Young Guru

Meet Young Guru: Jay Z’s Sound Engineer and Tour DJ

Young Guru
The Wall Street Journal has published an inspiring profile of one of hip-hop’s most trusted sound engineers, Young Guru.
Born Gimel Keaton, the 41-year-old has been Jay Z’s engineer for 16 years, recorded Eminem and 50 Cent early in their careers, and has been in the studio with other superstars: Beyoncé, Drake, Rick Ross, Rihanna, and Snoop Dogg. He’s also served as Jay’s tour DJ since 2010.
In addition to making songs sound better, Young Guru is a visiting lecturer at USC and a frequent guest speaker at colleges such as NYU and MIT, among others.
“He’s expanded the idea of what an engineer can be,” Cornell University’s Patrick Gillespie told WJS. “Engineers are no longer sitting in the back room. They’re out front, creating things, showing the world what can be done.”
Grammy-nominated rapper Common told WSJ:

“He truly is a scientist, a musician, a visionary . . . Sometimes technology doesn’t get to the core energy of a project, but he knows how to manipulate it where you feel like you’re getting something authentic and organic. He uses technology at its highest level.”

Related: Young Guru Explores Los Angeles with Google Glass

Young Guru Explores Los Angeles with Google Glass

DJ, producer and audio engineer Young Guru has built an impressive career by working with Jay Z, Rihanna and Beyoncé. The legendary engineer is no stranger to innovative technology and in this new video he explores Los Angeles with Google Glass — a futuristic pair of glasses that includes a computer, video camera and Wi-Fi. Watch Guru travel through the city in search of inspiration for a new beat and see how Glass helps him achieve his goal.
Related: Watch TomorrowWorld Through the Eyes of Nicky Romero

Interview with Jay Z’s Engineer, Young Guru

Jay Z’s engineer Young Guru stops by Pensado’s Place to discuss his experience working with Jay for over 11 years, his artist-in-residency at USC, balancing personal taste with client needs and technical aspects of engineering.
The first half of the interview begins around 13:50 and focuses on Guru’s background, the music industry and general issues of engineering. The technical discussion begins around 24:20 and includes plenty of details which engineers and producers will love.