The unrivalled status of producer Timbaland is built on a hand–picked team of engineers, mixers and producers. For the mix of his hit single ‘The Way I Are’, he turned to Marcella Araica.

Indisputably the biggest hitmaker of the 21st century so far, producer Tim ‘Timbaland’ Moseley made a serious push for world domination as an artist in his own right, with his second solo album Shock Value. It featured, among many others, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott, The Hives, Fall Out Boy and Elton John. Among the hit singles the album has spawned is ‘The Way I Are’. Featuring singer Keri Hilson and rapper DOE, it is driven by an arpeggiated synth line and Timbaland’s trademark heavy–but–spacious drums.

Like several other tracks on Shock Value, ‘The Way I Are’ was mixed by Marcella Araica, one of a small band of engineers, mixers and producers that Timbaland regularly employs. Others include mixer Jimmy Douglass (who featured in Inside Track in July 2007), engineer/mixer Demacio ‘Demo’ Castelleon, and producer, keyboardist and programmer Danjahandz, better known simply as Danja. Despite having had to overcome music industry resistance to women behind the mixing desk, Araica has worked with several notable artists as an engineer and a mixer, among them Missy Elliott, the Pussycat Dolls, Jamie Foxx, Nelly Furtado, Britney Spears and, of course, Timbaland.

“I’ve worked with Tim for five years now, and it’s probably the biggest gift I’ve ever encountered,” comments Araica, speaking from Danja’s room at Hit Factory Studios in Miami. “When I started, Demo basically took me under his wing, and I learned so much from him that I consider him one of my mentors. Right from the beginning I knew I wanted to mix, and I got my answers as to what mixing is from watching Jimmy when I was assisting him. As far as Shock Value is concerned, Tim said that he wanted Demo and I to mix half of it each. The recording and mixing was spread out over some time, and was creative and hilarious. Tim’s very comical, and all the funny voices that he does are spontaneous. They come out as part of a vibe, and he goes with it. That’s part of his genius. His suggestive talking at the end of ‘Scream’, for instance, was recorded while I was already mixing that track, and was completely improvised! I was on the floor laughing.”