Another month, another batch of former PB students making some serious waves out there in the real world. This is where we show off – like proud parents – recent success stories to give you insight into how music industry careers are established and nurtured right here at Point Blank. In August 2016, we’re catching up with Lebanese pop sensation Anthony Touma, OSCIL8 label head Sylvain Lecoy and British producer turned Census Sound Recordings main man Alan Cross. Want to join them? Check out our London, Los Angeles and online course pages to begin your own journey to the top.
Anthony Touma (The Voice France – Singing Certificate)
If you’re French, chances are you’ve heard of Anthony Touma. Born in Paris, the vocalist moved to Lebanon at the age of three where he grew up surrounded by music. By seven he was already onstage and at eight he was taking classical piano lessons. It was in 2013, however, that he became a household name after appearing on The Voice France, winning over the panel – and the audience at home – with his extraordinary talent. Although he didn’t win – he made it to the semifinals – the exposure earned him a large and loyal following which grew even further with the arrival of his debut Maintenant c’est l’heure. Despite his experience and burgeoning fame, Touma decided to travel to London this year in a bid to further refine and consolidate his skills amidst the unique, creative environment of Point Blank: “I had a great time studying at Point Blank, even though I already knew a lot about the music industry,” he explains. “My time at Point Blank took all these things I knew and turned them into a world that makes perfect sense.”
Since completing the Singing Certificate, Touma has been in the studio putting what he learnt into practice. “The songwriting course with Linton Bennett was my favorite, since finishing the course I have finished writing my new EP and have also started writing for other artists all around the world,” he continues. “Point Blank was what I needed to take it to the next level.”
Sylvain Lecoy (OSCIL8 Recordings – Online Music Production Master Diploma)
Despite only completing his diploma in January of this year, Sylvain Lecoy has already set up his own label OSCIL8 Recordings. Based out of Paris, the label mentors undiscovered producers, helping them build artist identity, market their music and distribute their tracks. As such OSCIL8 and the associated Facebook community group Weather Lab and Bedroom Producers is allied to the brightest talent the French underground has to offer. Looking back at his time at Point Blank, Sylvain praises PB’s expert instructors first and foremost. “I am still in contact with some teachers. I particularly enjoyed the Sound Design course with Hector Hernandez – he is an amazing teacher and explained this difficult and technical topic very well. Also through masterclasses, the amount of invaluable knowledge and useful information given by instructors is just awesome.”
Naturally, his studies have helped shape Sylvain’s approach to running his label, too. “PB gave me enough knowledge to help beginners at a pretty advanced level. I sharpened my ears and have been able to give concrete advice to our Facebook group, a French community of bedroom producers approximating 2000 members.” What’s more, the diploma’s music industry modules have proved crucial in providing Sylvain with the day-to-day tools required when running a label. “With the knowledge I learnt in the music business course, from sample clearance to taxes and laws, we decided to launch the musical label to represent our community of producers by giving them advice, mentoring and more professional tools. It also helped us define good branding, to think about the message we wanted to give and help our producers build an online presence.”
Alan Cross (Census Sound Recordings – Intro to Production part of the Music Production & Sound Engineering Complete Master Diploma)
Alan Cross already had some experience in production when he decided to sign up to Point Blank. Creating music under his Dirt Revolver since 2010, Cross quickly found himself limited by his self-taught skills. “Being taught by an industry professional, face to face, took my knowledge and practical skills to the next level. I gained a thorough understanding of the common studio production techniques and tools, but also how and when to apply them to achieve real results. This sort of knowledge used to take many years to achieve but thanks to courses such a this you get a ahead very quickly if you are willing to apply yourself.”
After completing his studies at Point Blank, Alan entered a remix competition for established techno and breaks label LOT49 – and won! It was his big break and he followed the success with releases on Diablo Loco and Vim, chalking up numerous Beatport chart places and features. In 2014, he took the next, natural step and set up his own label, Census Sound Recordings. He has also started releasing music under his own name and commenced a new project, Eight Bit. The label is currently running a remix competition and Alan encourages Point Blank students to get involved. In light of his career successes, he has some simple advice for anyone considering studying with Point Blank: “I cannot recommend Point Blank courses enough if you want to get ahead in the music industry.”
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