Sound Engineer and Vocal Producer Thierry Chaunay helps emerging artists become household names
Growing up in Geneva, Switzerland, Thierry Chaunay found a passion in music as a child, influenced by a shared interest with his family. At a young age he began studying, intending to join his brother and father playing clarinet in the city orchestra. However, as he aged and technology was innovating, he was introduced to a DAW (digital audio workstation). It was life changing for a young Chaunay, realizing there is no limit to the creativity music software allows, and he instantly became excited about creating electronic based music. He started making beats for fun and had his friends rap on them, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now, Chaunay is an internationally sought-after sound engineer and vocal producer. Throughout his esteemed career, he has worked with seasoned icons, including live recordings for Phil Collins and Coldplay, and emerging new talent, such as Bhad Bhabie and the late XXXTentacion.
“I love to be able to create something that did not exist in the first place. The sense of creativity and collaboration with other songwriters and producers is unique to music. The most successful people are usually the nicest and most open minded. The best sessions are with people that work for the song, not for their own purpose or their ideas. At the end of the day we work together to create music and it only comes out good if everyone in the room agrees with the direction it takes throughout the day,” he said.
It is working with new artists and providing them with the tools to launch successful careers that really excites Chaunay. When he first began working with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, the rapper was just getting notorious. His video clips were being played on TV and other rappers Chaunay was working with kept referring to him. His sound was definitely new and different, and Chaunay believed that with his help, YoungBoy Never Broke Again could truly make it big.
“YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s music is engaged, and he talks mostly about his life experiences. I like the type of beats he chooses. They carry an organic feel with some funk and soul sounds but still remain current and positive. Even though he raps, his rap flow is quite melodic and these melodies are proper to him. That is what stands out in his vocals and what I like the most about his music,” said Chaunay.
Chaunay vocal produced all songs, recorded all songs and mixed all songs on the rapper’s 2018 album “4respect4freedom4loyalty4whatimportant” featuring Kevin Gates. He worked closely with NBA Youngboy to shape the sound of this album affecting the impact it has on his audience. NBA Youngboy is extremely fast when he writes and he doesn't use any paper. It’s all improvised, so it required Chaunay to be quick, adjust everything on the go, and to take mental notes of what to fix so the session could run smoothly and the creative flow wasn't interrupted. He made sure it sounded like a finished record right after the recording was done. During mixing, Chaunay made sure to polish the vocals and to give NBA Youngboy the extra “sauce” needed, making sure the sound reflected the artist and stood out compared to other contemporary rap albums.
“Youngboy’s writing approach is very efficient and I’m always amazed at how he can remember all the lyrics he is making up on the fly without using a piece of paper. It’s different and faster than anyone else I’ve worked with. A song can be done in 20 minutes. I like the type of beats he picks and the producers that he usually works with, such as CashmoneyAP, are very impressive too. Their music is rich in instruments and keeps an organic feel even though it’s all virtual sounds most of the time. It’s great to be able to work out some of his personalized melodies to keep his sound recognizable and innovative,” said Chaunay.
For the song “I Am Who They Say I Am” by YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Chaunay helped bring the song to a large play count across various platforms: 50.8 million on YouTube and 28.7 million on SoundCloud and an RIAA gold award with over 500,000 copies sold just in the USA. The album “4respect4freedom4loyalty4whatimportant” went on to RIAA gold certification. It is a feat Chaunay is immensely proud of, but knew was possible the moment he first heard YoungBoy Never Broke Again.
“It’s amazing to see him growing musically and to see how his fans respond to his music. There is no better feeling when you realize that your work was actually appreciated by millions of fans. Most likely none of the fans know how it’s been made, but that’s the good thing about it, it should sound natural and original with nothing standing out to your ears,” he said.
Chaunay is looking forward to working alongside other upcoming artists this year, like Shordie Shordie, Polo G and Faouzia. Helping them realize their dreams while living his own is a feeling he never grows tired of.