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Inspiring Conversations with James “Murk Tha Engineer” Butler of Mperial Music

Today we’d like to introduce you to James “Murk Tha Engineer” Butler.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Blessings everybody my name is James Butler better known in the music industry as “Murk Tha Engineer.” I am a Music producer/ Artist manager from Columbus Georgia based in Atlanta Georgia. I have been working within the music industry for over 15 years mostly for engineering and producing. I became involved in music at an early age while singing in the church choir. I was so fascinated in the way music made people feel, the way it makes me feel. It’s funny because when I was younger, I thought I was crazy because every time I would listen to music, no matter the genre or sound, I would always see colors. It wasn’t until I was 24 I understood this to be identified as Chromesthesia – a type of synesthesia that causes an acoustic to-color synesthesia in which sound involuntarily evokes an experience of color, shape, and movement meaning every time I hear music, I would associate it and its emotion to a color. It’s such a beautiful experience! When I turned 15, I learned to produce with my partners I grew up with and we started a rap group and called ourselves ” JackBoyz” I later took my love for music more seriously after I came back from my tour in Iraq. I decided that I wanted to be an engineer, so I enrolled in Berkeley College of Music for Music production.

After I finished there, I moved back to Georgia to Atlanta where I went back to school at SAE Institute for a degree in Audio Engineering and Music Business. While in school, I started interning for Audio Engineering at Soul Asylum Studio where I became a staff audio engineer in just under a year. After I graduated from school, I left Soul Asylum to work at Twelve Studios, Shout Out to Miss Dina Marto, where I began to pick up a lot of work within the music industry. While there, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Chubby Baby while engineering for Epic Records. While there, I was also blessed with the opportunity to work with Grand Hustle and their artist as well. In 2017, I applied for a position at Patchwerk Recording Studios where I began interning until becoming staff engineer in 2018. At Patchwerk, I continued to develop my craft working and obtaining numerous engineering credits working with artists and other music creatives on many projects, some going on to earn awards such as charting on Billboard Top 200 , Billboard Top Rap Album as well as Billboard Top Rap and R&b. In 2019 while still at Patchwerk, I started my own music production and consultant company called Mperial Music where I began to work and produce for artists more independently. In 2020, I started freelancing after I began engineering and producing for Willie Spence as well as other artists and various Record Labels.

As of now, I am still engineering and producing, well, more mixing and producing these days than recording as I have begun another journey within the music industry as Artist manager for a very talented artist out of Louisiana by the name of Rod West. Though it is a very different lane from what I am used to, it still feels like home! But no matter what, I can never lose my love to create! So any artist still needing engineering and producing services hit me up, let’s work!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I can’t say that everything has been a smooth journey but I will say that the bumps along the way were necessary in order for me to understand my purpose. I was homeless at one point. I also made it back from war. I am grateful for both. I am grateful for everything. Without challenges in our path, what stories could our music possibly tell?

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I started Mperial Music with the soul purpose of collaborating with other music creatives while also educating music creatives about the journey in the music industry. I believe that music is meant to be shared in order to benefit from its intended purpose. I also believe in the sharing of information as well. Along my journey in this industry, I have been blessed to have come across some very talented individuals that took the time to mentor me along the way and I feel that it is only right that I return the same energy. “Imperial” means to be majestic. I removed the letter “I” to symbolize majestic creation in a collaborative effort. At Mperial Music, we specialize in Music Production whether it be recording, mixing, mastering, vocal editing and arrangement, beat programming from an experienced established music professional, we can help produce your idea from start to finish. We also specialize in music consultation and artist management. We take pride in making sure each and every client that we deal with receives the best possible service we can provide while also making sure that clients leave more educated about the music industry and their purpose in it than before. As a company, I think it is important to establish our connection to the music creatives by making sure they are set up for success the right way without feeling taken advantage of. We love to see the artist succeed. We love to see the artist win!

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory would have to be when I first started making music with the bros from back home. It’s like seven of us so it was always exciting to see what we were able to come up with. I think we started on Sonar Cakewalk and Fruity Loops 3 and a computer mic. No cares in the world as long as we were dropping music. We didn’t have a lot, so music allowed us to kind of escape the world we were living in at the time. Music really kept us from a cell or a casket. Music really saved us, Shout out to the gang, JackBoyz.

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