Anthony ‘TJ’ Jacobs, a 2014 Directors Honor graduate of the Audio Technology Program at SAE Institute’s Los Angeles campus, will log his first year as a sound engineer at LA-based Bad Boy Entertainment, the music production company owned by Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs. “The Bad Boy opportunity was offered to me by Matthew ‘Matty Rich’ Testa, who is Bad Boy’s head engineer and producer as well as an alumni of SAE,” says Jacobs, who interned for Grammy-nominated hip-hop producer Klypso while he was attending SAE. “I’m responsible for tracking, mixing, arranging, and creatively contributing anything I can to make the songs that I’m working on be the best they can be.”
Jacobs grew up in Inland Empire, CA. A number of his uncles and cousins were musicians, and they taught him how to play drums, bass, and guitar. He developed an interest in studio production and audio technology when he tried his hand at rapping, and became frustrated that no one he knew had the skills to produce original beats for him to rap over, or how to do studio recording.
After graduating from Chino High School in 2010, he enrolled in an audio program at a nearby junior college, and after researching more established audio technology schools, he discovered SAE Los Angeles.
After taking a tour of the school and attending some open houses, I really liked the small family feel of SAE,” says Jacobs. “Everything was hands-on with lots of personal interaction between the students and the faculty. The school’s environment was really inspiring because I was surrounded by talented people who were passionate about what they do. The curriculum, facilities, and overall approach were highly professional, and it gave me confidence that has helped me in real world, working environments.”
Jacobs is currently putting finishing touches on Combs’ albums ‘MMM’ and ‘No Way Out 2’, which is a follow-up to his platinum-selling 1997 release, ‘No Way Out.’.
“In order to succeed and develop a consistent career in the music industry, you must work on your craft every single day, especially in the first few years,” says Jacobs. “You have to let go of your old lifestyle and start paying your dues in the industry. If you continue to keep learning and working hard, good things will happen. Also, it’s crucial to never underestimate an opportunity, because you never know what it could turn into. Most importantly, always remember that your network is your net worth, so develop your relationships and play your position no matter what.”