Editor’s note: For Women’s History Month, The Root is celebrating women from a wide range of professional industries in our video series Women at Work.
“Being a woman and a music producer and an engineer is a very special task,” says Ebonie Smith, who works as an audio engineer, music producer and studio coordinator at Atlantic Records.
While she’s always loved music, Smith says she got into audio engineering somewhat haphazardly. As an undergrad at Barnard College, Smith needed a way to record her own music. As a pianist, she often worked in isolation, but from that experience, her love for music and music production went from a hobby to a profession.
Smith went on to build an organization, Gender Amplified, to create a community while celebrating and connecting women in music production. And as a woman in a male-dominated industry, she, like many other women, has had to stand in her truth.
“I’ve had to learn how to negotiate being the woman at the board when there are 10 men looking for me to help them accomplish something,” Smith continues, “10 men with their very specific ideas about what it means to be men; what it means for me to be a woman.”
The award-winning producer has gone on to receive a Grammy certificate for her work on the Hamilton original cast recording, and on The Hamilton Mixtape, which she says were two of her most inspiring experiences—creatively and technically.
“To have been a part of something that big, and to get the Grammy recognition, and a platinum plaque for that, are really things that really help solidify me in this industry that I love, and give so much of myself to on a daily basis,” Smith tells The Root.