When Asaf Fulks ’04 received his roommate assignment at Denison, he didn’t just get someone who shared his room; he found a friend who shared his love for music. “Silvino Andrade [’04] and I just clicked,” he recalls. “We downloaded the program Fruity Loops for creating music and built a recording booth in the closet.” The two eventually formed the rap group known as NTBF (Not To Be Forgotten) and even won the Battle of the Bands competition at school. “Yeah, we had a lot of fun,” he says. “Those days really pushed me forward.”
Armed with a degree in computer science in 2004, Asaf was off to Southern California, where his mother lived, and began working with a book publisher. And, once again, he took over the space to record. “The back office was storage for book pallets, but the upstairs wasn’t being used,” he says, “so they let me set up shop, and eventually I took over the entire space.”
From that one room, he became the entrepreneur he is today, the founder of The OC Recording Company, a record label, music publisher, and recording studio. He has film and TV credits and has worked with artists from Meghan Trainor to Danielle Fishel, a cast member of Girl Meets World. “I was mixing and mastering for Meghan Trainor when she was still writing songs for other artists,” he says. “One day you get feedback from her and the next you look up and see her at the top of the charts! It’s inspiring!”
But Fulks had a taste of his own breakout moments. He produced the music for a track, Break Out, performed by the band My Hero. The cello-opera-rap compilation became the theme song for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Clippers. He jokes that the latter improved because of his music. “Hey, their stats seemed to get better,” he says with a laugh. In 2012, he was named a voting member of the Grammys, and that same year, he became certified in Avid Pro Tools/Waves and received a U.S. patent for microphone stand technology.
And Fulks isn’t keeping the secrets of his success. In 2013 he started his own audio engineering and music production school, IN THE STUDIO, accredited by the NPSAG, and authored his own textbook, The Studio: Audio Engineering and Music Production Techniques. Many of his students have gone on to successful careers, and some of his graduates have stayed to work for him. “I teach them all the things I didn’t know, so hopefully they can have an easier time,” he says. “Not that the music business is easy; it is extremely competitive, but having an edge helps.”
Fulks is now ready to journey further into his own recording career. In 2016 he released several original music videos from his solo album THE OC EXPRESS, which he wrote, composed, performed, recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced. He was named “Producer of the Year” by Now Hip Hop Magazine, and he recently enrolled in Taft University’s law school to study entertainment law. But he won’t let his music career fade away. “I have more music of my own that I want to share, and now I feel more confident as a performer,” he says. “You spend time around incredible artists, and you hope some of it will rub off. I saw what can happen from that little recording booth in a dorm,” he says. “Dreams become a reality when you give it your all to make it happen.”