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Behind the music: Grammy-nominated Fox alum finds success as an audio engineer and producer

Upon graduating from Temple, Ben Thomas, FOX ’18, declared a lofty objective: to win a Grammy. He was so dedicated to this aspiration that he even turned down a job provide at Deloitte to pursue music full time as an audio engineer, producer and mixer.

Betting on himself paid off. In 2021, he obtained his first particular person Grammy nomination for Album of the 12 months for his contribution to Justin Bieber’s album Justicerecording the music “There She Go.”

“I used to be at lunch in New York with my good good friend (music producer) Charlie Warmth once I noticed my nomination,” mentioned Thomas. “I used to be shocked. I referred to as my mom, and we have been very excited.”

He additionally labored on Ingrid Andress’ debut album Ladylikewhich was nominated for Finest Nation Album, and he took half within the manufacturing of Jazmine Sullivan’s Grammy-winning album Heaux Tales.

He is once more invited to the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, for his work on a music from Pusha T’s It is Virtually Drywhich is nominated for Finest Rap Album.

Moreover, Thomas has labored on tasks nominated for the BET Awards, Soul Practice Awards, NAACP Picture Awards and American Music Awards and has contributed on Platinum- and Gold-certified information in addition to 4 Billboard No. 1 albums. He has even carried out a monitor with former President Barack Obama and collaborated with fellow Temple alum Kalen Allen, TFM ’18on music for The Ellen Present. Over the previous few years, his major gig by him has been engineering for Lil Uzi Vert, together with his newest single “Simply Wanna Rock,” which has lately gone Platinum.

Thomas has contributed on tasks which have been nominated for varied music awards and authorized Gold and Platinum. (Courtesy of Ben Thomas)

Thomas additionally owns and operates After5 Studios, which focuses on single vocalists, duets, rappers, acoustic singer-songwriters and podcasters, in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, as can be co-owner of unbiased document label and administration firm nicethingsMUSIC.

He developed his enterprise acumen at Temple as an entrepreneurship and innovation administration main. Along with interning at monetary companies resembling Firstrust Financial institution, Thomas served as lead audio engineer at RECHilly and Studio Breed, one of many largest recording studios in Philadelphia, and was a campus ambassador for GrammyU, the faculty division of the Nationwide Academy of Recording Arts and Science, the group accountable for the Grammy Awards.

At Temple and past, Thomas has labored with massive names—Publish Malone, Bryson Tiller, Future, Ty Dolla Signal, Lauryn Hill, Meek Mill and Chloe Bailey, amongst many others—however his favourite expertise is making music with associates. One among his finest associates is West Philadelphia native Chill Moody, who Thomas has lately labored with on songs from unbiased artists across the metropolis to be performed at Eagles’ house video games.

Nevertheless it’s not simply the music that issues to Thomas. He likes to provide again to his family members and neighborhood of him. Along with offering for his household, he was capable of make use of associates throughout the pandemic at After5 Studios. He’d additionally just like the studio to finally provide a free summer season camp for youths to study music manufacturing.

Thomas helps his alma mater too. Every semester, Temple college students intern at After5 Studios. He additionally speaks within the Hip Hop and Black Tradition class, taught by Affiliate Professor of Africology and African American Research and Director of the Heart for Anti-Racism Timothy Welbeck, an in depth mentor of Thomas. “I need to encourage others and assist individuals I care about,” mentioned Thomas. “The accolades come, and that is lovely, nevertheless it’s not about that for me.”

Initially from New York, Thomas moved to Philadelphia whereas in highschool and feels grateful that he selected to stay within the metropolis and attend Temple. “Anytime I point out I went to Temple it is met with smiles and heat tales,” he mentioned.

“I had unimaginable alternatives staying in Philadelphia. It was the perfect profession choice I made as a result of it allowed me to get mentorship and alternatives that I do not suppose I’d have been capable of get to different locations.”

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