Young Guru

Young Guru Joins USC Thornton Faculty as Artist-in-Residence

September 04, 2013

Revered as “The Sound of New York,” Young Guru is a Grammy-nominated engineer and esteemed lecturer on the subject of music, technology, entrepreneurship and the Era of the Engineer

Contact: Evan Calbi at (213) 740-3229 or

LOS ANGELES — September 4, 2013 — Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton, Grammy Award-nominated engineer, DJ and music producer best known for his work with rap icon Jay-Z, is joining the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as an Artist-in-Residence for the 2013-14 school year.

Young Guru is known for shaping some of the biggest talent in hip hop. A frequent collaborator with Jay-Z, he has mixed 10 of the acclaimed rapper’s albums. Other highlights include recording work on Eminem’s Lose Yourself, Notorious B.I.G.’s Let Me Get Down and with a long list of artists including Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Rihanna.

After years of success in the recording field (multi-platinum albums and multiple Grammy nods), Young Guru is now elevating the discourse of audio engineering philosophy, science and technology, emerging onto the lecture circuit as one of the subject’s most distinguished and dignified speakers — further proving why he is one of audio’s most important minds and essential voices. Traveling the country, Young Guru’s intellect and eloquence have been tapped by a broad variety of impressive venues, garnering him recognition from such media outlets as CNN, Fox News, Billboard and Village Voice.

Beginning this fall, he will join the faculty of USC Thornton’s Contemporary Music Division as an Artist-in-Residence, a position occupied in previous years by guitarist Steve Miller, R&B artist Patrice Rushen and legendary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier.

Because of his diverse background as a DJ, engineer and music producer, Young Guru will work with a wide range of USC Thornton students in the Contemporary Music Division, including those in the Popular Music, Music Industry and Music Technology programs. He will visit the USC University Park campus and lecture students studying hip hop, electronic music, music industry and songwriting. Young Guru will also consult with Thornton faculty on the future development of a new degree program in Music Production. His first lecture at USC Thornton will be available via Live Stream. Those interested in seeing the live stream may sign up at

Young Guru’s appointment builds on his longstanding interest in education. As a teen, he earned his moniker after teaching classes in African history from a community center. His charitable foundation, The Young Guru Foundation, is derived from his passion for teaching and recently partnered with SAE Institute Capetown, South Africa and Heal the Hood (NGO) to offer one-year scholarships in sound production. He has lectured at institutions such as the NYU Clive Davis Institute of Music, Emory University, Loyola University New Orleans, Middle Tennessee State University and Drexel University, as well as at Google and Pandora headquarters, PopTech, TED, NAMM and AES.

“I would like our culture to understand its value and its reference point in history,” Young Guru said. “I want to preserve the culture and value of hip hop so that people understand how big it is across the world. I want it to be fully understood by people, to be studied and revered the same way you would study jazz artists or opera at a class in a university.”

For more information on Young Guru, follow him here:

About the Contemporary Music Division of the USC Thornton School of Music

Located in one of the world capitals for culture and entertainment, the Contemporary Music Division of the USC Thornton School of Music offers unrivaled practical experience and a renowned faculty of master musicians and leading industry professionals. Leading-edge programs include Jazz Studies, Music Industry, Music Technology, Popular Music, Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television and Studio/Jazz Guitar.

Division of Contemporary Music Contact

Chris Sampson, Vice Dean
USC Thornton School of Music

Photo credit: Jared Fuller