“I started doing my own songs here and there,” said Mendoza, 18, who recently graduated from the San Antonio School for Inquiry and Creativity, a charter arts school on the city’s north central side. “I wanted to be a DJ, but really didn’t know how to do that.”
It was during his junior and senior years studying sound production at SASIC that Mendoza began to hone his craft and meet professionals in the industry. His talent has led him to a second consecutive invite to Grammy Camp at the end of the month. The camp is a nine-day residential program for selected high school students interested in a career in music. Mendoza was the only student chosen from Texas this year to attend the camp in Brooklyn.
During his time at SASIC, Mendoza took a number of audio classes, including advanced production, where he was able to see how much effort goes into creating sound for major films like Transformers
“We would take a movie scene and strip all the audio and do all the sound effects ourselves,” Mendoza explained. “I really learned a lot about the fundamentals of sound design.”
Mendoza also got the opportunity to work with local bands and attend gigs at Sam’s Burger Joint with his SASIC audio production teacher Art Guillermo Jr., who is active in the San Antonio music scene.
“Tristan is very passionate about what he wants to do and he goes above and beyond,” Guillermo said. “It’s easy to talk about live sound, but it’s not until you’re sitting there and everything is clicking that you realize how fast-paced it really is. Now he has that experience.”
It’s that real-world experience behind the scenes in the music industry that Mendoza hopes will lead him to his own major projects. Next year, his plans are to start college at Northwest Vista to study sound engineering and music. One day, he said he would love to work with music producer and DJ Porter Robinson.
“I’ve had certain songs change my life before,” Mendoza said. “At the end of the day, I want to make something that could make at least one person feel something special.”
For an example of the music Mendoza creates, visit his Soundcloud page here
or click on the tracks below.
Tristan Mendoza was in the 7th grade the first time he heard a Daft Punk album. It was then when he realized what he wanted to pursue music as a career.