By Shirley Ju
October 5, 2018
Nowadays, it’s rare to see a strong, confident Black female taking on the role of an engineer, especially in the studio. Insert Audra The Rapper, who hails from Virginia, lived in New York, and now calls sunny Los Angeles home. In addition to her many talents of acting, singing, songwriting, producing, rapping, she also wears the hat of a recording engineer.
For those who may be unfamiliar, a recording engineer operates and sets up the recording equipment necessary to capture and shape the sound of an project. For Audra, she records, edits, and mixes sound through the artist’s choice of microphones, setting levels and sound manipulation techniques.
Pulling up to her crib in Studio City and sitting in on a real studio session was inspiring, to say the least. Audra sat on the couch with two friends from the UK, who had the best accents. They were playing records and vibing as if it were a real studio in NoHo. There was one record that Audra played, which she wrote for an artist in Sweden. The energy was similar to a blend of The Chainsmokers and Alessia Cara and could easily turn Platinum overseas.
Back in New York, Audra was already living out her passion for music. But, when she was casted in the Oxygen show Sisterhood of Hip Hop and moved to the City of Angeles — it was a wrap ever since. She quickly realized how much LA nurtured her creative side in ways the snow in New York couldn’t. So she decided to continue her grind as an independent artist in a new city with the help of an optimistic mindset:
“Every time I get a little of my efforts reciprocated back from the universe, I invest. Whether it’s investing in my craft, whether it’s investing in my real estate, whether it’s investing in something that I know will not go in vain to my future, I make it with a strong support system that inspires me, because it’s always gonna be deeper than rap. It’s gonna be deeper than music for certain.”
She adds, “Speaking financially, I look at the artists who inspire me or the artists who are crème de la crème. None of them would be where they are if it was only for the musical pursuits. Like if Diddy didn’t have Ciroc. If Diddy didn’t have Revolt. If Jay-Z didn’t have Rocawear, and Roc-A-Fella, and Roc Nation, and Live Nation. If Beyonce didn’t have Parkwood and Ivy Park. It’s all about what you can do with the platform that music has gotten you. I make it as an independent artist by thinking more than just being an independent artist.”
Currently, Audra is working on an inspiring project called AFTRSCHLPRGRM that's for creatives - by creatives. It consists of curated experiences that enable freeform creativity amongst artists across all mediums. During their first experience 8 creatives stayed in a Tudor style house in Lake Arrowhead then proceeded to create some of the most collaborative projects with people they had just met.
So don't sleep on Audra - she just added showrunner to her already impressive list of accolades. Follow along her creative entrepreneurial journey by checking out her on Instagram. You can also listen to the podcast WTN conducted with her here: