April 04, 2015  

Student Success Interview: Cathleen Cher (Kanye West)

We always get the coolest and most interesting characters walking through our doors at Point Blank. Cathleen Cher is still in the formative years of her music career but she’s already accomplished a whole load of amazing things while studying with us at Point Blank LA. Cathleen has also worked with none other than Kanye West as part of his creative team, and is classically trained on the piano and has been dancing all her life. With that in mind, we caught up with the multitalented Cathleen in our Student Success Q&A below…

If you want to study with us at our school in Silverlake, LA, just like Cathleen Cher is doing, check our Music Production & Sound Design Certificate which we’re currently offering an introductory discount of 20% off (a saving of $1750). The 6 month program teaches you everything you need to know about music production and sound design.

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Cathleen Cher studied with us at PBLA, and has worked with the likes of Kanye West

What were your first experiences with music?

My first experiences – when I was a kid, I’d make “mixtapes” from the radio on the Playskool recorders with the rainbow colored buttons and plastic attached mic. I grew up playing the piano (classically) and flute and then joined chorus in middle and high school. I’ve also danced my entire life. My first real work experience with music was working with Kanye West at Coachella of 2011. I was responsible for casting his dancers, and their hair/makeup/wardrobe, and working with the creative team to make it all cohesive. That was my first music festival I’d ever attended.

After that, I went on Holy Ship! and already a huge fan of electronic music, that specific experience changed my life, as it opened me up to a variety of electronic music I’d never even heard before. I was hooked. I decided right then and there that I needed to be in music for the rest of my life.

How did you get into DJing and producing?

I started DJing after I realised how powerful of a tool it could be to get music out there. I was giving music to other DJs and they were playing it on their radio shows or out at their gigs and I saw a significant bump in terms of exposure of the songs. Truthfully, I wanted recognition for the music discovery I was doing and on top of that and to have complete control over it. I knew that the only way to do that was to start DJing myself. So I bought Pioneer CDJ-800 MK2s and a DJM0-250 mixer (with money I don’t think I had at the time) and taught myself how to DJ with the help of a couple friends.

A few months after I started DJing I got a keyboard with a MPC and started watching a ton of Ableton tutorials. The learning curve was slow so I had a friend come over to teach me. I couldn’t pay him, so in exchange for his time, I made him dinner. Within a week I was able to produce my first track, titled, ‘Spring Break Forever (Bitches)’, inspired by the movie ‘Spring Breakers’.

It was kind of a joke, but I think people actually liked it as there’s been over 100 downloads of it from my SoundCloud account. I went on a hiatus from producing for about 8 months after that initial track because I went back on tour with Kanye West and launched a lingerie line, and had to take a break from everything I was doing.

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Why did you want to study with Point Blank?

I did some independent research – talking to trusted friends and also searching online about Point Blank. I had friends who were amazing producers tell me about PB’s really great reputation. The thing that really tipped me over the edge was finding out that Claude VonStroke was an alumnus (along with other Dirtybird members). I’m obsessed with the Dirtybird sound, and if I could learn how to make that deep dirty bass from the same school, I was in!

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What’s the most important thing for new producers and DJs?

A few things…the biggest being, don’t be afraid to ask. There are going to be some things you don’t know how to do, or don’t understand how to do right away. Find someone who does, and ask them. Even if it’s your favorite producer in the world and they are famous with millions of fans. Reach out to people when you have questions. You’d be surprised who will respond and are willing to help. This really just applies to everything in life. Also, practice. Make music as often as you can. Even when you don’t feel like it.

What’s next for you?

So many things! Work on our next collection for my lingerie line, Strita DTLA, continue to establish my full service creative agency (Covalent), complete these books I’m reading, learn how to meditate, finish this PBLA course and make some more dope tracks, and just generally take over the world with good music.

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This post is included in News, Point Blank LA, Student Success


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