MIX MASTER, Andre Chevolleau
Andre Chevolleau in the mixFriday, February 26, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
Initially a rapper, his skill as a mix engineer, producer and songwriter are what have made Andre Chevolleau a hot commodity in music circles.
Though he has several gold and platinum plaques on the walls of his recording studio, Art Hause Media Group in Sunrise, Florida, Chevolleau prefers to keep a low profile. His business partners are Adrian “Blizzy” Baxter and Tariq “Kamua” Smith. He also co-owns a studio at Dumbarton Avenue in Kingston with Rick “Jamplified” Warren.
“I've been mixing for about 15 years now but I still don't consider myself a true engineer,” Chevolleau said jokingly. “I'm also a producer and songwriter. I still collaborate with other top industry engineers like Warren and Christopher Birch, among others, just to complete projects. I'm not formally trained per se, but I've been working with Pro Tools since its inception and still learning. I don't think I'll ever stop being a student. There's always new innovations and sounds, etc, that you have to stay on top of to be competitive in this business.”
He recently earned a platinum certification from the British Phonographic Industry to mark sales of more than 600,000 for the song Look at Me by the late rapper XxxTentacion. He also has a double-platinum plaque for the song's certification in the United States and a platinum record for sales in Denmark, France and Italy.
Chevolleau also has plaques commemorating platinum, gold or double-platinum sales for other songs by XxxTentacion including I Don't Wanna Do This, Jocelyn Flores, F@ck Love featuring Trippie Red, I Don't Even Speak Spanish LOL, and Ghetto Christmas Carol.
Said Chevolleau: “My approach to mixing is more of a producer. I like to get a song to what it should sound like on a production side before I start cleaning up any vocals or instruments. I'll add a bunch of effects and brakes where I think the producer and artiste would want and then go from there.”
His other production credits include songs by Usher, Chris Brown (the song Zero which has been certified gold in the United States), singer SZA, 112 member Slim, Latin superstars Maluma and Natti Natasha, rapper Lil Pump and Kelvyn Colt.
In Jamaica, Chevolleau has worked on songs by Luciano, Naomi Cowan, Lila Ike, Zia Benjamin, Dre Island, Queen Ifrica ( Far Away and Trueversation with Damian Marley), Richie Spice ( Where There's A Will remix and Murderer with Dre Island). He also worked with Pressure Buss Pipe of the United States Virgin Islands.
“All of this work it's not just me though. We have a team here in the [United] States. A network that works closely together. We've done work with almost everyone in the industry, from Maroon 5 to rapper Meek Mill, Rick Ross and others,” he stated.
Born in Kingston, Chevolleau attended Wolmer's Boys' High School where his contemporaries included singer Wayne Marshall and footballer Ricardo “Bibi” Gardiner. Migrating to the United States, he earned a bachelor's degree in finance from St John's University in New York.
Signed to Epic Records as a rapper at age 18, he was with the label for three years without releasing any music.
“I was on the label for years before I was subsequently released. I wrote songs for other members on the label like rapper Shyne who was signed to Bad Boy and I produced a song called Selfish for their artiste Asia Cruise. I learned about the business the hard way then decided to complete my bachelor's in finance before getting back to music. I worked in finance and sales for years while doing music,” he shared.
He got involved with Xxxtentacion just over five years ago. The rapper, whose parents are Jamaican, was from Plantation in South Florida, close to where Chevolleau's studio is located.
“I met Xxxtentacion (real name Jahseh Onfroy) in late 2015. He was just a young kid looking to make some great music. He was a Soundcloud rapper back then. Not entirely sure who gave him my number initially, but he booked a one-hour session and the rest is history from there,” he recalled. “He made an impression on me instantly, was an extremely humble kid and asked a million questions about the industry. We instantly made a connection to the point where I was the one taking him to where he was staying at the time after the session. I didn't even charge him for studio time as I can see that he was really trying.”
Chevolleau added that, “Jahseh regularly recorded by my studio in Florida. It became his home studio. He refused to complete his first album until I recorded his debut single on Empire, Jocelyn Flores, but I wasn't available at the time. The morning he face-timed me to record it, I was on my way to Jamaica. My partner and producer Jon FX was still at the studio that morning and I asked him to do the session for me. Jon and XxxTentacion developed a relationship instantly and would do a slew of hits together at my studio. Most of his work was recorded at my studio either by myself or Jon FX.”
Xxxtentacion was murdered in June 2018 at age 20.
Andre Chevolleau is determined to have a productive career.
“I'm hoping to achieve longevity and relevance in this music business. It's said that music is a young man's game but I believe the music business has no age limit. There is space there for everyone. We must find our own space and pursue it.”
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login