MIAMI, USA Floyd Nathanial Hills and Marcella Araica, aka Danja and Miss Lago, are both prodigious talents in the production world. Based in Florida, these music production heavyweights are regularly called upon by Hip Hop, Pop and Urban superstars to bestow the golden touch on their tracks.
Danja earned his spurs as Timbalands right-hand man, the two of them turning in hit after hit for the likes of The Game, Nelly Furtado, Bjork and Justin Timberlake to barely scratch the surface of a long and distinguished CV. Marcella Araica works with Danja as head engineer and production partner pretty swift career development considering she only qualified from engineering school less than a decade ago. Lightening fast in the studio and always up for creative experimentation, Marcellas credits include the likes of Timbaland and Missy Elliot, Britney Spears, TI, Duran Duran, Usher, Nelly Furtado, Justin Timbalake
Marcella met Danja while working with Timbaland, and now the two of them do the bulk of their production work in a home studio thats recently been built around a Solid State Logic Matrix console. So why SSL, exactly?
My first mix was on an SSL, and the last mix I did last week was on an SSL, insists Marcella. I wont mix on anything else! The school I went to had several boards, but the SSL was the one that I gravitated to first, mostly because of the simplicity. Its easy to manoeuvre through it and the signal flow is very simple. The more I worked on the SSL alongside other boards I realised that I really loved the sound of it.
SSL is the sound thats given us the success weve had the sound that we get through that board, adds Danja. And for us its one of those if it aint broke then dont fix it situations. We are innovative, we look for the new things and the new toys were always interested in whats different and how to enhance or to keep creative, but the basis of our sound is SSL.
As far as Marcellas concerned, its unequivocal. Matrix is just an amazing board. The compatibility it has with Pro Tools, it runs as a controller, so Im able to switch that off and on when I want. I love it. Its just simple. It makes life easy. With Matrix I can work like Im in a large studio.
Building their own facility was never on the radar, but since theyve put the Matrix-based studio in the house it seems neither Marcella nor Danja would have it any other way, as Danja explains
Its the best thing. Ive been telling everybody its just the best thing that could ever happen. And I was so against putting the studio in the house, I was like, theres no way were ever putting anything in the house! It makes you lazy, youll not get nothing done, its too comfortable, its not going to sound good
But in fact its been just the opposite, agrees Marcella. Weve been so productive. SSL rocks!