Austin music producer offers free studio time to create songs about El Paso shooting

Charles Godfrey grew up in El Paso and started his music career there working at Sonic Ranch Studios for 13 years. He has since opened his own studio in Austin at Mosaic Sound Collective. 

When he heard about the shooting in his home town, he wanted to do something to help. “This is what I can do from over here being from over there,” Godfrey said.  

The record producer felt a flood of emotions when he found out his hometown was targeted. One thought in particular really stood out. “How can I just be quiet here?” said Godfrey.  

Instead of being quiet, Godfrey decided it was time to turn up the volume on a conversation he feels is long overdue. “What I'm initially trying to do is just get people's voices heard about the pain and the solidarity, but also the comments that need to be made, the conversations that need to be had. That's one of the most important parts of this because we've rolled over too many times on these shootings,” Godfrey said.  

With 17 years of experience working in music in El Paso and Austin, he orchestrated a plan. 

“Just like a photographer would take a picture of a moment, I do that with audio,” said Godfrey. 

Godfrey is offering free recording sessions and sound mixing to five artists or bands who want to document what happened in El Paso in the corrido style he grew up hearing at the grocery store. “It is about a very strong moment that happened, and they would document it through music,” Godfrey said.  

His deal, posted online, struck a chord with the music community all over the country.

Without skipping a beat, other industry professionals jumped on board to provide their skills in mastering and distribution. “What I am trying to do is get the voices heard as loud as possible of the people who are affected mostly of this,” said Godfrey. 

Already musicians of all genres from Texas, Connecticut, Tennessee and Mexico have applied. 

“A lot of them, most of them, are from El Paso because that's where the source of pain is at right now and that's where artistry comes from is internal emotion,” Godfrey said.   

All of them hoping to hit the right note with listeners and make a difference before tragedy strikes again. Submissions will be accepted online until August 26.

The five new songs will be released as a downloadable EP by the end of September. Proceeds from the sales of that EP will benefit relief efforts in El Paso.