On the edge of Downtown Raleigh, just off of Peace Street, sits an old white building with a grayish blue door and window frame that has been faded by the sun over time. Inside, sitting on a computer chair facing two monitors and an audio mixer soundboard, is 20-year-old producer and engineer, Travis Ross.
Ross began his music career in 2005 to compete with his sister who had recently signed to a label. At 10 years of age, Ross began rapping in pursuit of a sibling rivalry. But his true calling was behind the computer screen, mixing and mastering.
“The whole music thing started because I was jealous of my sister,” Ross said. “She had just signed to this label, so I wanted to one-up her.”
Not only did the passion for music come at an early age, but the fact he never viewed music from a fan perspective was a dynamic as well. “I was always trying to make music,” he said. “So the people I was looking up to were people who I saw working like 9th Wonder, a producer who’s from Raleigh.”
In 2010, Ross made his way to the Los Angeles for his first Grammy Camp at age 15. “The person you’re looking at now is a product of Grammy Camp 2010.” Grammy Camp gives opportunities to high school students looking to pursue a career in the music industry with guidance from experienced teachers and counselors. Ross was part of the first camp that included hip-hop in the showcase while receiving a full scholarship from the Hot Topic Foundation.
“I was really in a shell before that experience and it really changed my life,” he said. “It was a, ‘Yo, this is really possible because I was selected out of all these people to go here’.”
While at Grammy Camp, Ross and his production team had the privilege of traveling to Santa Monica to visit Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ Flyte Time West recording studio. Jam and Lewis are well known for their R&B production while working with names like Prince, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Usher. Continue reading