Jamiel Aossey stands apart as that rarest breed of men – someone in full control of his own destiny. On February 5, destiny will deal him another hand of an already accomplished life – he’s nominated for two Grammys for his work on Beyonce’s best album in years,”Renaissance.”
And that’s where we find Aossey, 38, sitting in his Sylvania-based basement home studio, which is a study in serenity and unbridled creativity. There’s a few old school arcade games, including NBA Jam. A decades-spanning collection of keyboards and synthesizers takes up most of the space to the right of the large mixing console.
“This is my office. It’s been a progression,” said Aossey, gesturing around the room. “It wasn’t alway this elaborate. It’s been in a closet, a garage with an 80 dollar Casio and a bedroom, basement. It’s just nice having this space.”
Mahogany cabinets line the back wall, filled with an ungodly amount of vinyl, Aossey’s inheritance from his late uncle Mohammed Shousher, better known as Moe on WIOT FM 104.7. In his day, Moe was the Wolfman Jack of Toledo rock radio. He played the obscure album tracks that were never intended for radio airplay. Aossey remembers going to WIOT and watching his beloved uncle work the soundboard, riveted to every knob adjustment. But that was then and this is now and Aossey and his business partner Larry Griffin, Jr.–professionally known as S1–have become a highly sought-after music production team, working with such artists as X-Ambassadors, Eminem, the Pussycat Dolls, and Beyonce.
There’s a whiteboard with a to-do list with the words “Winners win” at the top. “To win, you’re gonna lose. And you might lose quite a bit. Some moments I’m good, some moments I’m not.”
Aossey was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, moving to Toledo when he was a kid. He began learning piano at age 3 and became an adept drummer by age 6. By the time he graduated from Southview High School in 2002, he was recording his own albums, releasing “The Gift: The Book of Screilosophy” the summer after graduation. In 2004, he enrolled in the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe , becoming a certified audio engineer.
In 2008, Aossey produced and independently released The Euphonious Suite.
Aossey’s business and creative partner S1, aka Larry Griffin Jr. who has worked with Kanye West among others, met and befriended Aossey at a music industry convention. Together the duo have worked with such artists as Eminem and X-Ambassadors, and are currently marketing a new audio plug-in software called the Flux, based on the flux capacitor in Back to the Future.
“We were working on [The Flux] when the Beyonce thing happened.” Aossey said. “The timing couldn’t have worked out better. You just never know when things will happen the way they’re supposed to.”
Despite the music industry being mostly located in Los Angeles and New York, Aossey is determined to stay in the Toledo area, which made him what he is today.
“I’ll always live here. Out in L.A. it takes 45 minutes just to get two miles. So Toledo is always going to be homebase.”
For now, Aossey is waiting for the Grammy Awards to air but he’s ready to get back into the studio where he belongs
“It’s still sinking in. I’ve been doing this for so long,” Aossey said.”It’s a good lesson for my kids. There’s so many ‘almosts’ and then this happens. But as great as all this is, it’s time to get back to work.”
The 65th Grammy Awards air on Sunday, February 5 from 7 – 10:30 p.m.