How This Recording Arts Grad Got His First Gig

How This GRAMMY Award-Winning Grad Got His First Gig

Pictured Above: Andres (seated, center) with members of Full Sail’s International Student Society.

One of several Full Sail grads credited on a project up for a Latin GRAMMY Award at this week’s ceremony is Andres Saavedra, who worked as a composer, producer, mixer, and engineer on Rosario’s self-titled album, which is up for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album. Andres is no stranger to this scene: he worked on a project that won a GRAMMY in 2011 (Best Latin Album – Alejandro Sanz’s Paraiso Express), and two that have won Latin GRAMMY Awards as well (Alejandro Sanz and Luis Fonsi).

Since graduating from Full Sail’s Recording Arts program in 2002, Andres – who hails from Colombia – has worked his way up the ranks in the music industry, starting out at Bogart Recording Studios in South Florida. In 2006, he ventured out on his own, working as a producer and composer with several major artists. Today, he’s sought-after in the studio and has recently signed an artist development deal with Universal Music Latin Entertainment; he’s now working to discover, sign, and produce the emerging artists he’s passionate about.

“I’m looking for people that don’t sound like anything that is already on the market,” says Andres. “I’m trying to find that artist that is going to be the next game changer. For me, finding new talent is absolutely amazing. I want to help produce their album. That’s what I get the most excited about.”

Andres visited campus earlier this month, and spent the day meeting with students from Full Sail’s ESL program and the International Student Society before taking part in a presentation that was open to students from across all degree programs. His lecture began like a classic scene from elementary school show and tell, except instead of a pet frog or a photo album of his family, Andres showed off his GRAMMY Award from 2011. He told students to pass it around the classroom – and even encouraged them to talk selfies with it (which they did) – and stressed to all of them that it was proof that their dream of winning a GRAMMY was possible.andres saavedra-inline

His advice for students was was important and relevant: Stay patient. Realize that you have to start from the bottom. But most of all, make sure you stand out and leave a real impression when meeting people.

After he graduated, Andres decided that he wanted to work for producer Bob Bogart. He went to the studio to drop off his resume and to try to meet Bob, but the receptionist said he wasn’t available. Andres waited anyway. And waited. He hung out in the studio’s parking lot until 3 a.m., when Bob finally came out after finishing a session. Andres handed Bob his resume. It had a dollar bill attached to it, with a note about how Andres knew Bob’s time was money, so he hoped that a dollar would be worth a few seconds to look at his resume. Bob called him and said, “You’re the dollar bill guy.” Andres got the job.

“You need to separate yourself from the rest. If you meet a producer you want to work with backstage at a show, hand them a banana,” says Andres. “Then you can say, ‘I’m the guy that gave you the banana.”

It was a bold move, but a decade later, it looks like it definitely paid off.