A graduate of a high school in our area that has risen to a high level in the music industry logged on to a Zoom chat with local students on Thursday.
Music Engineer Juan Pena, who has engineered current hits you may hear on the radio, graduated from Owego Free Academy in 2006.
Pena, who has worked with celebrity musicians like Jason Derulo, B-T-S, and ASAP Ferg, told students about the importance of finding a passion and putting in the work to get to where you want to go. Pena says he has had moments that take him aback, like when Derulo’s Savage Love hit the airwaves for the first time.
Juan Pena says, “That song, especially, was already big before the remix came in. When I’m in work mode, I try not to think of that because I’m just trying to be in the zone and do the best job that I can, but when you see the final release, it is kind of crazy and humbling when you see how many people are listening to it.”
Pena says he still uses the name “Saucy”, which he got in high school because another engineer in the business is also named Juan Pena.
Pena says he’s been able to stay at work because of a producer who lives near him in New Jersey, and has a few big productions coming up, though he wouldn’t reveal them.