People You Should Know… Grammy Award Winning Super Producer Ramon “Life of 9k” Rivas” Written By: Novia Rose
If creating your own lane was a person, Grammy Award winning Super Producer, Ramon “Life Of 9K” Rivas is top 5. Born in Far Rock Away Queens NY, Ramon started from humble beginnings. “Like every kid born in New York, Far Rockaway Queens to be exact, kids loved Batman and ninja turtles, I was fascinated by Thundercats and paperboy the video game.” He is now perhaps one of the best known engineers in the music industry. Racking up 9 Grammys for recording artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Nas & Alicia Keys respectively.
Embracing his individuality became his one way ticket to success once Ramon’s parents separated and he was relocated to Atlanta, GA. It was in the A that Rivas landed his very first opportunity within the music business at just 17 years old, “I was blessed with an internship, engineering inside national radio promotions with Kadife Sylvester at So So Def records. While doing this I was also doing street teams and hanging posters for Bad Boy, while doing part time for Lil Jon on weekends for BME/TVT desk work and running assistant for BME. I was known as 9000 from my dungeon family, Andre 3000, then in 2020 I just decided to go with “Life of 9K” . Ramon’s first major credit came in 2007 on Queen Latifah’s Trav’lin Light album. Additionally, Ramon was an engineer and mixing assistant on the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack and Despicable Me movie and soundtrack. Most recently, under the pseudonym Life of 9K, Ramon has produced and released his own theme albums ” Credit: Cardi B, The Carters, Ariana Grande, J Balvin, Drunk In Love, Full Circle by Nas!
“Faith, Integrity, Determination, and Asking Questions daily!”
Though the rundown may make it seem as if things were a bit easy in Ramon’s journey, no mission or goal comes without complication. After seeing his brother go to prison, as well as a host of life experiences, Ramon’s outlook on life broadened. Canceling out traditional career paths, it is in his own creativity that he was able to manifest opportunities to learn from veterans in the music business very early on: “I went to Full Sail University for training but also trained with Tracy (The D.O.C) who grew to meet Dr. Dre and his Aftermatic Camp. I’m in the studio every week just brushing up on my ear as well as the SSL console. Trial and error supply and demand. Jermaine Dupri’s main engineer back then taught me plenty. His name is Phil Tan. at Full Sail was Stuart, who is Beyonce’s personal engineer and I was his assistant for every project he worked on to mold me to get better as I attempted each day.”
Being one of simplicity at heart and not really wearing his success on his sleeve, The ‘Life of 9K” is anything but simple! However, he chooses to forge a path based on a foundation of family and strength. “I am a private person and don’t open up till I am comfortable with the individual I’m dealing with or doing business with.” Listing Andre 3000 as one of the lowkey but strong mentorships throughout his career. Ramon sustains his longevity in the business by following one simple rule, “Pray, Do the work, and keep your circle of trust very small
as well as never burning a bridge in this industry. Everybody is linked or knows somebody just most don’t enjoy the limelight they just want to collect checks and provide for loved ones.”
Currently Ramon is gearing up for big projects this year, but in true “ 9K”, we will just have to wait and be amazed!
“EVERY CHOICE COMES WITH A NEW INVOICE, bet on yourself and believe in you people will come to you more than you go to them.” – Ramon “Life Of 9K”