I was lucky to have my brother Stuart tenaciously calling them on my behalf – but more often that not, we were met with a brick wall of silence, and phone calls went unreturned. That was one of the reasons we set up Toolroom in the first place – to act as a home for my own productions, and eventually other artists too.
When we launched the Toolroom Academy at the end of 2015, the aim was to break down that same wall that still exists between new talent and record labels. Initially, this was a case of showing how our own artists make their music – giving previously unseen, behind-the-scenes access to the studios of some incredible acts.
The next step was to take this idea on the road. Toolroom Academy Live debuted at Amsterdam Dance Event, and has since appeared in cities across the world. We invited artists to give live seminars, and even more importantly, invited new producers to bring their demos to us for feedback.
What astounded us at these events was both the quality of the music – in fact, we met and signed our new roster artist Wheats at such an event – but also the sheer passion and thirst for knowledge amongst the producer community.
That’s why we set up the next phase in the Toolroom Academy – our Masterclass programme. Based in New York, Los Angeles and London, these 1-1 mentoring courses were designed to take the most passionate, committed new artists we could find, and give them as much production, marketing and industry knowledge as we could.
Through this, we’ve met some amazing people and seen some great success. Our students have had BBC Radio 1 plays, been signed to our album projects and other labels, and most importantly learned a great deal and had a lot of fun in the process.
We know that not everyone has the opportunity to attend these mentoring programmes – which is why we’re excited about our new online programme. Taking the essence of our Masterclass programme, the new Toolroom Academy Production Certificate is a three-month, intensive online programme delivered by Ben Remember. One of our newest artists on the roster, I can say Ben’s one of the strongest producers in the game right now, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from him.
In many ways Toolroom’s success is built on the DJ and producer community. We’ve been supported by you guys since day one. I hope this new website shows the importance we place as a record label in providing you with the best quality resources and education to further your own ambitions as artists.
I’m often asked secret of my success over the years. And I can honestly say there’s no magic formula, or anything different about me than any other aspiring artist. It all boils down to your commitment – if you really want something enough, you will do whatever it takes to get there.
With the Toolroom Academy, we wanted to create as many opportunities for new artists as possible. Be it production courses, sample packs, mastering, the DJ school or our live events, you can get involved and unlock your creativity.