When Joci Oye started recording his music at the Mock Recording Studio earlier this year, studio owners Jacob and Dylan Mock not only recorded but also produced his music, working closely with Oye on the structure and the arrangement of songs.
In one day, Oye and the Mock brothers arranged, recorded and released his song “Options”, a skillfully produced song of the same caliber as successful artists Rihanna, Pink or Lady Gaga.
“This is my first real production studio,” said Oye, a Luverne native who lives in Mankato while graduating from Minnesota State University.
“I brought in a rhythm that I found, and I had a little hook in it, and we just ran with it. They really have a good ear. They knew the trends in the music industry, and I noticed that my writing in general has improved so much since working with them.
As with many artists who have recorded here since Studio Mankato opened in April, Oye’s relationship with the studio continues. Dylan Mock said their goal was to work with the artist far beyond hitting the record button. In addition to production, engineering and mixing, Mock said they are working on the many facets of artist development.
“If they want to release an album, we want to help them with the cover; if they want clips, we can help them shoot, ”said Dylan Mock. “We really want to participate in the development of artists and help people get to where they want to go. “
His passion for music came long before he graduated from the Institute for Production and Recording in Minneapolis. He started recording his own songs in high school. After graduation he started making beats and turned to hip-hop music, but his interests spanned several genres.
After graduating in production and recording, he worked in the Twin Cities as a music producer, then relocated to Mankato when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing.
When Dylan and his brother were younger there was no place to record their own music in town, and they decided to look for a space to build a recording studio. They eventually chose a suite at 500 Raintree Road. In addition to recording music, the studio is also equipped to make commercials, podcasts and movie soundtracks.
“We basically pushed the whole wall, put a window and a door, made a second level for a loft and soundproofed it all ourselves,” said Dylan Mock. “It was kind of a work in progress, and we didn’t really have a plan, but we came out with something really great.”
The space has become more than just a studio, but a magnet for local and regional musicians devoted to a variety of musical tastes and styles, from R&B and hip-hop to punk, metal and everything in between.
“This studio is my favorite place on the planet,” said Cole Jackson, who does mostly hip-hop and R&B but was inspired to venture into other genres, like punk rock and country music. .
Jackson, as with Oye, has an ongoing relationship with the studio, visiting to go out and record a few times a week. One of the songs he recorded was with another musician he met when the studio opened in April.
It’s that kind of networking and community development that the Mock brothers want to cultivate, said their father, Kevin Mock, who handles marketing and social media for the company.
“I feel like we are only scratching the surface,” he said. “I saw a whole family grow up. We are a company, but the most important thing is to see the growth of artists and to be able to touch each other’s lives and to keep moving forward.
Jakob Grawe, whose stage name is Jakob G, had recorded his own music for years, but sound quality had always been an issue. He had made a few recordings in a studio in the Twin Cities, but the cost was astronomical. He said the affordability of recording at the Mock Recording Studio attracted him early on, and he was immediately impressed with their dedication to the development of artists.
“I have nothing but praise for them,” he said. “I witnessed the emergence of an underground hip-hop scene in Mankato, and it was really cool to be a part of it and to see the catalyst take shape.”
Dylan Mock said there is great untapped potential in Mankato’s music scene, and he wants Mock Recording Studio to help these artists grow and achieve their goals.
“The funniest part is meeting new people and making new music,” he said. “Leaving the studio at the end of the day and listening to everything I just did in the car and loving it, there’s no better feeling than that. I’m glad I can help other people do it too.