Tell us about your production journey so far – how long have you been producing? What drew you to it in the first place?
I hadn’t done any production before this course, but I have followed Toolroom for as long as I can remember. After I had discovered this opportunity, I was eager to start my journey with the best. I was drawn into production after seeing many artists I know personally start creating great tracks and I knew with my creativity I could do the same.
What made you decide to enrol on the Production Certificate programme?
I always wanted to tap into my creative side and make great music that people will dance to. With and industry leading label like toolroom offering such a great opportunity at such a great price I knew I had to take it.
How easy/difficult was the enrolment process?
Really straight forward. The Toolroom academy were quick to answer any questions I had which made me feel super comfortable and reassured.
Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in any way?
Yes definitely, this was a very interesting lesson as it makes you think you as an artists and as a listener. It helps you realise why you enjoy the music you listen to and what specific sounds grab your attention.
What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?
I really enjoyed the fundamental lessons. The lessons explain why certain kick, bass and percussion sounds suit well with other choices of sounds. The second half of the course was well and truly fascinating as I got to see my ideas grow into a track. Another part I also enjoyed were the final two lessons where you got an insight into the music industry from Miles, Pete and Ben who are people who work in the industry.
How did you find the weekly assignment work? Did you find them challenging? Did the structure help? Was it an intense amount of work?
At first, I did struggle as I was a complete beginner to music production. Pete and Ben were extremely helpful and understanding of my situation and were able to give me quick feedback that rectified any issues I had. The structure of the course is brilliant as you get great feedback every week which would make it more and more exciting.
How important was the A&R feedback throughout your journey?
The A&R feedback was very important. Feedback for anything I do is key to me improving and having access to feedback from professionals enabled me to combat anything I needed to change.
How happy were you with the track you made over the course of the 3 months?
I am still very happy with the track, it’s an amazing experience to see your ideas and creativity come to life after 12 weeks of hard work. Once the track was finished and played back to the A&R team the and hearing them say ‘this is really good Lewis, excellent work’ was a massive reward for me.
What do you think was unique or different about the Production Certificate compared to other programmes/schools out there?
I loved being able to see the tutors and have chats with Ben and Pete face to face. Having the constant connection made it feel so much more friendly and relaxed. It didn’t feel like I was in a classroom every Thursday it felt like I was getting lifelong lessons from two friends. Also having the ability the chat with Ben and Pete via email about any questions I had was so useful to me as no question was too big or too small.
How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?
I feel so comfortable stepping into a studio and have the ability to write personal and creative tracks. The course helped me to expand my thinking and gave me an understanding of what is possible with music. Since the course I have released a remix on Beatport and iTunes with full confidence and pride knowing what I had learnt from the course helped in the making of it.
Did you manage to connect and build relationships with other students on the course?
The relationship between the students on the course was easy to build upon as we had the ability to chat to one another in the live chat during lessons. We also set up a Facebook page where we would share different ideas, new music and even plan to meet up at events. I feel like I have gained a bunch of great friends I won’t forget anytime soon.
How would you rate your tutors – Ben Remember and Pete Griffiths?
Excellent, utterly amazing at how they made me feel like I had known them for a long time just in the first week. The have the ability to give you so much motivation and courage to keep you going through the weeks. We would have chats before the lesson about what we did the previous week which made it feel so friendly and not like we were in a classroom.
Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?
100% even if you can already produce and have a very good understanding of the music industry, I would highly recommend this course as it offers experience with industry professionals. It also shows you how to brand yourself effectively with your own personality and style.
As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?
Brilliant course. This course has truly inspired me to make music I have also gained a lot as a person as I now understand that any form of art is simply someone expressing their creativity into a physical affair and you might not like or agree with certain choices but as long as you understand why they have done it and how they have, everything becomes more enjoyable.