30 Days of Dreamers & Doers | LeWade Milliner
LeWade Milliner is the owner and engineer at The Lab Recording Studio. The services offered there include recording, mixing, production, visual media, commercials and mastering.
He also has 3 other engineers - Absolut-P who is a producer, engineer, videographer and manager of the lab; Tre Nelson (Grit Walker aka T-Hood
da Beat Maker), who's also an engineer and producer along with J. White the third engineer, musician and producer.
What is your earliest memory being involved in your business?
I started recording when I was 16 years old as a musician/producer and went to my first studio for Career Day during the 11th and 12th grade. I started getting into recording when my band couldn’t find the sound we were looking for. We had been to all the big studios and we'd had a good experience in a basement studio we visited. This visit made me understand that the sound came from the engineer not the equipment in the studio. While learning how to engineer, I had a couple people who would come record with me, then it eventually turned into lots of artists coming to The Basement (Versatile Entertainment).
What part gives you the most fulfillment?
Being a part of peoples dreams and being able to have a successful end result gives me the most fulfillment.
What did your journey to where you are currently look like?
I started with a 16 track digital recorder, acid pro software in the basement, $1,000 dollars my dad gave me to get started and had the help of friends Jay, Shannon and Reggie Clark. I didn’t go to school for recording, I just watched other engineers years before while recording in their studios. There wasn’t YouTube and blogs to learn from back then. I read books and bought dvds, learned from trial and error and countless hours of recording
myself, band and friends around. We started Versatile Entertainment around 2005 and were responsible for lots of shows, artists and albums - most notably, “The Midwest Poetry Vibe” and “The Last Few Band". Currently named The Lab Recoding Studio, “The Lab”, we are an award winning, top studio in Omaha Nebraska. We are very sought after nationally and mostly known for our unique mixing sound and production. We are a major part of creating and sustaining the Hip Hop, R&B and Soul culture here. In 2016 and 2017 we brought “Beat Battle” events as well as ‘Big Wade and The Black Swan Theory.” We are known as “The Hip Hop Hub” in this state, recording local independent artists to multi platinum artists.
10 years ago would you have pictured yourself in this position?
No, 10 years ago I wasn’t sure what direction I was going to choose. 10 years ago I released my first solo album, I was in a very popular band called, “The Last Few”, and I had a very popular studio. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a singer, producer, musician or an engineer. I guess I found a way to do a little bit of everything now, (lol).
How do you hope people feel after working with you?
I hope people feel like they’ve accomplished what they came for. The best compliment I get is, “It sounds better than what was in my head”, which means the world to me.
Can you name a highlight of your career?
I can’t name just one, I’m very blessed to have many highlights over the years. From playing gigs with awesome musicians, producing records for very well known artists to having my kids at my shows smiling in the crowd.
LeWade also won a few trophies last year at the Omaha Hip Hop Awards: 2016-2017 Best Studio, 2016-2017 Best Producer and a couple that went to the rest of The Lab Studio.
Anything you’d go back and change?
I wouldn’t change anything because to be successful, you can’t skip steps. I've learned much more from failing than winning. If I didn’t start with that old computer, I wouldn’t be so good at troubleshooting equipment.
Any advice, tips or reminders?
If you have a dream, you have to take the steps to get there.
Be consistent, persistent, patient, educate yourself and focus on the goal. It's a lonely journey because nobody's going to take losses and put in the hours to get there with you. Make it happen!
As a Reminder... I released a live project in 2017 called “The Exxperience” with my band, “Big Wade and The Black Swan Theory”. Go check it out on blackswantheory.net and check out our upcoming shows on facebook @Theblackswantheory2017.