Elmo Arteaga | About
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Elmo Arteaga

I listen to music to feel something but I make music to share my feelings with someone else.

© Josh Thomas Photography 2015

My name is Emilio but all my friends call me “Elmo.” I ask a lot of questions and probably drink too much black coffee. I’m also a classically trained multi-instrumentalist who loves making records and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some of Southern California’s most talented musicians. Though I am considered an artist, truthfully I see myself more as an “artist’s artist” simply because I work with musicians, producers, and artists of all types to help bring their artistic visions to life. To accomplish that I do a number of different things, the most important being that I know how to listen very carefully.


I got my start in music through the beautiful sound of a Grand Piano, taking performance music classes at the age of 4. After a few years, I learned to play a number of different instruments and joined small youth orchestras to keep in constant practice. That taught me not only how to play my instrument in harmony with other people but also how to listen to exactly what was changing in the music as more people were added into the mix of things. Following that, in my early teenage years I began playing electric guitar and fell in love with the intensity and ferocity of a Punk Rock band.

Over the following years I played in a number of local San Diego bands and went on self-booked tours around the United States, performing to crowds as little as 5 people and as large as 1,000 people! I’ve since taken a step back from performing in a band of my own and have begun writing music for my own practice while soliciting my performance services to groups that may need a member for a tour, or one-off show.


Parallel with my career as a musician, I had been building my business as a freelance Audio Engineer. Becoming interested in pro audio at the age of 9, I was asking a lot of questions that no one around me had the answers to: “who made this CD,” “how am I listening to someone else’s idea,” “what does it cost to make a record,” etc. Since nobody in my immediate surroundings could answer my questions, I took it upon myself to find the answers and I quickly realized that there was no one way to make a hit record. To this day that idea inspires me to continue learning and growing, and it gives me hope to the future of music.

© AnaBee Photography 2014
© Native Giants Photography 2015

Aside from my record producing, I am also a Front of House Engineer for touring and non-touring musicians. Through that, I’ve seen incredible parts of the world and built strong relationships with record labels, managers and concert venues alike. When I’m not on the road, I work at San Diego’s legendary Punk Rock venue SOMA, where bands like Blink 182, Stone Temple Pilots, and Unwritten Law cut their teeth and began building their local fanbase. I also work for a pro audio web-show called Pro Studio Live as an educator and productions assistant, organizing duties and personnel, alongside creating materials to help budding engineers (much like myself at age 9) to learn the things that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn when I was younger. With both of these facets of my career, I feel equally as passionate about them as I do my record producing because they represent self-expression, community and education just the same as making music does.


If you want to know more about what I do, follow my social media accounts, click below to View My Work or, if you’re interested in booking, feel free to Get In Touch With Me!