When it comes to sound and technology, Dan Lehrich is a pioneer.
While studying classical music at School for the Arts at Boston University, Dan discovered a passion for making music with computers. He became a full-on convert after transferring to Berklee and, upon receiving his degree in music synthesis, moved to L.A. to take a job making sounds for games like Shrek the Third, Sopranos, and Napoleon Dynamite. Dan quickly moved into other roles as first a Game Designer and then a Creative Lead for an independent game developer. When Activision acquired that company, he shifted into a Creative Director position with Guitar Hero. After taking some time for himself to create a music remix app called DimSong—a finalist in the SXSW Music Tech Accelerator—Dan moved to Disney where he was the Senior Producer of Mobile for the Disney Infinity franchise, overseeing the entirety of their mobile business.
All this time, Dan and his wife Kayla Morrisey, a Sullivan’s Island native, were trying to figure out how to move to Charleston. For a long time he couldn’t see a way to live here and keep working in the digital video and music field. Then, it happened. “When I started getting serious about Charleston I realized there was a viable tech scene,” Dan says. He and Kayla packed up and never looked back.
“Life has certain arcs, and there are only certain moments when everything lines up and you can move across the country,” he says. “Some opportunities are now or never. We went for it. I love living here.”
Today Dan works remotely as the Vice President of Creative for WeMash, an L.A. startup that is making it possible for people to legally use video samples in new creations. WeMash aims to do for the video industry what music sampling did for the music industry. “There are a lot of creatives in this town,” he says. “It’s very satisfying to be around those kind of people.”
Dan is a cornerstone of DIG SOUTH’s new gaming forums and is an evangelist for moving tech businesses to Charleston. “I’m hoping other people are willing to do the crazy thing we did and move here. If we’re an example, that’s great. This is a viable place for creativity and tech to exist, and I love the direction the city is heading. If I can be a part of that wave, that’s awesome."
Words by Robin Howard