Welcome back to another edition of Point Blank Student Success. This month we spoke to Aldanya about playing Fabric’s main room, the Bali-native, Internet Slang, about her introduction to DJing and Daniel Orpi about his releases on Mr. Nice Guy Records and LaPera. We compile these every month showcasing students that have studied with us for any length of time at any of our locations: London, Los Angeles, Ibiza, Mumbai, and Online. Read on below to learn about these musician’s previous experiences at Point Blank and the exciting projects they have in the pipeline.
Aldanya (Fabric London) – Complete DJ
Aldanya, real name Crystal Margaret, is a London-based DJ and Point Blank alumni who’s recently been making movements in the underground club circuit. Last month she graced the main room at London’s iconic Fabric with her hypnotising techno sounds and continues to channel her passion for music into the electronic scene. Below read about her background in classical piano, her upcoming projects and more.
I saw you recently played the main room at Fabric, that’s huge! Congratulations. How did this come about?
Thank you. Playing at Fabric was a massive experience indeed, and I am really grateful to have been given such an opportunity to play and express myself in such an iconic venue. The event was Pig&Dan’s live performance show, Odyssey. I was fortunate enough to meet them a few years ago and they have been willing to promote local DJs, so they offered me to take part and play for them in January.
I noticed you come from a musical background playing classical piano. What sparked your passion for electronic music and becoming a techno DJ?
I grew up in a family of artists and musicians, so there was always music being performed somewhere. Electronic music really caught my attention as a teenager. Moving to London has allowed me to experience such a vast array of DJs and producers that finally gave me the inspiration to involve myself more in the music and start DJing.
Can you tell me how you discovered Point Blank?
Through a friend of mine who mentioned taking classes at Point Blank. I started figuring out the art of DJing in my bedroom on my own but I really wanted to learn more and learn from those with experience. Enrolling in the school helped me to learn so much more about being a DJ and the ins and outs of that industry. It also exposed me to lots of like-minded people in the industry which was so invaluable.
Were there any things in particular that really stood out in your memory from studying here – this could be a technique you learned? A module? A lecturer?
I had an amazing instructor, Ben Bristow, who was able to really demonstrate how far you can go on the decks and how to really innovate. Funnily enough, he proved you can even scratch with techno. I was able to meet so many great people, professionals, and students whilst at the school – some of which have become close friends.
What’s in the pipeline?
More production. This is what makes you stand out from the crowd and allows you to uniquely express yourself. I am in the process of discovering my musical identity: a sound that would reflect my personality through energetic music. Secondly, I am working on a project with another female DJ while starting a partnership together. Last but not least, following the success of Pig&Dan’s Odyssey events, they are looking to bring another series of events back in London, so stay tuned!
Internet Slang (Defected Intern) – BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering Degree (2 Years)
Bali-native Jaz Seaward, AKA Internet Slang, creates a unique blend of Eastern and Western music. Rooted in South Korea and Indonesia, she branched out to London to expand her musical horizons by enrolling at Point Blank Music School. Full of young energy, Internet Slang taught herself how to DJ at the back of her parent’s house in Bali, honing her skills to pursue her passion. She now works as an intern with the influential Defected record label.
Can you tell me how you discovered Point Blank?
I discovered Point Blank at school during a class which helped us focus on professional growth etc. I was googling music schools in London since that’s what I knew I wanted to do and Point Blank came up. Once I checked it out I could tell it was most suited to what I wanted to learn about so I applied.
You’re currently studying Music Production with us! What inspired you to venture into the realm of making beats?
I grew up in a hotel in Bali, Indonesia, and as the property had a beach club and a club under the bar called Woobar I was always surrounded by social events. Furthermore, the music curator for the beach club and bar, Damian Saint, regularly booked international DJ’s to come and perform. Naturally, I started attending these events and eventually learned how to DJ. I started getting involved with these events in Woobar between doing homework and studying for exams as I was still finishing school. I remember finishing sets at Woobar and checking the time to calculate how long I could stay in the club before having to go home to get enough sleep to go to school the next day. Interestingly, I never skipped a day of school for being too tired from the night before, which to this day, I am still super proud of. I then became a part of the resident DJ team for Woobar opening for international DJs and building contacts and relationships with them. I was actually super lucky. After a couple years of being on the resident team, the hotel announced that they were going to build and open a music studio inside the hotel! I became very close with Damian during my residency attending these club nights and eventually, he took me under his wing and let me sit in on studio sessions where he taught me a little bit about music production and using Ableton. I became the assistant studio engineer and did that every day along with my residency for about 6 months until I had to pack up and move to London to attend Point Blank.
How would you describe what you do and how close do you feel to how you want to sound?
Since moving to London and attending Point Blank, this is the first time I’m taking music seriously as before I was bouncing between school, the studio, and DJing. When I first started point blank I felt super behind and struggled to understand some things in class. Moving to London was also a massive change of scenery and made me feel a bit weird. As I’ve settled down and progressed further into the course I have actually become more confused and less confused about how I want to sound. I have a clearer understanding of what I don’t want to sound like however after being exposed to such a diverse community of music I have found myself becoming more creative and being influenced by all different types of music. That process of finding “your sound” is always slightly evolving and changing as you develop yourself.
How did you hook up with Defected for the interning position? You must be learning a lot there, how is it all going?
Like I said previously, during my residency in Bali, I met a lot of international DJs, managers, and promoters whilst they were on tour. Through this, I met Simon Dunmore, the founder of Defected Records. I was introduced to Simon by Damian and actually opened for one of his shows as well as sat in on a couple studio sessions. When I moved to London, I was CC’d on an email explaining that I was moving to London and looking for any music opportunities available. Following that email, I got an email back from the head of A&R who took me under his wing to learn about the A&R side of Defected Records. This is the sector I interned in for about 6months. I learned about how a demo gets turned into a record deal but mainly scouting for new talent to sign. During the holidays I went home to Bali for 6 weeks and when I returned, I found that I had been moved to the DJ/Booking agency that Defected also runs called Colluded Talent. Although I’ve only just started in this new department I have already learned a lot about DJ bookings and events. So far, I have really enjoyed my internship at Defected and I’ve met so many influential people. It’s opened up lots of doors to other opportunities for me. Additionally, I have learned a lot about the other side of the music industry and what it takes to put on glamorous successful events and turn people into emerging talent.
What’s in the pipeline?
I’m currently in my last year at Point Blank so at the moment my goal is to finish the course and graduate. In the meantime though, I am trying to get more DJ bookings as well as work on music and further develop myself. So far I have one confirmed date this year, where I will be performing in Madeira, Portugal during the summer for a party organised by another Point Blank student, Brian Franca (Reckless Device). So, if you’ve got nothing planned for your summer, come down!
Daniel Orpi (Mr. Nice Guy / LaPera) – Music Production & Sound Engineering Diploma
Daniel Orpi is a DJ and Producer from Barcelona who’s becoming known for his shuffling dance-floor house tracks. He’s had releases on taste-making labels like Mr. Nice Guy Records, LaPera and more and has just released his latest track, ‘Get Jiggin’, which has received support from the likes of CASSIMM, Eli Brown, DJ Steve Lawler, Mendo, Shaf Huse, Claude VonStroke, and others. Learn about his time at Point Blank, what’s in the pipeline and more below.
What was your experience with music before studying at Point Blank?
It all began in my attic 9 years ago where I use to play some records with my friends. After doing some bits in my town near Barcelona I started a duo project with a friend called Kokks & Lein and we put out some great releases on Armada Subjekt, Glasgow Underground, and LaPera to name a few as well as playing some gigs in Spain. Last year we separated because my friend wasn’t able to work on the music anymore and I started my solo project as Daniel Orpi. My first release was on Mr. Nice Guy Recs so that was a good start I guess!
Could you tell me how you discovered Point Blank?
After I moved to London 3 months ago I felt that I needed to improve my knowledge of music production. I began Googling music schools and I found out that Point Blank was said to be the place to be.
Has there been any experiences studying with us so far that have stuck out to you so far? This could be a module, a certain lecturer etc.
Definitely – I am always happy when I’m in the studio but everything I’m learning about sound engineering with Richard and sound design with Doug is amazing!
You have a number of stellar releases under your belt – congratulations! How did you hook up with LaPera Records / Mr. Nice Guy?
Thank you! I got in touch with the LaPera guys after my last release as Kokks & Lein last year. Releasing an EP on Mr. Nice Guy was very special to me as I consider it one of the best quality labels and a creative reference for me. After trying a few times I got signed, so never give up sending demos.
Could you tell us how the new track came together? Is there a specific idea behind the new release?
Well after working on the groove I realised that it was sounding better than my other recent productions. The key part of making the track was finding the bass shot. It was so easy to sequence a bassline with that sound and I think it’s the best bassline I’ve made yet.
What’s your creative process when producing club tracks like this one? What comes first?
Well usually I start with the groove and basslines, but sometimes everything comes from a melody, a vocal sample or whatever. It always depends on what inspires me when I am writing.
What’s in the pipeline?
Well, this year looks amazing already. I’ve got tracks coming out on Javi Bora’s Label, Too Many Rules, an EP & remix on Witty Tunes, Daylight Robbery Recs, and more to be announced soon.
Successes such as these are common among our students and alumni. We can teach you how to DJ like the best of them at any of our schools. If you’d like to learn how to produce, then we can build your skills from the ground up with our range of degree programmes, including our BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice. For more information, you can contact us here.
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