camp for the summer. One of the counselors had a guitar and decided to play a single pretty chord while I was watching, and that made me immediately decide that I wanted to be able to follow the feeling that I got from just hearing that chord. So I did. I asked my dad to teach me what little guitar he knew (all of three chords), asked for my own guitar and private lessons. I even joined an Accapella group in my junior year of high school because I wanted to surround myself with music.
After high school, I got accepted into Berklee School of Music, where I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I loved music but now that I had all of these musical paths laid out in front of me, I had no idea which direction I wanted to go. I started with a dual major of performance and Musical Therapy, but after a short while, I realized those weren’t for me and I switched to Songwriting and Music Production & Engineering. That’s where I started learning the technical and creative parts of music side by side, and quickly found my place within those programs. While I was there, Josh Gudwin, a renown mix engineer who was the driving force behind Justin Bieber’s album “Purpose”, skyped into one of my classes. I asked if he was taking interns, and he said he was but they had to be located in Los Angeles. So with the help of my professors, I finished my resume and decided to blindly move to LA, hoping to be accepted as his intern. Thankfully, he and his wife remembered me, and I was accepted. I started interning for Josh by taking care of his studio; making sure everything was in order and clean, patching cables, basic maintenance, etc.
But in between those tasks, if I were called in I’d just be watching and learning. At the same time, on the days where I wasn’t being called in, I’d be teaching myself modern production in Ableton Live. A large part of my graduating class from Berklee had also moved out to LA at the same time as me and were all flourishing on the songwriting and producing side of the industry. Over the course of the year, my internship with Josh ended and I decided to try to put the production skills I had been developing to the test. I started reaching out to different managers and songwriters, trying to get into any room I could. Over the next two years, my production skills increased, I met some incredible artists and writers, with whom I was able to work on some amazing projects. Now I am a producer/writer, and I have worked with artists such as Madison Beer, Meghan Trainor, Noah Cyrus, AJ Mitchell, Grace Vanderwaal, and Eddie Benjamin. I still have a long way to go but I’m incredibly thankful for everything that I have been able to achieve so far, and looking forward to seeing what the future holds!
Has it been a smooth road?
My parents are immigrants from Ukraine, my father having a Ph.D. in mathematics and my mother having an engineering degree, so getting them to accept that music is my passion and actually letting me follow it has always been a struggle. Music to them was never a viable career path and growing up they had always sent me to extra math/engineering classes and such, so I never really had a chance to explore it like a lot of my colleagues had. Because of that, every step of my musical career has been a game of catchup where I always had to put in three times as much time and effort just because my colleagues and competitors had been doing it for three times longer.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As a freelance producer, I am my business. My specialty is music production, though as part of that, I am a mix engineer, songwriter, and guitar player as well. But I think the most important thing to know about my process and the way I see production is that I think it should be fun. I have spent all these years developing the specialized skills to be able to make the music-making process as smooth as possible just so that once that process starts with a client/co-creator, we can focus on what’s important, which in my view is honesty, creativity, and feeling. I always want to make sure that when someone works with me, they leave feeling like they just hung out with a friend and somehow got an amazing product from it, rather than having them feel like they just finished work.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I absolutely LOVE LA. Coming from Boston, which is littered with swamps, my favorite thing is the fact that there are virtually no mosquitos in Los Angeles. I love that the weather is consistently wonderful, and especially that at any point you can find something to do. From salsa clubs to restaurants, there is a neverending array of places to go and people to see. Honestly, there isn’t much I don’t like. If I had to choose it would be the traffic… It does tick me off sometimes that it can take me an hour to travel 5 miles… but luckily, I barely ever have a need to leave my studio so even that I can live with!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: gleyzeddonut