Program: Music Industry, Music Technology, Popular Music
Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton possesses over a decade of experience in sound engineering, production, and A&R for the acclaimed Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Records. Most recognized for shaping some of the biggest talent in Hip Hop, Young Guru has mixed 10 of Jay-Z’s 11 albums, and has earned himself a number of shout-outs on Jay-Z’s tracks paying homage to his exceptional skills behind the boards. Influenced by early Hip Hop, Rock & Roll, Electro, House and Soul music, Young Guru’s skill set has definitively branded him as a true sound genius and orchestrator.
Known as one of the most notable engineers in the history of Pop and Hip Hop music, Young Guru officially became Jay-Z’s tour DJ in 2010. Other highlights include recording work on Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Notorious BIG’s Let Me Get Down. He has also collaborated with Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Rihanna, among others. Respected by industry veterans and newcomers alike, in a recent interview with GQ Magazine Drake’s platinum-record-producer and engineer “40” spoke highly of Young Guru, saying that he aspires to attain the level of success Guru has achieved in his career.
Young Guru has lectured at the New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Music, Emory University, Loyola University New Orleans, Middle Tennessee State University and Drexel University. In 2011, he was invited as a guest instructor at The SAE Institute (School of Audio Engineering). As a result of this relationship with SAE and his passion for music education, Young Guru has established The Young Guru Foundation to assist students. The scholarship is a partnership between SAE, Young Guru and Heal the Hood and will facilitate a year of full time study in sound production for a select candidate.
Young Guru joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music as an artist-in-residence for the 2013-14 academic year. He works with a wide variety of Thornton students studying hip-hop, electronic music, music industry and songwriting.