Welcome to the next installment of BTM – a weekly series where we get to shine a spotlight on some of the hard-working people “Behind The Music”; the artists managers, booking agents, publicists, indie label owners, music website editors and so on.
This week’s spotlight is shining on Australian musician, producer, mixer, engineer Antonia Gauci. I’ve known Antonia for a few years now and it has been so great watching her grow from a live-musician with Midnight Pool Party to the frontwoman of Leftenent and GAUCI, as well as making a reputable name for herself as one of Australia’s prominent upcoming engineers.
Tell us who you are, what you do, and who you represent?
I’m Antonia. I’m an Engineer, Mixer, Producer, Sound Designer and Writer. I make music with my friends and sing in GAUCI, sometimes as Leftenent too.
How did you get into this line of work?
I always had an interest in music growing up but it was by chance that I discovered the whole behind the scenes thing. It seemed exciting to me, to help people actualise their ideas, so after school I went on to further study, attaining a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Audio Technology. After that, I did various internships for a few years before starting at Big Jesus Burger Studios where I quickly moved from Intern to Assistant. When they closed, I bounced around assisting at various studios for a bit before becoming a member of the engineering team at Studios 301 from 2014 – 2017.
What are some of your biggest achievements?
Engineering for Kesha’s Grammy nominated single ‘Praying’, songwriting in London and Los Angeles, and growing my freelance business over the last 2 years.
Tell us one thing that you would love to see change or happen that you feel would help make the music industry a better place?
It has already started, but increased awareness and support around mental health, especially for those of us who work behind the scenes.
Up until recently, the subject of “are you ok?” wasn’t something you could openly discuss. Stress, pressure and expectations to create the perfect end result were just considered part of the job and you had to just get on with things and manage.
As a studio engineer, people forget that you spend most of your days working alone in a small room for 12+ hours, juggling your engineer brain alongside running your own business, answering emails, phone calls, questions, sending files, having people drop by, usually still working while you’re meant to be somewhere else (most likely home in bed), or out enjoying the sun on the weekend. Finding a work / life balance becomes really difficult and things can become overwhelming fast.
What is your favourite thing about the industry or what you do?
That I always learn something new every day – whether it be with a piece of outboard, a plug in, synth, or a new way to record or communicate with someone. Oh and that I get to goof around with my friends (and that’s usually when the best ideas happen).
What is your least favourite thing about the industry or what you do?
Not having regular down time and feeling guilty when I do take time off.
Where do you see the future of the industry heading?
I’m interested to see how the relationship between music creation/recording and technology/A.I develops. In May, Holly Herndon released her third album PROTO which she collaborated on with an A.I she developed herself. Plus we have Hatsune Miku, the Japanese Pop Star Hologram. I’m keen to see what happens next!
What do you do to unwind outside of the industry/work?
Go to shows, yoga, knit, eat noodles & dumplings, watch movies, read, swim in the ocean.