Growing up on St. Thomas, a U.S. Virgin Island with a rich musical culture, Leslie Brathwaite's fascination with the industry began at a young age.
"I always knew I wanted to do something behind the scenes in music."
After leaving home to attend Full Sail, Leslie graduated from the Recording Arts program in 1992 and made his way up to Atlanta, where he started assisting producer Dallas Austin, earning credits on albums like Boyz II Men's II and Outkast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. From there, opportunities poured in, and Leslie established himself as a go-to mix engineer and producer, working with artists including Jay Z, Madonna, T.I., and more.
Among his achievements, Leslie was awarded a pair of GRAMMY Awards in 1999, for TLC's Fanmail (Best Rap Album) and Brandy and Monica's single, The Boy is Mine (Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group). Since then, he has been honored with GRAMMY awards for Best Rap Album, 2002 - OUTKAST's Stankonia, Best Urban Contemporary Album, 2015 - Pharrell Williams' G I R L, and Best Pop Solo Performance, 2015 - Pharrell Williams' Happy. He's still based in Atlanta today, where he continues to craft his signature sound and grow his impressive resume.
"It's good to be recognized by your peers, but I don't focus on it," says Leslie. "My mom – I let her enjoy all that stuff. I'm proud of myself, but a good moment for me is when I've got somebody like Mary J. Blige or Cher calling me going, 'I want you to mix my record.' That's the real GRAMMY moment for me right there."
Pharrell Williams, Outkast, Björk, TLC, Jay Z, Madonna, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Akon, T.I., Monica, Michael Jackson, Cher, Mary J. Blige, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., GRAMMY Awards for Best R&B performance by Duo or Group - Brandy and Monica The Boy Is Mine (1999), Best R&B Album – TLC, FanMail (2000), Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group – TLC, No Scrubs (2000), Best Rap Album – OUTKAST, Stankonia (2002), Best Urban Contemporary Album – Pharrell Williams, GIRL (2015), Best Pop Solo Performance – Pharrell Williams, Happy (2015)