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Clavette

Production Certificate

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 started producing music when I was 17 years old and I’ve been wildly obsessed ever since I picked up my copy of FL Studio way back when. What drew me in was hearing Daft Punk’s ‘Alive 2007’ album that a friend played for me. I had always been a giant consumer of music, having already gathered a large catalogue of Rock, Soul, Folk, Hip Hop, and R&B music, but I never had the desire to learn how that music was made until I heard the textures and soundscapes that ‘Alive 2007’ presented to me. For the first time in my musical life, I was obsessed with creating something of my own, and thus, began a nearly two decades of experimentation, failure, success, and discovery [that’s a pun 😉 ] into electronic music and French House.

Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in anyway?

Absolutely, and Pete and Ben picked that out immediately. My reference tracks all had that ‘Disco’ element to it and they really pushed me to explore that more. It had been so long since I really embraced those early curiosities of French House, that upon further internal exploration, I realised it was all coming from those obsessions of swirling disco samples and syncopated bass lines that is French House.

What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?

The arrangement module was fascinating to watch as Ben took this short loop and turned it into a living, breathing record in just a short amount of time. I think the speed at which he worked really inspired me to ‘write drunk and edit sober’ as they say in creative expressions so often. That really opened my eyes.

How important was the A&R feedback throughout your journey?

Wildly important. To have the former lead A&R at Toolroom and one of Toolroom’s star artists critiquing and encouraging my creative choices really helped me refine the track into something that would catch a label’s ear.

Ben certainly showed me some new tricks that I still use to this day.

How happy were you with the track you made over the course of the 3 months?

I was really proud of the track when I finished it. It also got quite the reaction from the Toolroom guest A&R who sat in during the playbacks. Ultimately, it wasn’t signed, but it affirmed to me that my musical inspiration and skill was at a point to get noticed and turn this project into something.

What do you think was unique or different about the Production Certificate compared to other programmes/schools out there?

I think completing a record by the end of the course really puts the foundational lessons into practice immediately. I think also setting goals like that for a course, no matter the skill level, is very daunting at the beginning for some people, but it really creates a sense of urgency to complete the weekly lessons and drop all of the detail work that doesn’t quite matter till the song is written and requiring those details.

How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?

For me, I had already been successful as a producer in the music industry before the course, but I felt that for this style of music, my understanding of sound selection and arrangement had been massively put into overdrive. It felt like that scene in the Matrix where Neo is uploaded with all of the relevant fighting styles in an instant. That’s how I felt about House / Tech House after finishing this course.

Has your ability on Logic/Ableton improved since you’ve taken the course?

Ben certainly showed me some new tricks that I still use to this day, but my understanding of both programs was rather advance before the course.

He basically was blown away and said that the record was easily amongst some of the records they would sign to the label.

Did you manage to connect and built relationships with other students on the course?

YES! and still am connecting with those artists. I’ve collaborated with a handful of student and have even signed some Toolroom Academy alumni records to my own label, Top Shelf Disco.

How would you rate your tutors?

Top notch, easy going, and always energetic and positive. Ben and Pete are absolutely a treat to have been mentored by for 3 months.

What was the single best experience you had on the programme?

I mentioned it briefly earlier, but probably the reaction of the guest A&R at the end of the course to my record. He basically was blown away and said that the record was easily amongst some of the records they would sign to the label. That moment had me so excited and proud of what I had worked for over the course.

Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?

Absolutely, and to all skill levels. I can attest, there is something to learn from anyone taking this course, regardless of where you are at in your production journey.

As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?

Family; TA is a family of like minded artists and creatives, all dancing to the rhythm of House music and it’s offshoot genres. It’s a place to learn, grow, and discover your inner artist and sound. <3

Production Certificate
Our flagship programme. Embark on an intensive 12 week journey, that takes you step-by-step through the essentials of building a credible and relevant track to a professional standard. Enjoy continuous A&R feedback and mentorship throughout the course.
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