Recording studio owner Parish Carter works to make hip-hop artists feel at home

Parish Carter, a local co-owner of a recording studio (Nathan Thrash/DD)
Parish Carter, a local co-owner of a recording studio (Nathan Thrash/DD)
Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa–those are just a few of the stars that local recording studio owner Parish Carter has recorded and mixed sound for at 613 Wax Studios, which began in a penthouse. (Nathan Thrash/DD)

Breaking into the music scene can be a daunting task for those looking to make a lifestyle out of the entertainment industry. Not everyone is prepared for a line of work that involves long hours and consecutive sleepless nights. For Parish Carter, it comes as easily as breathing.

In August, Carter started his business 613 Wax Studios, where he records and mixes sounds for hip hop artists. He has worked with many big hip-hop names throughout his career, including Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Bow Wow, Lil Wayne and J. Cole.

“People walk through the doors that I would have never imagined,” he said. “It’s a different sort of lifestyle.”

The 29-year-old said he surrounded himself with music, took part in various rap groups and launched a solo career before ever realizing his love for the technical aspects of recording.

He found his passion for the engineering world of music when he picked up “Mixing and Pro Tools 101,” written by a teacher at Full Sail University. He knew then that this was the type of work he wanted to pursue after teaching himself straight out of the textbook.

With these newfound skills, he set out to make a career of mixing and mastering, receiving his bachelor’s degree in music business and his associate in recording and engineering from Full Sail.

He moved to Atlanta, where he was fully introduced to the industry as an intern at Tree Sound Studios. The first artist Carter worked with was Killer Mike, one half of the group Run The Jewels, who came in two weeks after Carter started at Tree Sounds Studios.

“It was such a blessing for me to be doing what I was doing,” he said.

He packed his bags and set out for Arizona in March 2013. He opened a studio in a penthouse at the West 6th apartments. Carter then met Jordan Milkie, and the two opened their own studio after realizing their shared interests and goals.

613 Wax Studios was born and has now been open for business for nearly two months at 613 S. Central Ave. The studio has drawn attention from the music world as it continues to expand its clientele and influence in the Phoenix area.

“I came to him as an artist at first — I didn’t even know who he was completely,” said long-time friend and business partner, Jonathan “Gift” Oliver. “He just engineered a couple tracks and I thought he was dope and from there it was a match made in heaven.”

With a team of highly skilled professionals, Carter manages a tightly run business and an even more tight-knit working family. Members of the studio range from Carter’s long-time friend “Gift” to two-time Grammy-Award winning Fernando Press.

“The most rewarding part is dealing with Parish every day, going through daily studio duties, building clients and bringing new clients into the studio,” said fellow sound engineer Fernando Press.

With a book in his line of sight and a few other projects, the future is looking bright and the opportunities endless for Carter.

“I want to move my focus less from engineering and mixing to songwriting and publishing,” he said.

Since opening 613 Wax Studios, Carter has developed and maintained relationships with multiple artists including Roscoe Dash. There is no end in sight for Carter and his fast-growing business.

“I want (artists) to feel at home — a family type situation,” Carter said. “I want people to not want to leave.”

Correction: November 16, 2015: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Roscoe Dash was from Arizona. He is from Arkansas.

Contact the reporter at Sydney.Abeyta@asu.edu.