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Five Questions with ‘Donda’ Recording Engineer and SAE Institute Atlanta Alumni, Drrique Render

When it comes to the most influential hip hop artists of all time, no one quite fits the bill like rapper, fashion icon, and billionaire mogul, Kanye West. Whether it’s his unique take on footwear making a splash on runways and online retail stores, record-breaking album sales, his displays of performance art across sold out arenas, or simply his social media antics, Kanye West is no stranger to creating controversy while securing a major fanbase and longevity across industries.

With the recent success of his highly-anticipated tenth album ‘Donda’, which secured 33.4 million streams across its 27 tracks since it’s release last fall, and a brand new docu-series currently available for streaming on Netflix, the Chicago-born rapper has certainly solidified his place in not just hip hop history, but pop culture as well.

Reportedly spending over $1 million dollars per day to live in Mercedes Benz Stadium while he worked on his latest project, a tribute to his late mother Donda West, Kanye collaborated with 30 vocal artists including big names like Jay Z, Kid Cudi, Marilyn Manson, and of course, his very own Sunday Service Choir.

In addition to the many famous names, ‘Donda’ features credits from a plethora of producers and engineers, one of them being SAE Institute alumni Drrique Render. We recently sat down with Drrique who worked as a recording engineer for Kanye with credits on not one, but four of the tracks on the album. 

Follow along as he gives a quick look into what it was like working with Kanye, what he’s working on now, plus the advice he has for others.

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in Audio? 

I was spending so much money on studio time for my artists that I thought it would be beneficial to learn myself.

What was your time like at SAE Institute Atlanta? 

My time at SAE institute Atlanta went by very fast but I learned not to limit myself to just the studio. There’s a lot of more jobs in audio than just the studio.

What was it like working on a major project like Donda?

Working on Donda was an amazing experience. We were at the stadium putting in over 20 hrs a day. It forced me to bring everything I had to the table so we could create a great body of work that would stand the test of time.

What are you working on now and/or what do you hope to accomplish next? 

Right now I’m still working at Stankonia studios and 5star Production, which gives me the opportunity to work with many big stars in the industry.

What’s some advice you have for students looking to follow a similar path? 

The best advice I can give is always try to get into the big rooms and when you get in there, always be ready.

If you have a passion for music and are thinking about following a similar path, or simply want to learn more about our Audio programs, get in touch online or at one of our five campuses. To connect with Drrique, follow him on LinkedIn.

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