Tell us about your production journey so far – how long have you been producing? And what drew you to it in the first place?
I have been producing for about 6 years but I have always been drawn to music, it’s a big part of who I am. I was previously a classically trained singer and have sung so many different genres of music. I became interested in dance music when other producers would ask me to sing on their tracks. I was also performing at events in NYC and eventually started DJ’ing in all the major venues. I quickly realized that if you wanted a career in this you had to be able to create a brand through original music. I started taking online courses to learn about production and throughout the years was able to develop my sound as an artist.
Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in any way?
The first week really helped me realize what kind of music I wanted to create and how to select sound choices that can resonate with who you are. It helped me look at myself as a brand and also realized what kind of message I wanted to convey through my music. I truly believe this is the one if the key steps towards becoming a successful artist.
What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?
“Identifying and creating your hooks” was one of the modules that really stood out. It really made me realize the importance of creating memorable chords and vocals. It is these parts in the record that listeners will remember and get attached too! Although it was challenging at first to find the perfect vocal hook through sampling, I was able to do it with the help of my tutors.
How important was the A&R feedback throughout your journey?
It was so important! The feedback I received was a total game changer. It gave me insight to how A&Rs scout for talent and what they are looking for in a track.
Every label is different and Toolroom has a very specific sound. With their help and guidance, I was able to see very clearly on what I needed to improve on and also realized how sometimes I was over-complicating things!
Their feedback was essential to creating a unique and polished track, that would stand out and captivate the listener.
How happy were you with the track you made over the course of the 3 months?
I was actually really proud of it! I created something that I would love to listen to on Spotify or in a club. I wanted my track to make people to feel happy and uplifted especially since these past 2 years have been challenging too so many of us. I wanted to create something special that contains a message of hope and positivity.
What do you think was unique or different about the Production Certificate compared to other programmes/schools out there?
First of all, it’s the only course I have taken that is specifically geared towards house music. It’s also the only course that has both feedback from your tutor and an A&R from the label. It’s also very unique as it has a very specific way to structure your workflow, and this makes a huge difference in terms of creative output.
How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?
I am able to be more productive with my time and I did learn a workflow that allows you to finish a house track a lot quicker without getting stuck.
Has your ability on Logic/Ableton improved since you’ve taken the course?
Yes. I did learn some pretty cool tricks that were very useful in LogicPro X.
Did you manage to connect and built relationships with other students on the course?
The Facebook group was really helpful and everyone in class was very open to interact.
How would you rate your tutors?
Amazing! They have been in the industry for a while and it’s such a blessing to be able to learn from such seasoned professionals. I’d say their advice was very helpful and really help me grow as an artist. The help me realize my potential and what makes me unique. The encouraged me to take those steps to get my music to the next level. Both Ben Keen and Pete Griffiths offer so much insight into what it requires to be a sucessful artist.
What was the single best experience you had on the programme?
The final A&R feedback. It was so great to hear everyone’s tracks and to be able to share your music in such a positive environment.
Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?
Yes, 100%. You’ll get so much out of it!
As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?
It’s been such a great experience! I was able to connect with some amazing mentors and also with other students that have similar goals and dreams. I am so grateful I was able to be a part of it.