Hey Audio Animals,
Hope everything is alright in the studio, congratulations on the recent mastering of the Hollywood movie! I thought I’d take the time to fill out the interview responses.
Q.1 Please tell us about yourself, what do you do within the music industry?
A. I’m pre-dominantly a Drum & Bass producer, mainly making instrumental tracks. I have also been trying out different electronic genres and will be uploading club, drumstep, chillout and some other bits and bobs over time!
Q.2 How did you first get introduced to music?
A. I have my parents to thank for that. Plenty of music from the 1950s-1990s era played in the car on the way over to my Grandparents house, which I was blessed with listening to. Then I heard something very unusual, Kraftwerk’s “The Model”, was the first track that hit a chord with me. It was different and I loved the electronic sounds and got more involved with the 1980s electronic pop sounds like Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, ABC etc.
I really wanted to get a keyboard and play my own music after playing around on my Grandparents keyboard and on my 9th birthday back in 1996 (around the time England beat Scotland 2-0 at Wembley at Euro 96 with Gascoigne’s amazing volley ;) ) I got my wish and never looked back really.
Q.3 What are your inspirations?
A. For me, it’s all my life events. Anything I upload is for a personal reason, be it a relationship starting, ending, PhD experiences, whatever it may be, I will have a song that will bring me back to that point and I can relive the moment (some I’d like to spend more time on than others). I also like remixing some songs and putting a Drum & Bass twist on them but trying to keep as true to the original as possible so do draw my inspirations from other artists and some of the great melodies that have blessed all our ears over time.
Q.4 Who are your musical idols?
A. I guess I draw a lot from what my parents first played to me when I was growing up but back between 1999 and 2005, I really got into the Ministry of Sound and all the trance anthems that were around at the time. I really loved the synths and the melodies from these songs and there is a trance influence that carries across to the music I produce.
The Drum & Bass element came from my brother, who first got me into this genre back in 2003 when he blasted out DJ Hype’s mix from Bass, Breaks & Beats. I just loved the tempo and energy that these tracks were coming out at and that’s something I will remember. I then bought my first Drum & Bass album back in 2005, Hospitality Mix 4 by Cyantific and all the producers that have been associated with Hospital, High Contrast, London Elektricity, Danny Byrd etc, are truly brilliant!
Q.5 What music equipment do you currently use?
A. I currently use FL Studio 11, a Yamaha YPT220 MIDI keyboard, M-Audio BX5 pair of studio monitors and Sennheiser Momentum’s for headphones. Considering I was using a Casio CTK 611 keyboard solely for 15 years, the last 2 and a half years have been a massive learning curve! I still have much to learn of course :)
Q.6 What is your biggest musical achievement to date?
A. I would say that there are three so far. The first would be getting to be a part of AirPlus Recordings and a man called Casey Brown aka TigerPaw signed me up to his label with some very talented artists. I won’t forget that moment when he said I was good enough to be on his label, especially as I was going through a tough time with my PhD and still very new to using music software, it was just the remedy I needed.
I did release a couple of songs and an album with them but have since left as releasing songs and asking people to pay for my music just didn’t seem right. I found out that I just like making songs for the love of making songs and if other people like them then that’s awesome, which is why I now always put my songs for free. Seeing how many downloads I have on each song is reward enough!
The second moment was when I speculatively sent a track I made during my darkest times (which also coincided with Halloween) to my local radio station at Marlow FM97.5 to a presenter called Louise Carron Harris (the Lounicorn). She really loved it and played it the next day on her New Music Discovery show, which I wasn’t expecting as I was at work that night and tuned in to the show and then it was on! I was beaming from ear to ear, that was so cool!!
The third was getting my songs played live at a music festival, albeit on a small stage, in July 2013. That was a surreal experience, with Mic Girl singing over the top of the instrumentals and I’m grateful to her also for getting the gig. Would be pretty awesome to do that again. We shall see.
Q.7 How long have you been working in the music industry?
A. Since the last 2 and a half years I’ve been listening to underground artists and DJs on Soundcloud and leaving comments if that counts!
Q.8 What are your musical plans for the future?
A. I haven’t really understood the value behind mastering songs until recently. I decided I would get them professionally mastered by Audio Animals and I have to say, I am very impressed with the difference it makes and appreciate the effort it requires to do that. So, with that in mind, I will be looking to get all my previous songs I had up on SoundCloud (around 30 maybe) properly mastered, which means I will spend time mixing them down again, whilst still trying to work on some new material. I will probably keep making the songs for free download as it’s tough for everyone with the recession and I don’t make my music for money :)
I am going through a bit of a transition period at the moment, everything is a bit up in the air with career plans after the PhD and having to move house soon so it will be tricky to get this all done any time soon but I’m hoping in 2015 that there will be a large out flux of mastered songs and I can be back on the uploading scene again!
I’m also trying to get my YouTube channel a bit more active, one day it would be cool to have proper music videos, even if they are just animated graphics, rather than a still picture… one day!
It would be really cool one day to play a set at a music festival again as well :)
Q.9 Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
A. That’s a very good question, where’s that crystal ball…. the answer would be, who knows really? I would love to just have time to make tracks, learn how to DJ as well, making sets of my own songs with other people music too and put them up on SoundCloud. I would like to meet the people who have commented and followed me from the beginning and given me advice on SoundCloud and as they are all over the world, it would be cool to make a holiday out of it too! Maybe have the confidence one day to DJ live but that’s something that can be worked on!
Q.10 Do you have any links to your social media pages you would like to share?
A. I would like to share my Facebook, SoundCloud and YouTube pages as those are the only outlets I use. I was on Twitter but being old fashioned, didn’t really know how it worked!
Facebook (most up to date with songs, physical challenges training):
Soundcloud (most up to date songs)
Thanks a lot Audio Animals. You are two very inspiring and helpful people Nick and Paul!
All the best