The Her Campus How She Got There series highlights successful, accomplished women in their respective field, giving readers an inside look into what steps they took to get to where they are now.
Meet Emily Lazar: a history-making, trailblazing music mastering engineer who isn't afraid to shake up the music industry. Most recently, Emily became the very first woman to win the Grammy for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) for Beck's latest album, Colors. Emily's latest big win is monumental and Emily is no stranger to making monumental moves in the industry — as the founder of The Lodge, the highly sought after mastering facility based in New York, she serves as the Chief Mastering engineer where she's been creating music magic since '97.
Working with hundreds of top artists and bands like Destiny's Child, Dolly Parton, The Chainsmokers, Panic! At The Disco, Sia and so many more, Emily is an undisputed pro in her field. Get to know Emily, her inspiring collaboration process with artists, and her best advice for pursuing your creative dreams.
What did you study in college?
I attended Skidmore College and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Creative Writing and Music, then New York University to receive my Master’s Degree in Music Technology.
What exactly is a mastering engineer?
A mastering engineer, by its simplest definition, prepares a piece of recorded music for mass distribution across multiple commercial physical formats and digital media. This final post-production process is accomplished by using many analog and digital tools including (but not limited to) compressors equalizers, limiters, and phase manipulation to enhance the stereo image.
How did you get interested or involved in the music mastering industry?
Music has always been a focal point in my life. I was originally a singer and songwriter in a band and made the gradual move into the studio to the other side of the glass. It all stemmed from wanting to be able to create the types of sounds that I was hearing in my head. After working in a few studios in NYC, I pursued my Master’s Degree in Music Technology from NYU.
What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?
My entire career seems to be a journey of connected surreal experiences where on a daily basis I am able to work with artists who bring their projects and creativity to my studio. There, I get to add my art to what is already created and bring it to the next level. I am very fortunate to do what I love and love what I do.
What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
“Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do.”
What is one essential skill that someone in this industry should have?
There really is a combination of three skills: patience, empathy and diligence.
What advice would you give to a 20-something with aspirations in the industry?
Never give up.