Louis Bartolini, a 2012 graduate of the Audio Technology Program at SAE Institute’s San Francisco campus, is the producer, engineer, and mixer of the song “Protect Our Ground” by rapper Marshall Payne, which has been chosen as the team anthem by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
"Marshall Payne’s 'Protect Our Ground' perfectly captures the essence of the Warriors brand and the Bay Area,” says Ari Glick, Senior Manager of Digital Content for the Golden State Warriors. “With over 10,000 total YouTube views already, it's safe to say that our fans love it, and it’s a very successful project."
Bartolini grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. His interest in music began when he was 12 years-old and his parents – who were musicians – bought a new computer to record their original songs. Bartolini became fascinated with the technology of digital music recording, and he tried out his hip hop production ideas on his family’s computer. He furthered his interest by taking a Music Technology class at Sir Francis Drake High School in Marin County, which led to his goal after graduation of becoming a fully trained audio technology professional.
“I chose to attend SAE because I wanted to learn more about recording and mixing,” says Bartolini, who works under the production moniker Loo Koo. “I had a few friends who had attended other schools in the area, and while they had mostly positive experiences, I knew that SAE was right for me. It was affordable, the instructors who I met at an Open House event were all excellent, and the Audio Technology Program offered exactly what I was looking for.”
After graduating from SAE, Bartolini took the entrepreneurial route as a full-time engineer/mixer/producer for hire. He had developed a wide network of prospective clients while he was a student, so there was plenty of work to be had – including mixtapes with Mark Battles, an award-winning rapper from Indianapolis; and collaborations with Taylor Gang recording artist Lola Monroe; Atlantic Records recording artist Wale; Bad Boy recording artist King Los; and Funk Volume recording artist Dizzy Wright.
“My experience at SAE taught me the basics of audio technology that every aspiring engineer must know,” says Bartolini. “Aside from the technical aspects, my SAE education also allowed me to feel more comfortable and confident when recording. When you first start working with people in the studio it can be nerve racking, so it was great to get all of the beginner's mistakes out of the way before graduating. By the time I was working professionally, my SAE background helped me to be completely prepared for just about anything.”
As far as advice for students and new graduates is concerned, Bartolini recommends two simple lessons: practice and networking.
“Even though it’s a cliché, when it comes to business, it's all about who you know,” says Bartolini. “The good thing is there are a lot of people to know. So make it your mission to get to know them, be friendly and easy to work with, and do the best job you can when you’re hired by clients.”