With American Idol going on in Hollywood, talent from across the country is on display. But you would never suspect that one of the music industry's most gifted and sought after men is from right here in West Michigan.
Bill Chrysler has worked with some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Christina, Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney, just to name a few. He even mixed audio for Rehana's Grammy appearance last Sunday.
Not bad for a guy who grew up 2,000 miles from Hollywood. Bill Chrysler's career has spanned 30 years and he's mixed audio for some of the best.
"All last year I was with John Mayer... Mariah Carey... Van Morrison...Maroon 5... Madonna... Mary J Blige... Jessica Simpson. Way back I used to do Bon Jovi. I did the Slippery When Wet tour," said Chrysler, thinking back to the classic days of rock. "Oh man, it was huge. The Slippery When Wet tour was his first solo tour, and man, it was a sellout everywhere. It was pretty amazing; a lot of fun and that was when touring and rock music wasn't so political... It was a lot of fun back then."
On all these big-name tours Bill is the audio engineer.
"I actually mix the music live. Most of [the tours] I mix monitors. We have little speakers that fit in your ear, custom fit for your ear, and that's what the star hears and that's what I mix," Bill said.
He spent 10 years pumping beats into the very famous and very talented ear of Christina Aguilera.
"She has such an amazing voice... I've been working with her since she was a teenager," said Bill.
When asked what he thought of Aguilera's recent Super Bowl appearance where she sang "What so proudly we watched" instead of the correct National Anthem lyric "O're the ramparts we watched," Bill had only a laugh and a joking remark:
"Probably should have practiced it I guess," he said with a laugh.
Though Bill's music has gone hand in hand with dozens of famous voices, one rings clearer for him than all the rest. That voice belongs to The Beatles' own Paul McCartney.
"I really enjoyed working with Paul McCartney. I had told some of the people [who work with McCartney] that I wanted to work with Paul. I got a call out of the blue that he was going to do a benefit and they needed a guy to mix his sound. So I went in, we met, we got along, I did the show, then I left. Then a few days later I got a call from his tour manager saying 'the boss wants you back.' That's good," Bill said.
He's also worked with American Idol's own Jennifer Lopez and has enjoyed watching her this season on the show.
"I think it's pretty neat. I really like Jennifer. She does a lot. She started out as a dancer and then tried doing her music thing and has been getting a little bit better every time I see her," said Chysler.
While loves his job Bill said he's gone too much; 10 months last year alone. Now, he's building his own studio at his home in Grand Haven. The next phase of his career will be bringing Hollywood home.
"I'm trying to tap into West Michigan music. I think Michigan has always been a hot spot for music since way back in the Motown days and I want to tap into that again.
As for those who want to follow in Bill's rather large footsteps, he also has some very simple advice.
"If you can actually get into the business with a little band, or ya know, start playing out anywhere, do that."
After mixing audio for Rehana at the Grammy's, Bill will spend the next few weeks on tour with her in Australia.