At Point Blank, you can expect to be taught by some of the best in the business. Each of our instructors is selected for a combination of talent, music industry experience, and tangible success – which they pass on to you in the classroom. Each is a true specialist in their field, and our faculty members in Los Angeles and the Online School are no exception. For this Instructor Spotlight, we will be introducing Ableton Certified Trainer Jamie Blake.
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Jamie Blake, who will be releasing a new project under the moniker Mariettakes, is a producer, composer, and Ableton Certified Trainer currently based in Seattle, Washington. He has been creating music since 2000, studying jazz, drum corps, and orchestral drumming throughout middle school and high school. With over 18 years of music composition and live performance experience and over 10 years of music production and engineering experience, Jamie has used his expertise to teach countless music subjects at several institutions. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College and a Master of Music degree in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation from Berklee College of Music. Follow on below to read our interview with Jamie Blake.
What started your interest in music?
I started playing the drums in school when I was 12. I played in bands with my friends and eventually started producing when I was 19.
What artists and genres have had the biggest influence on your sound?
Genres with the biggest influence on my sound are R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop, Pop, Indie, Electronic, and Soul Music. Artists with the biggest influence on my sound are FKJ, Sublime, D’Angelo, Sade, 9th Wonder, J Dilla, Dustin Kensrue, Travis Barker, and pretty much every artist associated with Soulection.
You’ve referred to your musical style before as “Life Music.” What elements make up “Life Music”?
It’s a range of feelings/vibes. A lot of our time in life is spent driving, working, cooking, chilling, and things outside of turning up. I make music that pairs well with all the everyday things you do in life.
How did incorporating Ableton Live into your workflow evolve your music production/creative process?
Before I started using Ableton, I was a classically-trained drummer and wannabe guitar player. Ableton opened up doors for me to start exploring sonic spaces that band members didn’t need to agree on. It really changed my outlook on music and creativity.
How did being an avid Ableton Live user influence your decision to become an Ableton Certified Trainer?
Ableton doesn’t open up applications to become a Certified Trainer very often, so when I saw the call in 2016 I had to jump on it. I’m grateful and feel blessed to have made it through – it was a really militant, rigorous process! It opened up a lot of teaching gigs for me, and teaching music production has been amazing.
You’ve taught a wide variety of subjects, including audio engineering, sound design, film scoring, beginning to advanced mixing, songwriting, Ableton Live, and Push techniques, etc. What are your favorite subjects to teach, and why?
I like teaching Push techniques the most. Not too many people teach you how to play Push the way I do, and a lot of people who own a Push aren’t aware it can be played really expressively, just like a piano. It changed the way I write music and I’ve taught a lot of people how to express themselves musically with it.
Your track “Vegas Girl” has a cool half-million plays on Spotify. How’d you come to collab with MistaDC on this? And what do you think of the Joza remix?
MistaDC and I met playing shows in Seattle. I made a batch of beats one week and that one sounded like something he would vibe with. He loved the beat and sent me a fully written song the next morning. We recorded it in my living room. Joza is another Seattle producer (who since moved to LA) and did a great job turning it into more of a dance track.
What have you enjoyed the most about teaching for Point Blank’s Online School?
My favorite part about teaching at Point Blank’s Online School has been inspiring people and hearing their own musical identities develop. Everyone wants a unique style and wants to find their sound. I get to help them get there, and that’s an amazing, humbling feeling.
When you’re not teaching, you DJ at various staple music venues in Seattle. What have been some of your favorite venues you’ve performed at and why?
I’ll always love playing at The Crocodile (although due to the pandemic they’re moving to a new location). I really got my start playing in Seattle through The Crocodile. My friends and I hosted a monthly event there where we had free reign to put on artists and producers who we love. Neumo’s and Barboza are a lot of fun to play as well, I’ve played live sets of original music there and the crowd is always receptive. Q Nightclub is fun too when you want to play music for people to turn up to.
What can we expect next from you?
I’m launching a new artist project under my middle name, which is Mariettakes. This will be my first time releasing music as a vocalist and it brings me the same nervous, excited feeling I got when I first started playing shows as a drummer, and then as a DJ. It definitely feels more vulnerable than releasing music as a producer, but I’m excited to put my songs out there. My first song will be out on all streaming services on April 16th!
We offer both long and short courses at our LA and online school so whether you’re new to the realms of music production or a seasoned pro looking to brush up on a new set of skills – we’ve got you covered whatever your experience. If you want to learn more about how learning online with Point Blank works you can try it out for free along with a selection of other courses by heading to our free course sample page. To find out more about any of our courses, get in touch with a course advisor today or call +44 20 7729 4884 and be sure to check out our complete line of online courses here.
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