The Vocal Company Blog

Jacob Tourjeman: Expecting the Unexpected 

Posted by AJ Marino on Apr 3, 2018 4:23:00 PM

When Jacob Tourjeman takes on a project, he studies, practices, and puts his whole heart into it until it comes out better than you could have ever imagined. Well, he's humble, so he wouldn't tell you that, but if you've heard his work you'll understand what I mean. 

When Jacob started music directing the Acaphiliacs, he knew he wanted to make them great, but he had no idea how big of a role a cappella would come to play in his life. If you competed against Jacob at any point in his ICCA tenure, then you're familiar with his ability to bring out moments in an arrangement and play up a group's strengths. He took the Acaphiliacs from the newer group on the block at FSU to taking first place at quarterfinals against all their peers. His arrangements have been CARA nominated (and winning) since he started....his first studio project with the Acaphiliacs earned Best Debut Album and won him a CARA for his arrangement of Chandelier. 


Jacob always knew he loved production, but getting involved in a cappella production was a bit of an unexpected surprise. "In college I studied commercial music, so I knew that I'd be going into some type of music production after I graduated, and I was already spending all of my time doing a cappella, so I guess it just happened naturally. My group was recording with Dave and Angela at the time and I was super inspired by them, and eventually was able to get a production internship with TVC." says Jacob.

And he made the most of that internship. After ending the summer, he became the only intern to join the team full time, becoming an "apprentice" of sorts to Dave Longo. It was here that started to discover his sound as a producer. 

"Being Dave's assistant for the last year, I would say that I've been influenced a lot by his style. I use Michael Brauer's method of mixing like he does, which leads to mixes that are really "loud" and have a lot of energy. Because of my experience as an arranger, I love adding in produced elements that feel like they're missing in the mix as well as really filling out the drums to make a full sound. I'm still working on my distinctive style, but I like to think of myself as someone who will surprise you, and not give you exactly what you thought you were going to get." 


Jacob certainly does have the power to surprise us with the power of his moments - and he doesn't just stick to one kind of sound. His first project post-internship brought us an iconic aca-powerhouse collab with his "Muses Medley," earning him his first CARA for a solo project. We were all eagerly awaiting his next project, but in the meantime, begged him to do an arrangement for Next Level in the summer of 2017. We expected something cute and fun, but what we got was a powerful rendition of a musical theatre hit that helped every single singer discover something new within themselves.  


Oh, and did we mention Jacob also staged and produced that entire music video? Yeah, he just *does* things like that because he is so passionate about growing himself as an artist. He is one of the only people I know who actively spends hours reading manuals for sound and video equipment, and is always watching some new tutorial on color correction or drum production in his free time. He gets that element of surprise in his projects from his dedication to honing his craft, and he gives it all back to the singers and artists he works with. 

When asked for his favorite memory of producing this past year, he highlights his time working with Nick Johnson's Take Two in Kentucky. "This is one of those projects where I did all the tracking, editing, and mixing myself, and I felt very connected to the process. Tracking "Boy's In The Street" was one of the most emotional experiences I've had as a producer, and it reminded me of the humanity and connection that can be brought out in a cappella music."

We've learned to expect the unexpected from Jacob so I was curious to know what his focus was for 2018. 

"Personally, I want to put out more projects where I can dive head first and really impart some of myself onto. I find that those end up being the best things that I put out. I'd love to work with more passionate high school groups (you guys are the best!). I'd also like to work on a project that is doing something really cool and unique, like partnering with their schools auditioned choir, or a gospel choir, or Gamelan ensemble...or something of the sort. I want to expand what we mean when we say "a cappella" beyond the typical collegiate a cappella scene." 


Can't get enough of Jacob's work? Neither can we! Check out "No Tears Left to Cry," opb. Ariana Grande, featuring production by Jacob, Angela Longo, Hannah Tobias, and the students of #NLPRODUCE 2018!



Topics: CARA, arranging, Fam Feature