David’s worked with everyone in the music industry! He’s so popular, he even had to turn away Beyoncé because his studio was booked!
Ever wonder what it’s like to work with Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers when they’re recording their music? David Rosner — the owner/manager of KMA studio in NYC’s monumental Brill Building — works with these guys, along with others like Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Jay-Z, on a daily basis! HollywoodLife.com chatted with David about his experience in the music industry and how he got to where he is today.
HollywoodLife.com: How did you get started in the music industry?
David Rosner: Back in 1984 I had a terrible accident where I had run down the beach and dove into a wave. You’re 18 years old — you think you’re indestructible. I landed on top of my head and the wave went out. I crushed the vertebrae in my neck. Immediately I became paralyzed. I spent 6-1/2 months in a hospital. They weren’t sure if I was going to walk again. It was a life changing experience. I used to be a bagel baker. I had to make a life-changing decision. So I had been going to the studio with my neighbor. I knew music. I hadn’t played an instrument, but I knew what I liked in music. I decided that the guy who sat behind the mixing boards had a really cool job. At that point in my life, I wanted to do something that I would be happy doing every day. I went to school to become a recording engineer.”
HL: What was your first job in the industry?
DR: I got hired at a studio called Shakedown Sound for producer Arthur Baker. Mariah Carey‘s first album was done there — around my first month there, I remember calling my friends and saying there’s a blonde in the studio that sings like an angel and she’s going to sell more records than The Beatles.
HL: What’s one project that’s stood out as monumental in your mind?
DR: Yoko Ono had brought all of John Lennon‘s tapes through the Quad studios to be saftied. John would run these old reel-to-reel tapes during his recording sessions — recording songs and demoing them. What we had to put John’s tapes into an oven. It was nerve wracking.” Dave was taking the songs from the tapes to compile them all together.
HL: How did you end up at KMA?
DR: I was the face — the one that everyone knew at Quad. When I left, I took my phone book. They called and said we would like to talk with you about running the studio. They told me part of the problem was that Mike Kissel [the owner] was very sick.
HL: Are you happy where you are today as compared to 20 years ago?
DR: I have the most fulfilling life. I am living a dream. You get to meet all these personalities. Meeting all these famous people — at one point that was exciting to me. Now it’s every day kind of thing. To surround yourself with the creation of music, to be apart of the process, is amazing.