Doug Fenske

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Doug Fenske
Birth name Albert Douglas Fenske, J.R.
Born (1982-01-11) January 11, 1982 (age 34)
Harvey, Illinois, United States
Origin Richton Park, Illinois
Genres Pop, contemporary R&B, electropop, pop-rap
Occupation(s) Record Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, Instrumentalist
Instruments Saxophone, keyboards, talkbox
Years active 2005–present
Associated acts Frank Ocean, LL Cool J, Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks, Jamie Foxx, Dylan Synclaire

Doug Fenske (born January 11, 1982) is an American record producer, recording engineer, mix engineer, and remixer from suburban Chicago, Illinois. He has worked in Los Angeles, California since 2005, and has been involved in several aspects of record production. Fenske has worked on a string of commercially and critically successful albums, including Frank Ocean's Channel Orange, Chris Brown's Exclusive [The FOREVER Edition], Jamie Foxx's Intuition, and Jordin Sparks' Jordin Sparks.[1] His production experience includes collaborations with some of the music industry's most elite artists, writers, producers, and engineers.[2]

Childhood and education[edit]

Childhood and youth[edit]

Fenske was born in Harvey, Illinois, the first child of an educator mother and a village manager father. He spent his formative years in Richton Park, IL, where he attended Neil A. Armstrong Elementary. His first foray into music began at age 10, when he picked up an alto saxophone, joined the school's concert band and began learning classical music theory. Two years later, he joined the school district's jazz ensemble, and spent a year learning jazz theory and playing second alto behind an older student. But Fenske's skill quickly rose to the surface and by age 13, he earned the lead alto seat for both jazz ensemble and concert band. During this time he excelled as a three-sport athlete, playing football, baseball, and basketball. Fenske enrolled at Rich South High School in Richton Park, and was quickly promoted to the upperclass jazz ensemble, playing second tenor sax, all while performing with the school's symphonic band. As a sophomore, he was moved to baritone sax in both jazz ensemble and symphonic band, and was promoted to lead alto in both bands at the beginning of his junior year. It was during this time that Fenske realized he wanted a career in record production. As a senior, he played in the jazz combo band, and was featured on soprano sax in the jazz ensemble. Still an athlete, he played four years of football, three years of baseball, and one year of basketball for Rich South.


Fenske decided to attend Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL as a communications major in 2000. He quickly aligned with other students to form "11th and Cleveland", a band named after the block where they rehearsed. Fenske played sax and keyboards for the band, which spent two years touring the bar circuit and neighboring colleges. Although Fenske was heavily influenced by 90s hip hop, rock and alternative music, his band covered songs by Phish, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, and Herbie Hancock – who he would later work with on Hancock's collaboration with Quincy Jones. As band members started leaving school, Fenske started creating full instrumental tracks on his own with a computer. He continued honing his craft for the next two years and graduated in 2004 with a bachelor's degree.[3] In early 2005, Fenske moved to Tempe, AZ to attend the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, an audio engineering school known for its prominence in music. While in school, he collaborated with other students on recording projects, was the president of the school's chapter of the Audio Engineering Society, and was at the head of his class. He also began remixing tracks by artists like D'Angelo, The Roots, and Busta Rhymes using live instrumentation. Fenske graduated from The Conservatory in October 2005 and moved to Los Angeles, Calif. to begin his professional career in music.



Upon arrival in Los Angeles, Fenske started interning at Westlake Recording Studios in Hollywood. A major studio rich in tradition,[4] Westlake provided Fenske with the opportunity to become a professional. In 2007, while working for Westlake and their Artist Development Program, he crossed paths with Dylan Synclaire, an urban pop artist recently signed to a development deal. The two started collaborating and building their catalog together. By 2008, Fenske ascended in the ranks at Westlake to become an assistant engineer,working with artists like Quincy Jones, Britney Spears, Cee Lo Green, Snoop Dogg, Randy Jackson, Jack Douglas, and Herbie Hancock. Soon Fenske began building an engineering clientele of his own, spending time in the studio with Ne-Yo, Stargate, Eric Hudson, The Writing Camp, and Ryan Tedder.[5] He incorporated, forming Real Records LLC, and left Westlake in early 2009 to become an independent engineer and producer. Since going independent, Fenske has recorded and mixed songs for Frank Ocean, Andre 3000, Bruno Mars, LL Cool J, John Legend, The Wanted, Diplo, Kelly Rowland, Emily Osment, Toni Braxton, Nellee Hooper, Mika, Stereo Skyline,[6] and others.


Fenske has produced songs for a series of independent labels and artists. Most notably, Wind-up Records distributed a song that Fenske produced and mixed for Emily Osment called Drift,[7] and a song for Dylan Synclaire featuring Chris Rene of The X Factor (U.S. season 1) called Hollywood Lyfe.[8]

Grammy Award nomination[edit]

On December 5, 2012, Fenske was nominated for a Grammy Award in recognition of his engineering work on Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" album.[9]


Year Artist Album Details
2013 Dylan Synclaire The Sample Collection, Volume 1 Producer, Mixing
LL Cool J Authentic Mixing, engineer[10]
2012 Frank Ocean Channel Orange Engineer[10]
The Wanted The Wanted Engineer[10]
Dylan Synclaire DITTO Producer, Mixing
Greydon Square Type II : The Mandelbrot Set Producer
2011 Dylan Synclaire Hollywood Lyfe (feat. Chris Rene) Producer, Mixing, Alto Sax[10]
Emily Osment Lovesick Mixing[10]
Emily Osment Drift Producer, Mixing
Dylan Synclaire SleepWalkin' Producer, Mixing
Dylan Synclaire S.O.S. Sounds of Synclaire Producer, Mixing
2010 INXS Original Sin Vocal Engineer[10]
Jason Castro Jason Castro Assistant Engineer[10]
Stereo Skyline Stuck on Repeat Engineer[10]
Emily Osment Fight or Flight Mixing, Vocal Recording[10]
Dylan Synclaire Cloud Stains Producer, Mixing
Greydon Square The Kardashev Scale Producer[11]
Dylan Synclaire Crush Producer, Mixing
2009 Melanie Fiona The Bridge Engineer[10]
American Idol American Idol: Season 8 Engineer[10]
2008 Chris Brown Forever Engineer[10]
Jamie Foxx Intuition Engineer[10]
Ariana Hall Not Too Close, Not Too Far EP Engineer[10]
Randy Jackson Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1 Assistant Engineer[10]
2007 Jordin Sparks Jordin Sparks Vocal Recording[10]
Blake Lewis Audio Day Dream Engineer[10]
UGK Underground Kingz Assistant Engineer[10]
Michael Bolton Swingin' Christmas Assistant Engineer[10]


  1. ^ "Doug Fenske on MSN Music". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  2. ^ "This domain is missing from the Web server configuration". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  3. ^ "Eastern Illinois University : Media Relations". January 1, 1970. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  4. ^ [1] Archived October 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ [3] Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "iTunes Store". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  8. ^ "iTunes – Music – Hollywood Lyfe (feat. Chris Rene) – Single by Dylan Synclaire". November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  9. ^ "The Official Site of Music's Biggest Night". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Doug Fenske | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  11. ^ "Dopamine Kata | Greydon Square". August 10, 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 

External links[edit]