Leandro Quezada, Sound Recording Technology with a minor in Latin American Studies
Hometown: Guayaquil, Ecuador
“To be a successful producer and not simply a technician, you must also be an artist.”
Leandro chose UMass Lowell after conducting exhaustive research online from his home in Ecuador. Having fallen in love with the physics of sound in high school, he sought a high-caliber program for audio engineering in the U.S. or Europe. He was impressed by the history of success and obvious rigor of the sound recording technology program at UMass Lowell. The only hitch was the required audition, since he didn’t play an instrument. “I had a guitar, so I found a teacher and said, ‘You have to teach me how to play these songs in the next two months,’” says Leandro, who worked hard and passed the audition.
The performance aspect of his major became a turning point in his life. A former DJ, Leandro has loved developing the tools to explore songwriting on his own. “When I arrived, I liked music but did not think I had the aptitude for it,” he says. “Now, I am a Latin American singer-songwriter because I came to UMass Lowell. I am so grateful for what I have been given here.” Leandro is particularly grateful for the professors he’s had who appreciate the effort he puts into making up for his lack of prior musical training. “There is plenty of help available if you are willing to do the work,” he explains.
Another source of inspiration is Leandro’s minor in Latin American Studies, which he describes as “a guided exploration of my own background.” As a result, he is developing informed opinions about politics and the economic situation in his country and has become passionate about Latin American culture. For Leandro, art and science are perfectly balanced in his life. “Art educates the spirit. It allows for self-expression and can change people’s lives,” he says. “And for me, the science and mathematics way of thinking is like taking my brain to the gym. I love it.”