Doug Organ

Top 40 Under 40 2017

Photography Aaron Pedersen

Age: 36

Job Title: Producer and recording engineer at Edmontone Studio; musician

Why He’s Top 40: As a musician hired to back up local acts and marquee attractions, and as a producer behind a console, he’s always supporting artists in one way or another

Ask any kid who’s ever been seduced enough by the grunge movement to pick up a guitar whether a chance to work with Steve Albini – the production genius behind records by the likes of Nirvana, the Pixies and Iggy Pop – would be a career highlight. A resounding “yes!” would be the obvious response.

To Doug Organ, who scored the chance to intern with Albini three years ago in France after landing a spot on the international Mix with the Masters program, that experience would be right up there. But higher in his docket of musical memories would be working with fellow Edmontonians such as Christian Hansen and Juno-winning saxophonist P.J. Perry.

“I think it’s a fantastically talented city,” says Organ. “It might be a geographic and a weather thing where there’s nothing to do but practice all winter. I don’t know if there’s something in the water, but we’ve got more than our share of world-class musicians.”

World-class doesn’t even begin to summarize Organ’s achievements, which include touring North America with the Wet Secrets, playing annually with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival house band, producing sessions at the studio the Beatles made famous, Abbey Road, playing with members of the Supremes, and recording with triple-platinum singer and Edmontonian Ruth B. But Organ remains grounded as a proud Edmontonian who’s generously given back to MacEwan University, where he got the credentials to help him push his way towards the big time.

“It seemed like I could make a difference in a young musician’s career and life,” says Organ who established the Edmontone Studio award at his alma mater, which annually offers a monetary scholarship to a promising upstart. “That’s been a joy, to get a letter from a singer or instrumentalist who could really use the money.”

With nary a hint of bravado in his voice, Organ says he feels lucky every time he gets to work on a music project. “I get to work in a playground where I get to play shows and record bands. There are so many worse ways to make a living.”

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