What do you do in the music industry?
I do a lot of sound engineering, and that’s what I’m trained in, but I think my work is most important when I am helping to develop artists and getting them closer to the next level in their career.
As a sound engineer, track artist’s vocals and I record. So, for example, if you’re a singer or a rapper, you’ll come into the studio and we’ll sit down for a consultation. I like to know the artist I’m working with so I get a keen sense of what they want and where they’re going. I think getting to know the artist is key in helping them to develop through that understanding.
Then we’ll move into the recording booth, and I’ll get your vocal tracks down. Once we’ve done that, we’ll sit down again and have a chat about your concept – how you want the song to sound. Then we’ll start mixing it, and making it sound amazing – radio worthy.
How long have you worked in the music industry?
I’ve been involved with the music industry for the last five years.
I’m originally from Canada. While I was living there and going through high school, I started working with a band doing some recording and producing. It was kind of like a work-experience set up, but it was a great way for me to start getting involved and seeing what the industry was all about.
I then moved to Australia and undertook a Bachelor of Sound Engineering at SAE (School of Audio Engineering). During this time I developed and brushed up on a lot of skills – spending a lot of time in the studio and working on production.
After graduation I moved to Melbourne, and have gotten really involved with the urban community around here. I met Filmon from Ruqkqus Entertainment, and artists such as Surafel, Jamie Perkins, CeCe and Zeus.
I’d always been serious about music, but I really started to know that this is what I wanted to do long term – so I quit my fulltime bread-and-butter job to produce and engineer music fulltime. I got to continue learning by working with Bakehouse Recording Studio where I primarily recorded bands while working on my own projects.
I eventually started working with an artist called Josh Jakq and ended up co-producing his mix-tape which has just been released. Jakq has worked with the likes of Kid Cudi and Alternate Records (Calvin Harris’ record label) and has recently moved to New York to get his name out there.
While working with Jakq I hired NLS to do some recording and ended up getting called in to fix up the studio. Now we’re working with people like Mo from Diafrix, tracking vocals and working on the Bunjil Music Business Project – an amazing opportunity for young Indigenous people looking for experience in the music industry.
What is your relevant training or experience?
My formal training is basically the Bachelor in Sound Engineering I did with the School of Audio Engineering. Other than that, I am mostly self-taught. I read a lot about equipment and engineering techniques in the music industry to keep up to date and stay relevant.
Who are your influences and why?
Noah 40, Drake’s producer. He really inspires me. Noah 40 has got MS and even though he’s going through this intensely personal and private struggle, he creates amazing music and constantly pushes himself, and now he’s one of the best producers in the world.
Kanye West. He was a nobody when he first started out, but his beats speak for themselves. His creative process is on another level – and ultimately he’s a trendsetter which is absolutely what I aspire to be.
Dr Dre’s album Chronic 2011 created the west coast sound. Production on this album was way ahead of his time, and we’re only just catching up with it.
I also really like Flume and am constantly inspired by the New York scene because that’s where hip hop was born.
What are your ultimate goals for your work within the music industry?
I want to be able to create a new standing culture in the urban community of Australia. Feel like it’s a little bit behind but has a lot of talent to get out there.
I want to be able to say that Aussie hip-hop isn’t bogan. It should be unique and the sound will be so big that people will come here for it.
To start a culture – a new fundamental base within the urban community. To take away this competitiveness where everyone thinks they’re better than everyone else. It should be a collaborative, inspirational process.
What can you offer people who use NLS?
I can offer people an opportunity to really develop themselves and to start working with someone who is extremely dedicated/committed and really cares about the music scene in Melbourne and globally.
I can offer them a new sound – their OWN sound. I can add certain elements to their mixing that really defines who they are. I can add the elements that represent their individuality. I like to know the artists before I work them and I like to handpick the artists.
I am not just offering a service of sound engineering. I want to be able to help and guide artists to really reach their goals in life. A consultancy service to assist in their commitment to music.