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Conversations with Christian Whitley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christian Whitley.

Hi Christian, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Music has been a part of my life since childhood. With my father being a musician himself, I naturally gravitated towards everything revolving around music. Early music training in elementary school transitioned to private lessons. Private lessons transitioned into enrolling into Baltimore School for the Arts for high school.

Then high school transitioned into graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston. So in a sense, each stage of life has had a solid foundation of music training that propelled me towards doing all the artistic and creative things that I enjoy doing today.

Going through that journey and different stages, now I’m producing for many different artists in Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles. I’m working on a number of projects, being a faculty member at my old high school, Baltimore School for the Arts. Life now is all about new goals, music projects, and how to strive for more success.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s funny, I often reflect on my life and think about this question and I always end up telling myself “I didn’t know this is what I had to deal with. I just kept moving forward.” I have to credit that to my upbringing and my family.

I am extremely grateful for my support system in my childhood. I had parents and family members that realized the importance of me doing a lot of extracurricular activities early on in life, and they knew as long as I kept active with my music training, I would be further along in my music journey by the time I was an adult.

Of course, there were setbacks with life events that just came into play, but my attitude towards the situations was always “Ok, we have this to deal with. How do we work with it and make it beneficial.” It was until I was an adult and a longtime friend pointed that out that I realized I always adapt to situations with grace and still strive towards success.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Primarily, I am a music producer and mixing engineer. I create music for clients, based on whatever music they may need for a project. With mixing, I get a wide range of clients who need different things, from mixing commercial releases, to podcast productions, and much other material, when anyone needs audio cleaned up, they call me.

What I pride myself in doing for my clients is giving them a whole “Artist Development” package when working with me. Going to Berklee for college exposed me to a lot of different roles that usually aren’t popular, but are very necessary when releasing music. Usually, people think all you need to do is make the beat, record, and sell the music.

However, what makes releases successful for years are things that come along with the music, like your branding, promotion strategy, and many other roles people don’t talk about often. I pride myself in giving artists who don’t have experience doing that a plan on how to brand themselves better, and how to make their music uniquely stand out vs other music that is out today.

What does success mean to you?
I had to think about this question a lot during quarantine, but ultimately – Success is finding fulfillment in anything you’re striving towards.

At one point in time, I would often sit down and talk with people who I’ve always looked up to, just to get a glimpse at how they got to where they are now, hoping to get that inspiration talk that would help me strive towards better things. It wasn’t until I sat down with them, only to realize they don’t even enjoy what they’re doing, I knew then and there that being in that “mode”, doesn’t feel like a success.

Still looking for that answer to “success”, it wasn’t until I started talking to people who were genuinely “happy” with what they were doing, even if it wasn’t popular or didn’t have many monetary rewards, that I knew that success is really finding fulfillment.

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