Mike Dean Mastered ‘Watch the Throne’ With One Ear - DJBooth

Mike Dean Shares Story of Eardrum Breaking During Kanye West Live Show

“Kanye went, ‘Sky high!’ real loud and I hit this note on the guitar and all the overtones of it…”
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Mike Dean Shares Story of Eardrum Breaking During Kanye West Live Show

Mike Dean is a legendary producer and engineer with multiple GRAMMYs to his name, and apparently, some wounds from the battlefield as well. In a new interview with Pensado’s Place, Dean revealed that he had his eardrum blown out during a Kanye West concert, and it did little to stop his career.

“Yeah, I’ve had an eardrum break before,” Dean said. “I was onstage and we were playing ‘Touch the Sky’ and Kanye went, ‘Sky high!’ real loud and I hit this note on the guitar and all the overtones of it [simulates sound of eardrum bursting]... I mastered Watch the Throne with one ear. My hearing was like a blown speaker when the bass plays [simulates sound of broken speaker], just weird as shit.”

As it seems, Mike Dean can do anything. Coming back from any scope of ear injury in music, especially at the caliber and with the volume of work Dean does, is no easy feat. Apart from talent, physical endurance, too, is key to a lasting career.

This year alone, Mike Dean has worked on projects from Kanye, Kanye and Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, Pusha-T, Migos, Beyoncé and JAY-Z, Nas, Teyana Taylor, Christina Aguilera, and Desiigner. Nearly a decade removed from the incident with Kanye, his ear seems to be working just fine.

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