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’ve been producing for over 5 years now. All started at university where I was studying in an engineering school in Toulouse, France. I used to play for student parties quite often and I loved to play music and see people share their energy and happiness. So I asked myself a very simple question: “How great would it be if you played your own music?”. I bought Ableton and I started making music! This is how my production journey started.
Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in anyway?
Yes, it helped me to see what kind of sound I wanted and where I wanted to be in the music industry because there is a lot of different styles. We all started making music by passion but it’s important to also ask yourself how to go further as a producer and Week 1 was all about that.
What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?
“Writing an original bassline” and “Working with vocals” are the modules I loved the most. I really wanted to know how to design a bass and Dean showed us some awesome tricks! We also learnt a lot about how to use vocals for our track, definitely a must to have when you start producing.
How important was the A&R feedback throughout your journey?
The A&R feedback was essential. When you submit a track to a label, the feedback is short because they don’t have time to do more. With Pete’s feedback, I was able to know the little things that I had to improve. Because, at the end, it’s all about details.
How happy were you with the track you made over the course of the 3 months?
I think I could do better to be honest but I was already very proud of my final work. I never released the track but it didn’t matter to me because the essential was to improve my production skills and that’s what I did!
What do you think was unique or different about the Creativity Unlocked compared to other programmes/schools out there?
The Toolroom Academy is the only music school I did so I could not compare with others. However, I wanted a school with a programme no longer than 6 months so the Creativity Unlocked was perfect. As I was already a big fan of Toolroom Records, the choice of the Toolroom Academy was quite logical for me.
How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?
When I started the course, I had some production skills that I learnt during my first 3 years as a producer, by watching Youtube videos, tutorials etc. My level wasn’t very bad but I missed a lot of knowledge and I knew it. After the course, everything changed. My workflow was a lot quicker thanks to the great help of Dean Ramirez and my ability to finish a track thanks to different knowledges became real. I did the course 3 years ago, and I still use a lot of techniques from this course.
Has your ability on Logic/Ableton improved since you’ve taken the course?
Without any doubt yes! Dean teaches us loads of little things during this course on Ableton. It was very useful because when you have an idea and you know your DAW, it is so gratifying to be able to transpose your idea on the computer quickly!
Did you manage to connect and build relationships with other students on the course?
Yes I did, and even more than I thought. For example, we have a lot of different groups on Facebook, WhatsApp where we share tracks, support each other or find someone to collaborate with. The Toolroom Family is amazingly helpful to meet producers.
How would you rate your tutors?
With my classmates from TA008, we called Pete and Dean the dream team teachers lol. Honestly, they were perfect. The course was clear, everything was structured and scheduled, they answered our emails when we needed some help and we laughed. Because you know, music is all about sharing right!
What was the single best experience you had on the programme?
The single best experience was the very last week: the A&R feedback session. Very stressful because all the students were listening to the track I worked on for 3 months, and very exciting because the Toolroom team gave me professional and honest feedback.
Would you recommend the Creativity Unlocked course to other producers?
I would and I already did. This course took me to another level and I’m sure it can also help a lot of producers. So when people asks me about it, I can do nothing but say “Go for it!”.
As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?
I only did one course at the Toolroom Academy but I have a lot of friends who did another course and their answer was all the same: this is a great music production school. The best proof is to see all the producers standing out there with quality releases.