At the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, among the big name winners such as Daft Punk and Lorde was California Lutheran University’s very own Benny Faccone.
The professor received the award for his role on the album “Vida” by Draco Rosa as a mixer, marking Faccone’s 16th Grammy.
The album won the Best Latin Pop Album at the American Grammys and Album of the Year at the Latin Grammys. “Vida” involved a series of producers, so Faccone did not work on every track from the album.
“It was kind of sporadic, so we kind of split it up,” Faccone said.
The reason that the creation of the album was somewhat sporadic was because Rosa decided to work on the album after he had been diagnosed with cancer for a second time.
Rosa was previously diagnosed with cancer in 2011, but overcame it after two years of treatment. Doctors are optimistic that Rosa will be able to beat the cancer once again.
The album is a series of 16 duets with friends and people Rosa had wanted to work with including Marc Anthony, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Maná and several others.
In an interview with grammy.com, Rosa said they did not go into the project as a swan song, but rather used the potential that it may be his final album as motivation to make something great.
“This album’s pure,” Rosa said. “I think it’s pure because of the circumstances because of this thing, this illness.”
Rosa and Faccone have a long history of working together. The two started working in 1984 at A&M Records when Faccone began doing the mixing for the band Menudo, who Rosa was a member of.
At one point, Rosa decided to go independent and decided to continue working with Faccone throughout his solo career.
In addition to the work that he has done with Rosa, Faccone has worked on over 200 albums with Latin artists such as Santana, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and many others.
With a massive back catalog Faccone has been able to rack up several accolades. Faccone has nine Latin Grammy’s and seven American Grammy’s. He also has several certificate awards for his role on albums that won Grammy’s.
It was only until the early 2000s that the mixers and engineers would also receive awards unless it was in the category of mixing or engineering.
“He’s one of the best in the world at what he does,” said Mark Spraggins, head of the Cal Lutheran Music Department.
Faccone takes a very personable approach to mixing to bring out all of the desirable elements of an artist.
“It’s about a great song, it’s about music,” Faccone said. “Music is emotion and it’s all about heart and feel and it’s not about perfection.”
Faccone owns and runs the Cavern Studios in Thousand Oaks with another Cal Lutheran professor, Daniel Aguilar. This studio is where Faccone teaches the advanced recording and mixing class.
“After almost 40 years I’m getting to do something different, which is teaching courses at Cal Lutheran that I’m starting to enjoy and [I’m] getting a lot of energy from the new kids,” Faccone said.
With his lengthy career spanning back to 1975, Faccone has a lot to offer to Cal Lutheran’s music students.
“Being able to pass that knowledge [of audio engineering] on to our students is extremely valuable for them,” Spraggins said.
Currently Faccone is working on several projects with Latin artists, continually adding to his track record. Even though he has had a successful career so far, Faccone is still working to grow as a producer.
“I guess I’m a perfectionist,” Faccone said. “I’m still waiting to do a record that I think ‘that’s the one that I love.’”
Published November 5, 2014