Angie Randisi On Becoming Lil Baby’s Go-To Audio Engineer and What To Expect From His Upcoming Album
While studying professional sound and the business of studio production at Metalworks Institute just outside of Toronto, Angie Randisi dreamed of working at OVO Sound, the label co-founded by Drake and producer Noah “40” Shebib. “The more you start to learn about the technical side of [music], you start to realize who the greats are — and 40 was always someone I admired,” Randisi says. During her graduate year in 2018, Shebib happened to call Gil Moore — founder and CEO of Metalworks Group and member of Canadian band Triumph — for intern recommendations. Moore suggested Randisi. By 2019, she was hired as a full-time engineer at OVO’s SOTA (State of the Art) Studios.
Two years later, Drake called with an A-list opportunity: Lil Baby needed an engineer. Drake booked Randisi a flight to Atlanta and put her up in a hotel room so she could start working with Baby before he embarked on tour with Lil Durk that fall. “A couple of days turned into a week, [which] turned into two weeks,” says Randisi, who ended up going on tour with him to keep working. Over a year later, the anticipated result and Lil Baby’s new album, It’s Only Me, will arrive Oct. 14. Says Randisi: “I constantly feel like it’s a ‘pinch me’ moment.”
Nicki Minaj and Lil Baby, “Do We Have a Problem?”
Nicki Minaj enlisted Lil Baby to kick off 2022 with a one-two punch of collaborative singles, “Bussin” and “Do We Have a Problem?” Randisi, who grew up a huge Minaj fan, worked with Minaj’s engineer Aubry “Big Juice” Delaine to capture the rappers’ chemistry. Recorded during a four-day stint at Alicia Keys’ studio in New York, “Do We Have a Problem?” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. “I had a feeling it was going to be a huge record,” says Randisi.
Ed Sheeran and Lil Baby, “2step”
Randisi’s first pop crossover came earlier this year, when Ed Sheeran asked Lil Baby to appear on the pop-rap remix of his single “2step.” With the pop star recording across the pond, Lil Baby relied on Randisi’s ability to set up her rig and record him from anywhere. “That record, funny enough, was recorded on his kitchen counter,” she says. “The biggest thing to catch that dynamic between the two of them, even though they weren’t in the same room, was having [Lil Baby] ad-lib over Ed Sheeran’s part, so it sounds like they’re bouncing off each other.”
Lil Baby, It’s Only Me
Randisi says that the impressive chart marks for Lil Baby’s second album, 2020’s My Turn, including five nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, “definitely set the bar high” for its follow-up. “He was really big on experimenting with his sound and trying new things with this project,” she says of the new album. One of the singles she helped record, “In a Minute,” earned the rapper his 100th entry on the Hot 100 in April, making him only one of 12 artists to accomplish the feat.