It all started with a feeling. Long-time music engineer Kenny Riley and musician/entrepreneur Drew Newman met by chance while Drew was in the Albuquerque area and immediately knew that they would one day work together. At the time, Drew was playing with an LA-based band and Kenny was working as an engineer on various local and national projects. They both have California roots—Kenny was raised in Compton and Drew was raised in Bakersfield and currently resides in Malibu. But, somehow the lure of the southwest brought them together.
“We believe the sound comes from the ground,” says Riley. “It kind of a hippie-thing.” This ethos paired with a strong connection to the southwestern soil in the North Valley of Albuquerque led to the duo purchasing a 300 year-old adobe house that became their studio.
Rio Grande Studios has an impressive list of clients, including Netflix, Disney +, and Lionsgate. Yet, their passion comes from creating music with artists from the region that can extract the sound from underneath their feet along the bosque of the Rio Grande.