Monday, November 7, 2016

Career Inspiration 13) Vocalist and music producer


  LONDON

1. Introduce us a bit about yourself and your background.

Firstly, thanks for being interested in my work! My artist name is Slow Shudder and I’m a vocalist, producer, DJ, and songwriter. I’m originally from Miami, FL and lived in New York City for a while before moving to London to study Popular Music at Goldsmiths, University of London.

2. How did you get into music?

My grandfather was a jazz pianist, composer, and music professor. He began teaching me how to play piano when I was a toddler and a small Casio keyboard was my favourite toy. I started singing in elementary school, which led to me performing professionally as a singer beginning at the age of 8. For the next decade I performed in regional theatre, the Florida Grand Opera, and the Miami Children’s Chorus before eventually moving to New York to study Vocal Performance at New York University.



3. You are not only a vocalist, but also a songwriter, DJ and producer. How did you get interests in broader fields?

When I was 18 and just starting out at NYU, I developed acid reflux and had to go on full vocal rest for a month, meaning I couldn’t speak or sing at all. During this time, I began experimenting with production as a way of being creative with my voice in a new way. I made a lot of glitch tracks and beats with my old vocal recordings, and this lead me into the amazing wormhole of music production. DJing grew out of my work as a producer, as I began producing dance music around 2010. People started asking me to DJ parties so I taught myself how to DJ and began playing gigs in 2011.

4. How would you describe your style and music?

The music I’ve been writing and producing over the past year is a combination of electronic, pop, R&B, and hip hop. Right now I’m DJing lots of jersey club, bmore, hip hop, nightcore, and bass music.

5. Do you compose everything by yourself or do you work with other people? Alternatively, are you planning to build a team?

I often write and produce alone but occasionally collaborate. I work most frequently with SAKIMA. We’ve made some super cool tunes together over the past six months. I’m excited to share those with the world. I have several songs in the works with other artists as well. I’m definitely aiming to collaborate as a producer, vocalist and writer even more in the future.




6. Where have you learned and developed your skills? How long did it take you to the stage as you are now?

It’s taken me years of hard work to get to where I am now. I’ve had the most training in voice and have studied with amazing teachers. My current teacher, Rachel Bennett, is absolutely brilliant and has helped me grow so much as a vocalist. I’ve taken some production classes at NYU and at Goldsmiths, but am mostly self-taught with production and DJing. Aside from what I’ve figured out myself, I’ve learned the most about production through working with my friends SAKIMA and AObeats this year in London.

7. Where do you seek for inspiration? / What / Who inspires you?

Most of my songs are inspired by personal experiences and are quite introspective. I’m also inspired by literature and poetry. Right now, the novel I’m reading is “Kafka on the Shore” by Murakami and it has inspired lyrics that are interesting. I’m looking forward to developing those.

8. What do you do besides music?

Music has always been my main focus and fortunately I’m at a point in my career where I can devote 100% of my time to it. I’ve worked plenty of jobs over the years though to make ends meet, including music licensing for film, TV, advertising & gaming, organizing concerts, bartending, waitressing, promoting for clubs, working at a box office, working at a late-night cookie shop, selling kitchenware, tutoring and babysitting.

9. What is your biggest achievement or what are you’re proudest of?

I feel like I never spend too much time thinking about my achievements as I’d never want to get complacent. I’m always looking towards what I can do next and how I can improve as an artist. I guess I’d answer that I’m proud of my ability to continually push my own boundaries.

10. How would you describe your typical work day to be like?

I couldn’t say I have a “typical” work day to be honest! I try to either write, record or produce something every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Usually it’s more than that though, a few hours on average, and sometimes I’ll do 12+ hour sessions when I get in the zone. If I have a live gig scheduled, I’ll rehearse for that. I spend a lot of time looking for new music to DJ and if I have a DJ gig scheduled, I’ll beef up my hard drive with new music since I like sharing brand new stuff along with old school tracks when I play. I also spend a solid amount of time on administrative work since right now I’m my own manager and booking agent, although I’m currently figuring out representation so that will soon change.




11. What do you enjoy the most from your job?

I love when I can impact people positively, whether that’s through a track I’ve released, a live set, or a DJ gig. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that my music has helped someone in some way.

12. What do you find most frustrating or least enjoyable from your job?

I often find it overwhelming to keep up with career-related emails and social media. I do my best but I often procrastinate on those aspects of my work to spend time in the studio. I need to get better!

13. What are your future/upcoming plans?
I’m beyond excited for my next DJ gig on November 12th with Not Like That & Joypad: #SUPERWAREHOUSE I’m sharing a lineup with some really talented artists and there will be over 1000 retro, indie, & pre-release games available to play.
I’m also honoured to be playing live with MRGD on November 19th at the NXRecords Pop Up Shop.

14. What is the biggest challenge getting your name, voice and music out to the industry?

I’ve found the most difficult part is getting attention in an over saturated market. It takes a lot of dedication, networking, and luck to stand out amongst the thousands of artists who are striving for similar goals.

15. Any inspiration quote or message you would like to share with readers?

This is one of my favourite quotes, from Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life”: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” It’s a reminder to value your time and choose to spend each day in a way that reflects your individual goals and values.

Now, you have to listen and follow to this young talent: 

       

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