Jamiel Aossey stands out as that rarest breed of man – someone who is in total control of his own destiny. On Feb. 5, fate will bestow another hand on an already fulfilled life — he’s nominated for two Grammys for his work on Beyonce’s best album in years, “Renaissance.”
And that’s where we find 38-year-old Aossey, sitting in his Sylvania-based basement home studio, which is a study in serenity and unbridled creativity. There are a few old-school arcade games, including NBA Jam. A collection of keyboards and synthesizers spanning decades takes up most of the space to the right of the large mixing console.
“It’s my office. It was a progression,” Aossey said, gesturing around the room. “It wasn’t always so elaborate. It was in a closet, a garage with an 80 dollar Casio and a bedroom, in the basement. It’s just nice to have this space.
Mahogany cabinets line the back wall, filled with an ungodly amount of vinyl, Aossey’s heirloom from his late uncle Mohammed Shousher, better known as Moe on WIOT FM 104.7. In his day, Moe was rock radio Wolfman Jack of Toledo. He played the obscure tracks on the album that were never intended for radio play. Aossey remembers going to WIOT and seeing his beloved uncle working on the soundboard, riveted to every knob setting. But that was then and this is now and Aossey and his business partner Larry Griffin, Jr. – known professionally as S1 – have become a highly sought after music production team, working with artists such as X-Ambassadors, Eminem, the Pussycat Dolls, and Beyoncé.
There’s a whiteboard with a to-do list with the words “Winners Win” at the top. “To win, you will lose. And you might lose a little. Some times I’m good, some times I’m not.
Aossey was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, moving to Toledo as a child. He started learning the piano at the age of 3 and became an adept drummer at the age of 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 Chillicothe recording workshop, becoming a certified sound engineer.
In 2008, Aossey independently produced and 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 artists such as Eminem and X-Ambassadors, and are currently releasing a new audio plug-in called Flux, based on the flux capacitor from Back to the Future.
“We were working on [The Flux] when the Beyonce thing happened. said Aosey. “The timing couldn’t have been better. You never know when things will turn out the way they are supposed to.
Although the music industry is primarily located in Los Angeles and New York, Aossey is determined to stay in the Toledo area, which has made him who he is today.
“I will always live here. In Los Angeles, it takes 45 minutes to travel two miles. So Toledo will always be the home base.
For now, Aossey is waiting for the Grammy Awards to air but he is ready to return to 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 are so many ‘almosts’ and then it happens. But as great as it all is, it’s time to get back to work.
The 65th Grammy Awards airs Sunday, February 5 from 7-10:30 p.m.