It was a new venue and a new month for the Pensado Awards, as the sold-out event “recognizing the faces behind the sound” held its fourth annual awards ceremony on December 3 at the historic Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.
Mixer Chris Lord-Alge, co-host along with Kosine and Samantha Maloney, made a grand entrance with his family in tow, including brothers Jeff and Tom.
“We’re celebrating the most important Lord-Alge on the Pensado Awards event which is Vivian,” Lord-Alge said, in reference to his mother. “Today she turns 88, and 88 is a big number for a keyboard player. Since she’s a piano player and jazz singer, we’re celebrating in a big way.” During the show, Roland presented her with a gift of a Roland FP-90.
Producer-artist-engineer Gregg Wells was honored with the Giant Award, but pre-show he told Mix, “They have the wrong guy. That’s honestly how I feel and I told them that from the beginning. It’s ridiculously humbling and a huge honor. It’s a dream come true.”
Wells received his honor from the man who gave him his first big break and became his manager, Miles Copeland, famed founder of IRS Records. Copeland spoke of how Wells’ project crossed his desk with all instruments played by Wells, including vocals. It was engineered and produced by him, as well.
Wells, who had just wrapped up work on The Greatest Showman, showed his prowess on drums playing along with a bassist and tracks; he then gave a stunning, heartfelt speech. He choked back tears as he spoke about his grandmother who grew up in a small fishing village “somewhere in Newfoundland” and how she gave him the key to music.
President of 1500 or Nothin’ James Fauntleroy was on hand to receive the Break Thru Songwriter award despite an illness that took his voice. He whispered his gratitude into the mic and the show displayed a video about 1500 or Nothin’, a collection of music makers of all kinds and the evening’s premier sponsor.
In an “Oh, my God” moment, David Platillero (who goes by the stage name David Francisco) walked to the stage to announce the Oh My God Mix Award. Platillero is the young student who was hit by a car while bicycling to the Blackbird Academy in Nashville and was told he’d never walk again. Last year the awards show raised money to help with his bills; this year Platillero spoke about how grateful he is to the music community before announcing Jaycen Joshua as the award winner for “Despacito.”
Joshua said that at one point he didn’t have a cent to his name, and then he echoed the sentiments of many as he thanked the awards show’s namesake, saying, “Dave Pensado took me in and literally taught me everything I know, because I didn’t know shit.”