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When Manon Grandjean was just 18 years old and growing up in the south of France, she got the opportunity to go into a recording studio for the first time. And while she was there, she discovered the roles of the engineer and mixer. From that moment onward, she has said, “This is exactly what I want to do.”
Today, she’s an award-winning recording, mixing, and mastering engineer based in London. And she’s worked with an extensive list of influential and well-known artists, including Stormzy, Dave, Craig David, AJ Tracey, Fredo, ArrDee, NAO, Tion Wayne, Miraa May, and a long and expanding list of others.
Demand for Grandjean’s skills skyrocketed following the release of Stormzy’s debut studio album, Gang Signs & Prayer—a project she engineered alongside famed producer Fraser T. Smith. The album went number one in 2017 and won British Album of the Year at the 2018 BRIT Awards. The album’s success may have also played a role in Grandjean winning the Music Producers Guild “Engineer of the Year” award in 2018.
However, Grandjean insists that although her career as a mixing engineer accelerated substantially around that album’s popularity, it wasn’t a case of overnight success by any means.
“I’ve been in the industry in the UK for more than 10 years now, and I think people don’t realize that it takes such a long time to have a break,” she says. “I think when Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer came out, the amount of work that I’ve put into my career for the last, whatever, eight years it was at that time, I think it all flourished at that point.”
While her resume continues to expand across genres and popularity charts, she says her signature sound and choice of mixing in Pro Tools stays the same.
“I think every mixer has a sound. When you hear stuff that I’ve worked on and stuff that I’ve mixed, I think you can tell,” she explains.
Even when her career was just getting started, she understood the importance of knowing Pro Tools. “I didn’t even know all the DAWs that well, but it’s never been an issue,” she says. “But if you turn up [at the studio] and say, ‘Look, I don’t know Pro Tools,’ that’s a bit of a no-no.”
Hear more from Manon Grandjean about her journey and process…