We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew McKee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think this is an important/relevant question for the COVID times we are in – I find that my to-do list is constantly bombarded with tasks that eat away at both my personal time and mental energy as they build up. It’s really important to set aside time for family & personal growth, now more than ever as a lot of people are now working from home and the lines can easily be blurred between working hours and non-work life. My wife and I recently got a puppy, and he’s been a handful to say the least! Being accountable for him has made me rethink my work-life balance and forced me to prioritize tasks accordingly – with the many projects I tend to juggle as a musician, producer, & studio engineer, I feel that it’s increasingly important for me to stake out time for myself to “fill my artistic cup” and be present for my little family.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I pride myself on versatility as a musician – being able to write horn lines for an artist one day, to producing and engineering music in Tribal Studio the next, to making beats on the go using different creative platforms. As hard as it can be to stay on top of bouncing between different artistic disciplines and mediums, it keeps things interesting on my end and allows me to work with as many people as possible – I never want to be stuck doing one thing! It never really gets easier carving out practice time to stay on top of playing multiple instruments (I often find myself doing this at odd times in the middle of the night), but it’s totally necessary and worth the effort. I’m lucky to be able to do what I love for a living, and I don’t want to squander any opportunities with a lack of preparedness – I like to keep my weapons sharp!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would probably take them down to my studio in Imperial Beach and be sure to get some hang time in at the ocean, and take them out for tacos and beer at Mike Hess! Balboa Park is always a great place to walk around as well!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Since taking on my role(s) at Tribal Studio, it’s become increasingly apparent that the artistic success of the projects I take on heavily rely on the business & administrative/logistical side of things being rock solid. If I wasn’t an organizational freak before, I sure am now! Quotes, scheduling, studio patchbay spreadsheets, invoicing…that all needs care and attention if you want your studio session to run smooth the day of. I keep thinking back to something Shane Jordan (my former boss and mentor when I used to run sound for his corporate agency Jordan Music Entertainment) told me when I asked him how much time he dedicated to learning songs on the setlist vs. the work it takes to coordinate the event beforehand. He said that the majority of his time during the week prior to a gig is spent on the administrative/planning side of things, and that he pretty much got to worry about the music the day of – not a truth that a musician wants to face, but definitely one that keeps the bills paid! And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a world-class player & bandleader to where he can jump into any musical situation with ease. Shoutout to you Shane, I see you!