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EP 222: Andres Borda Zabala – 6 Time GRAMMY WINNER (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: You booked it. Episode 222. Okay. I am super stoked for this interview today because my guest is Andres Borda. Are you ready for the Sandy?
Andres Borda: Hey, how are you?
Dane Reis: Very good. Let’s dig in a native of Columbia. Andy knew from an early age that he wanted to enhance the natural sound of instruments and vocals. He found inventive ways to make his early recording sound better, constantly tweaking and tuning his instruments with his heart set on working in the music industry.
Andy enrolled in the LA recording school in the year since Andy graduated, he has won six Latin Grammys and he has worked with some of the biggest names in music contributing to more than 60 albums and feature films. And the, that is a very condensed intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but Hey, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, filling those gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
Andres Borda: Dan, thank you so much. Oh, first of all, thank you so much for limitation on our honor to be connected with you guys. And that’d be great. Uh,yeah, let’s do it. Okay. thank you so much for the introduction. Yeah, I think it’s a little bit condensed and it’s a lot of things that has happened in the last 10 years of career, but I’m from Columbia.
I’m from Cali, Columbia, but I lived in almost 20 years since Mexico. And three years, I lived in a lay. where actually I studied recording arts in Los Angeles, film school in Los Angeles recording school March. But yeah, like I just said in the Bible, everything started when I started to play guitar, I went into increase them, the quality of my recordings, the vocals, or the piano, everything that I started to. And I was a little bit, I was a lot actually very curious about how the quality and the process of music worked in that age. So I started tweaking. I started to start noticing that everything was made in studios, that everything was in console, some tape and everything started over there with the artists.
So I was very interesting wanting to be there in the studios. Finished school like everybody else. I thank God. I knew everything very clearly in that moment when I finished high school. So I studied in the, in Mexico city a little bit. I was not so secure about dedication that I got there in Mexico, but still it was a very.
A good startup. And after that I went to Los Angeles film school. I moved to LA, I started to doing an associates of recording arts. It was amazing. it was almost like two years of studying. And after that, I stated, one year in LA studying as an international official student that could work with, with, the proper visa work visa.
And. Yeah, like everything started to open. I got aa lot of opportunities, but mainly I started, assisting a very good, cool studio in Santa Monica. And then. with some, two amazing producers, Mexican producers. And because of that, everything started to open more. After that, I, everything just closed my doors in a late, because obviously the time is for student.
so my visa just shut down. So I need to move to, to, to Mexico. I thought I was going to stay in LA. I thought I was going to start working in the big studios in the late, but I noticed that it was very hard to do. And so I moved to Mexico. I started to opening doors and everything, and suddenly I started to work more and yeah, I studied, I worked in Sony music studios for three years.
Andres Borda: I started working with a lot of Mexican artists, although all the big ones actually in the industry now they gave me a lot of persistence, a lot of knowledge, a lot of,Gaining a lot of field experiences with working with a lot of pressure in the sessions and doing, and working with a lot of stuff of artists.
I, I started working with Natalia from Cali. That is a huge Mexican, talented artist. And in that moment we worked in an amazing album that I was called a Yeah,
then suddenly eight months, seven months later, boom, one day. And, letting Grammy nominations, I was nominated for five nominations. So I was very impressed.
I was not expecting that. And from that moment we won three Latin Grammys for the whole team. And later on, we went an American Grammy, actually. So Yeah.
it’s, after that, everything just started opening a little bit more. I quit Sony studios in that moment because obviously down the process of. obviously, growing more in the company was very limited.
So I went freelance. I stayed a little bit more in Mexico working by my spouse, a lot of different programs, different things open, , not only just music, but also film and a little bit more live sound. And after that, I came here to Columbia when it’s endorsing Latin music, that it was my first time. Working and living here in Columbia. So my family was already here, so I moved to Columbia almost four years and a half ago. And it’s amazing how everything. Blue’s up because I, when I came here to Columbia and pretty much at the first month, I got the chance of getting the job here in with, my, the job that I’m doing currently, that is, the head engineer of Carlos B was a studio.
That was B this is aa huge Colombian artist. that is the one that I show it represents, Columbia news. So in the first one that I got here because of connections, network, whatever, I got the chance of passing the door into that studio and thank God they, they wanted to work with me and I’ve been working with them since, four years and a half now.
And it’s been an amazing ride with them. working with Carlos has been an amazing experience. Obviously now with him, we already have two Latin Grammys with his two last albums working. A lot in different singles with different artists, different projects. So it is, it has been quite a ride of an amazing career in the
Dane Reis: oh, wow. That is absolutely in saying what an incredible story.
Andres Borda: Yeah.
Can you tell me like, that is like I was being very, I thought I was going to stay in LA. That was actually moving my dream staying and I wanted to frickin score and score business, recording all the scores for them, for the films and everything, but everything you just. Different things and everything.
Just, I thought it was going to stay there. Then I went to Mexico, then I went to Columbia and so everything just went different ways, but he obviously has
Dane Reis: Yeah, so good. I love it. Let’s dig into more of this, but first I want to get to this section here and Andy look, I’m a sucker for a good quote. Hey, so what is your favorite quote you’d like to share with.
Andres Borda: so that would memoriestrying to remember that, oh, I’m so bad, but one that always sticks to me is the one that says, the date, the day you plant the seed is not the day you plant that you wait. And that’s a powerful one that I, that my sister told me yesterday. And I’m an, a huge admirer of my sister because she’s an amazing, talented girl.
And she told me that. And actually that was something that I really liked because two years ago that I went to film school, to, to the spotlight awards that I was nominated, something that stood out like 10, 10 years ago, you’ll start seeing different things. And you understand that the things that you’re doing currently right now are the things that are coming up.
He’s starting to transform three to five years later. So it’s amazing how everything just starts to just open up when you give time
Dane Reis: yeah, for sure. And it’s, I think that’s so important to remember that I love, I mean,there’s different variations. I think have that quote, but I love that imagery, but especially in this world that we live in now where everything is so instantaneous, instant gratification, like super short, Everyone.
You got to love tick talk, it’s super short and it just gives you everything right up front, but that’s really
Andres Borda: Yeah, totally. Totally. I’m so agree with that. Yeah, it’s very true right now. Everything. I think we’re very close in, collapsed with a lot of entertainment, social media news, bad news, whatever. a lot of communications, a lot of field communications, you get attacked because a lot of intermission currently, And it’s true. I think everything just, if everything just varies fast, I think everything is already just in tiny pieces that you can get in,buy,
Dane Reis: that’s it, but really true success comes from planting that seed and then, taking care of it.
Andres Borda: and going forward and given the time, because obviously a lot of how do you say a lot of pieces in the book? They need time to start moving. Obviously we’re humans. We want everything just now, but it’s amazing how life teaches you that, Hey, you have to wait. You have to y’all to understand that because of this decision, everything’s going to be affected three, five years along the way.
Dane Reis: For sure. let’s get to this next section here. And Andy, of course you’re an entertainment professional. I’m an entertainment professional. And I think that you would agree that this industry can. One of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence. And you know,as well as I, that in order to create and have success in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
And while. There’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement and fulfillment doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we are going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
I have some few, obviously there’s a lot in life, but I would say the one that changed my career, I would say, obviously the first one that I, we talked, I thought I was going to stay in LA. I was very convinced. Actually. I was insane. And, for me, when I started, when I went out of failure film school, I thought I was at, it was going to be a little bit more easier to get the foot in the door in the studios.
Andres Borda: I thought it was going to be easier, but reality changed a lot in, they told me, Hey, this is the process of how you’re going to grow in the industry here in LA. And for me, it was a little bit shocking. And I wasn’t a bit worried because obviously as a foreign student, you have. Yeah. Hey, you got 12 months and that’s it.
you’re not an American that you can stay whatever you want the time. No, I have time very limited. So the opportunity of working in this is Monica as an assistant, not as a runner, actually, I was not a runner. I was a current, actually, an assistant. So that, that, that opened me a lot of doors and everything.
After that when I needed to understand that and to accept to myself that I couldn’t stay in LA, for me, it was a little bit challenging, but at the same time, doesn’t matter if you’re not going to be here in the best city of music and the world, whatever. Hey, you could go, you can go back to Mexico, try to find, to open these doors with this amazing opportunity that you got in the states.
Andres Borda: And you’re going to be ahead of time with everybody. And that’s actually what I do. I hate I have to close the doors in LA. You have to go back to the place that you didn’t expect to be again. And actually everything just popped up and got better because I got an amazing opportunity working with a lot of people that I think if I would have stayed in LA I, everything would be more slow actually.
And I don’t know where. But by having that experience in Mexico, I worked with a lot of bones. I got the Latin Grammys, I got a lot of curriculum, so that changed completely. And that’s something that I needed to live. And it.
was an amazing challenge that I did. And the other one was when I finished, when I had the Latin Grammys are very, I was very decided of quitting Sony because that time opportunity where we’re not so huge in that company right now, that moment for me, but.
But saying, Hey, no more. I’m not going to be an employee anymore. I have to go freelance and whatever. That’s also a challenge because it’s also being a freelance is not so something so easy you have to do. And I’ve been trying to build my brand and everything. And that’s a hassle that’s complicated. It’s not so easy to do because the reality is that the industry has changed a lot since 52, 20 years ago.
And precisely I cut down the moment when I have to live in. That like a fusion of the technology with the industry to work that different jobs. So I ha it has been a challenge in, in, it keeps being a challenge at the end of the
Dane Reis: for sure. Those are two definitely big things. And I like how. The first one we were talking about being in LA and say, look, I thought I was going to be here forever, but then it turns out, things just move a little bit slower, it was just,
Andres Borda: Yeah.
Dane Reis: you don’t foresee what has happened to your career now happening in LA.
And I think there’s a lot to be said about this, it seems to me that. You took, you found this flow right. Of, of life and energy kept putting you somewhere else. And you said, you know
Andres Borda: Yeah,
Dane Reis: let’s just keep doing this. Let’s keep doing this. You weren’t trying to resist anything.
You had an idea in your mind, but you said, oh
Andres Borda: I have to do it this
Dane Reis: yeah, everything’s pushing me this way. It must be the way. And it’s clearly worked out very much in your benefit.
Andres Borda: Yeah.
for sure. I actually did you set a very good words. I think you have to go with the flow of what good life gives you, because sometimes you have to understand that. What you want, maybe it’s not that you cannot get it is that maybe sometimes it’s not enough. It’s not going to be for you because maybe the circumstances are not the right ones, but maybe you’re going to have it later on.
But when you have to go with the flow of how everything goes, and that’s something that I always recommend to younger people that are going in the industry say, Don’t bear. Don’t be close-minded. And just, you have to understand that you have to learn about everything because you never know that maybe you’re gonna be learning about Foleys and I dunno in films or whatever, and you’ve got the chance of winning an Oscar 10 years later.
You maybe you never got the chance of doing that because you were saying, Hey, I just want to have to wrap it. That’s it? Yeah.
But try to be more open because you never know what
Dane Reis: Yeah, for sure. And also. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that what you’re doing now is fairly in alignment with what you were wanting to do in LA it’s just a different
Andres Borda: Sure. Sure. No
Dane Reis: And so there’s an infinite amount of ways to get to the same destination. And just because what you’re thinking about.
That might just, that’s not the way it is. And there’s, if some, if the flow is pushing you one way and you were like, you know what, let’s just trust that this is going to get me to where I’m trying to go. It’s okay. You don’t have to take the original map that you had in your
Andres Borda: Yeah. Yeah. It’s like, uh,English, but it’s, uh, I don’t know how to say it, but it’s you never know what’s going to happen. Obviously you’re going to have a different alternative of life that you could have done, but obviously we’re not gonna, we’re not capable of knowing. But it’s something that you have to flow with it.
And it’s very certain. And like at the end of the day, you have to be very strict of what you want. Be grateful with opportunities. You might, because at the end of the day, you have to flow with what life gives. You could be bad, could be worse or whatever, but everything is a
good challenge for you.
Dane Reis: for sure. let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, oh yeah, I’m going to be in the entertainment industry for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing in the industry. Tell us about that.
that’s a good one. I never think about that, but that’s a good one. I don’t know, I think my perspective of being an engineer, obviously right now, I’m a current recording engineer. That’s something that I do primarily every day of my life right now. It’s I do recording and sometimes I do mixing, I do master.
Andres Borda: But, but certainly I love sound design also, but the thing that I do commonly is doing recording engineer. my perspective of being a recording engineer 10 years ago was very different of how I see the industry right now. So when I got the chance of winning the Latin Grammys for me was something that I didn’t expect it, but it was something that I really enjoyed because it gave me the confidence of saying.
You’re doing ride your job, your junk, but you’re doing it something very special. You’re doing, you’re working very good, special albums or whatever, but you’re doing the thing that you like and Hey, that’s it like there, there are people that, that don’t have the experience of winning a blooding, Grammy, their whole career.
And I had 26 years old and I was winning already two year three Latin Grammys. So for me it was like, okay, I’m so grateful with life identity suspected. It was something that I was not planning. So that for me, that moment, the spotlight that I lived in Las Vegas in that moment in 2002, For me, it was, Hey, I’m proud of it.
It wasn’t very, it was a good moment when I actually thought, Hey, for the first time of my life and realizing that my work is good. My work is going forward because obviously when you’re in, maybe I didn’t live that way. I didn’t feel that way. When I finished college, when I finished high school or when I went up basketball game.
Because in this time I was doing the things that I really liked. I studied this, I do all my sacrifice for doing this in my career. So that was a very spotlight, very good moment. And the second one, when two years ago, when I was in lane LA film school, a couple of months out before, one of the teachers calls me and they told me, Hey, you’re nominated for this warrant in the school and is going to be the first one that we’re going to celebrate.
And you’re going to be the first generation. And when they told me the whole picture how did they get there to nominate me for me, it was like, Hey, that’s amazing. Like you’ve got nominated from 10,000 students from whole live of the whole timeline of LA recording school. So it was huge.
And that was very proud of. When I was studying in that school, I saw the different albums, the platinum albums, the gold albums in the walls and everything. And with all the student names. And I say to myself, Hey, I would love to have one of those maybe someday. And I was thinking, Hey, I’m going to stay in a lab or whatever.
And suddenly it didn’t happen. I went the other way. and years later, I went to LA, I got my first multi-platinum album with condos beavers in the school. So that.
was from, Hey, everything’s possible. It’s sometimes you don’t have to just figure it out and
Dane Reis: Yeah, I love it. let’s piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.
yeah. Hey, I have to say that obviously there’s a lot, bunch of moments that I would say totally amazing ones, but currently right now with how I would say that it could be just. There’s a lot of blood, but the first one has to obviously have to do with the first nomination. So of Latin Grammys and the American Grammy.
I was in Mexico city. My mom was visiting from Columbia to Mexico. She was with me, the apartment. I didn’t actually that moment, that was. Thinking about letting Grammy’s. I was not thinking about the day of nominations. I was not thinking about anything at all. And that day was, I was with her, everything.
Andres Borda: It was in the morning and suddenly, boom, my whole social media starts to boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,boom. Slows is of a different of different comments. I would say. Hey. And when they told me that I got all these nominations, I was so eager to say, and that was so happy for me because I was in front of my mom.
I got the chance of living the moment with my mom right there, like one, one feet away. And so it was very special because I didn’t expect that at all. And the second one, I would say three years, three months ago that my daughter was born. And so I didn’t expect that. I was thought I was going to be a dad later on in life.
But thing. Thank God. when the other way, and give me this amazing in my amazing daughter. So yeah, honestly you have to book it like that moment for me was epic because he just challenged me more of, Hey, you have to step off things even more because everything has to change from
Dane Reis: ah, love that. so good. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And the last. Year and a half or so the whole industry has been rocked by the pandemic. how do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of
Andres Borda: Okay. Sure. Perfect. the first part of the question. Right now. finally I can say it because for a couple of months, I couldn’t say it because it was compilation. We were working in a movie that is the 16 animated movie of Disney that is calling Canto. we worked on seven track of that movie right now, actually it’s Carlos.
So I’m, I’m part of the team that work in that sound. So that was amazing. I just saw the movie three, three, like four, four days ago. It’s going to be open in theaters, I think by the, by 23 or 25. that’s like a huge one for us, obviously it’s not every day that we worked for Disney and the second one is another Disney, probably that we work in here.
We’re working for, a Colombian series for Disney plus, we’re actually, Carlos is acting and we’re doing all of the music of the first season of the season of the series is called . And yeah, I don’t think that’s going to be a huge one for Colombians that. for Latin America and we’re working in the second album of Ghana, it’s going to be the volume, two of Carlos Beavis last album.
And that’s going to be also a very good one for next year. Maybe we’re going to be nominated. I think this for that. When are we going to go for Vegas, but it’s, you’re not going to go. I’m going to go to Vegas for this nomination that we have, but yeah, I don’t know what’s going to happen this year.
Actually. They’re going to be there. There could be a lot of, a lot of. Different because you never know, I have the chance of working in the studio, but they never told me what I’m going to do in the next couple of months. So everything, anything could happen, but we’re very confident that we’re going to be watching a lot of very
I would say the industry, it’s crazy. Cause I think the last, the last two years of, because of COVID and the epidemic, I would say that, it taught us a lot too. I think I would say to every people, obviously in the world, but in the industry, it changed a little bit more than perspective of, Hey, you have to. Do you have to hassle in different directions because obviously just working one thing it’s we all it’s hard and we don’t have to put all the eggs in the same basket. I would say that was the first I, that Colby told us, but yeah, to treasure life a little bit more, but I would say the industry it’s you always have word there’s a lot of competition, I would say, but it’s important to make. that’s currently what I’m doing right now. I’m working in shifting my hope restrictive of mixing into the immersive world. And I think for every professional right now, it’s important to make the difference in what they’re doing, because obviously competition is going to get, it’s going to be, it’s going to get more harder, technology.
But at the end of the day, also technology is going to open more doors to different fields in the south.
Dane Reis: Absolutely. It’s been a crazy couple of years. and I’m super excited by the way to see the new Disney movie coming out as well. I also have, I’ve got a daughter when she turns five tomorrow.
Andres Borda: Okay.
Dane Reis: We’ll definitely be. We’ll definitely be checking out that movie.
yeah, go watch it. and when you see it, obviously the main soundtrack song is kind ofsinging the song encounter. So it’s powerful because obviously it’s more, it has a lot of
Andres Borda: Colombian bikes.
Dane Reis: Yeah. Cool. Cool. it is now time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. Hi, I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you
Andres Borda: Sure. Yeah.
Dane Reis: All right. First question.
what was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career in the entertainment industry?
in that moment, I would say how much the bachelor costs. I think that would say
second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Andres Borda: piece of advice. don’t complicate your life, just flow with it and just don’t make.
Dane Reis: yes. Third question. What is something that is working for you? Right.trying to be consistent.
Fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that’s a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.
I would say, a lot of you too, trying to learn new things about how everything in the world is working, because you never know you can work
Andres Borda: different things out.
Dane Reis: beautiful. Love YouTube. Fifth question. If you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
Andres Borda: That’s a hard one, but I would say, no. Yeah, I would say. 70% do the things that you did because I was, that was very good. But the other percent is, Hey, you have to do more networks, open more doors, talk to a lot of people don’t be shy and yet just flow with it.
Dane Reis: That’s it.
Relationships are everything in this industry. Hey,
yes. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in the industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.
the casino that I would say it would be, be positive, be always positive. Always done a comfort zones are the, it’s not the enemy, but I would say. if you’re in comfort zones, you’re never going to be, you’re not going to experience the whole world as you want to be. So you have to go outside of conference zones, be positive and try to see the whole world in a very external way.
Andres Borda: Not always very picky about everything. So try to rest a little bit the perspective, because sometimes if you go out of the perspective, sometimes you’re going to see a little bit more , about what
Dane Reis: Yes. I love that the comfort zones, especially, yeah. Get out of your comfort zone and change
Andres Borda: Yeah.
Dane Reis: Get a bigger, broader view. Love
Andres Borda: Yeah.
Dane Reis: So good. And to wrap up this interview, Andy, it’s time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
Andres Borda: Um,promote, obviously you can find me on Instagram as well. Obviously I prefer to send it because sometimes maybe somebody gets confused about them, why, but it’s called,ads. and the Andy Boza I’ll do it. That’s my Instagram, but, Something that I would love to support is my company that is called Decorah feel different, that we are multi-sensory.
immersive company that is doing different things in projects with immersive sound and with a minted visual impact. My girlfriend is the one and the webpage is www.decodafd.com. And yeah, I’m always in social media. If somebody wants to watch. the door of working or just chatting, knowing people from different parts of the world.
Andres Borda: I’m always open for that. just say in the message that, that, you know, me, because of this amazing podcast and yeah. That’s, that would be it. Obviously, I’m going to send you also the link to pin link page and
Dane Reis: beautiful. And for everyone listening out there, I’ve put all those links. That Andy just mentioned into the description of this episode. You can easily connect with him in all of his projects and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know,aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry.
You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career case in point, the incredible journey that Andy shared with us today, if you like this episode hit that subscribe button and that way you don’t miss the next one, Andy, I’m so excited that we got connected.
you so much for being on the show. It’s been such a.
Andres Borda: you for your opportunity Austin, this amazing progress. you know, I think we can do even more podcasts later on in future. And thank you so much to LA film school, for the the one that connects us. And I’m always proud of
Dane Reis: No a hundred percent.
Andres Borda: Yeah, for sure.