Hay Phaeleh, I just saw your status from your fanpage and couldn't resist coming on to tell you that i love your style. I also agree heavily on your views about how a producer should in general go about doing what they what and not trying to be something they are not. & congratulations overall man, i think its an awesome thing to see when someone manages to turn they're passion into an income and do what they love.
You've answered most of the things already i would of asked aha. Was a good read.
I saw you mentioned about you was going to Leave it till the age of 30 until you packed it in if nothing kicked off. Well what about before, did you have a part-time job leaving enough time to work on your music? or was you backed up by your family? & if you did have a job, did you find it hard to find time or commit to making music in your time off? Im coming up to 20, a part of me just despises the thought of putting time and effort into something that music related. Ive survived on £30 college allowance for 3 years just simply because i much rather put my time into music, w all my school friends are still working at some telesales company blowing every penny on a car etc, What was/are your views on this?
Thanks alot man
Cheers man, glad you've enjoyed the read!
Well it's not my place to tell anyone how to live their life, but I do believe that people should follow their passions and dreams to the best of their ability.
It took a few savage breakups and the passing of a few friends for me to realise that life is incredibly fragile and short, and there's no point wasting any time. It was definitely the kick up the ass which got me focussed on the tunes so much, as I adopted the 'what if you died tomorrow, would you be happy with the way you've spent today' kinda outlook on life.
In terms of work, I guess that's down to the individual really. I was working 16 hours a week as a youth worker on minimum wage in order to have the free time to write music. This was good for creativity, but there was a definite downside which was the general skintness. This meant I couldn't really go out in Bristol, and subsequently I don't really get any support from the local scene here as I haven't really made the effort to go and schmoooze.
I would say, spending most of my 20s as essentially a hobo with a laptop and speakers did add a lot of stress to life in general, so I'd say try and balance your responsibilities with your creative urges.
JannikR wrote:Hey there fella! (har har)
Like everybody else on here I have to say big up for doing this - it's really great to see that there are still big ones out there with their feet on the ground. I'm quite sure a lot of people (me included) see you as some kind of musical role model thanks to that.
Anyways, I've got a couple of questions that I'll try to keep as short as possible;
1. You said something about having a plate reverb set that you use as send on every instrument - is this the first thing you do, or is it the last?
2. Can we expect some kind of Phaeleh masterclass in the future? That's something I'd love to see, and I think a lot of people would agree.
3. You said that the turning point in your career was when regular Joes started telling you they enjoy your music - was that something slow and gradual, or did you come to a point where someone said "holy shit, this needs to go out on my label pronto"?
4. Last one is about your record label, Urban Scrumping Records. How did you chose your released artists? Were they people who sent in their tracks, or were they people who you accidentally happened to hear a track from when roaming the net?
Thanks again for taking your time to do this. I wish you the best luck, and hope to catch one of your shows sometime when I visit the UK, or even better, if you decide to bless Sweden with your appearance!
Hehe cheers man, I'm not sure I'm quite at the level of the top dogs, but appreciate you saying it.
1 - Well it really depends on the sound. Generally as my sends are setup as part of the default project it's the quickest and easiest way to add some ambience to a sound. But i would program/sequence/record the part first generally before adding the sends, but saying that, other times i'll crack all the sends up before writing anything. So again, there's probably no set way I go about it.
2 - I've just agreed to do a digital music seminar in Bristol later this year, which I know they film and put online, so it might be possible. If you've got any suggestions for topics to cover feel free to mention them here and I'll see if it's possible to include.
3 - It was definitely gradual. I set up Scrumping as a way of getting my music out there initially, and I think word of mouth meant there was a steady increase in the following, but definitely didn't come up with a 'hit' which pushed me to the top of the game or anything. I think the 2nd Electronic Explorations mix and the Afterglo mix I did for Chemical Records were the key parts for getting me out to a wider audience, and because I'd been working solidly for the years before, it meant there was a large amount of music out there for people to discover after hearing those mixes.
4 - Well it's all quite random. I'd set up the accounts with a few shops, and realised I might as well release some tunes by people I knew or were rating at the time. There are a couple of artists I don't chat to too much these days, but there's a few I speak to most days just to chat shit and give each other some abuse. I've definitely never released anything off the back of a demo though. I wish I could be more proactive with it, but it's definitely something I view as a hobby rather than something as important as my own production. Though saying that, if i believe in a release I'll work my hardest to push them to DJs and Blogs etc to help get an artists name out there.
Hopefully get a booking in Sweden at some point soon!
abakus wrote:Phaeleh, I'm a big fan, I remember the moment when I discovered your track 'numb' for the first time, I almost queefed.
I always find when I'm making a tune that i get to the end of the drop and I don't really know what to do next without the track starting to sound boring and repetitive, what suggestions do you have for spicing up the tunes a bit?
Also are you planning on playing outlook next year, I didn't have the cash this year and me and me mates are all set for that next year, would love to see you play! (Also do a set in Nottingham sometime this year, yeah?!)
Tricky one mate, I'd normally say pull some of the main sounds/hooks out after 16, and put some new sounds on top. I always write thinking in terms of the pop/band formula of verse/chorus/verse etc. So try and make one section more anthemic and another more subdued. Pulling parts of the drums/rhythm out and switching up with different grooves is a good way of doing this. I'll often kill hats after 16, and introduce some rides, then for the next 16 bring the hats back but chuck some percussion in there too.
If you're really struggling I'd suggest picking 1 or 2 of your favourite tunes and getting really analytical about what they're doing to keep it interesting. Loop 32 bars and see what they're doing differently, in terms of the bass, the drums, the textures, the vocals etc. Something like this could be a great way of understanding what's going on, just gotta keep focussed on listening and avoid getting lost in the bass face!
Pretty sure I'll get asked back to Outlook given the reception the beach set got this year, but guess I'll know more when I actually speak to them about it.
Played a sick gig in Notts earlier this year, proper rammed sweatpit, but hopefully get another booking up that way soon!
legend4ry wrote:Errr - a screenshot of any project file would be good!
Here you go mate, though realised you won't be able to see much of the drum programming as I bounce it all down through my compressor to audio, but you can get an idea of the arrangement of sounds hopefully!
In The Twilight: http://www.phaeleh.co.uk/In-The-Twilight-Full.JPG
Should Be True: http://www.phaeleh.co.uk/Should-Be-True-Full.JPG
smess wrote:Great read Phaelah! Cheers for taking the time out! Got into your music after seeing you a couple of months back at the Soltek night near Old Street in Ldn, really enjoyed your set that night! Couple of questions...
Did you get into djing as a result of producing your own tunes obviously to promote yourself and your music? Or did you dj anyway before producing your own material, therefore it not really being a big deal playing out.
If you did start djing post production did you teach yourself or learn from friends or whoever? Also what was/is your preferred format vinyl/cd/digital? Would you ever (do you) use a digital programme like Serato or Traktor?
Nice one mate, again that night was proper roasting, probably lost a few stone in sweat.
Well my background was producing, though I got into live performance of electronica. I used to perform using a custom made sequencer I made in Pure Data (Like Max/MSP for PC but free), which was connected to a synth and a couple of drum machines. I also did sets just using a couple of korg electribes and an MS2000.
I got a copy of the first version of ableton a few years later when it was still relatively unknown, and started putting sets together in that borrowing a friends laptop, just making lots of loops and jamming out arrangements and fx live. I think at the time myself and Elemental were the only people I knew using it in clubs.
This was how i was performing for the first few years with the phaeleh stuff too, but over time I was getting bored of just playing the same tunes and the hassle of bouncing down tracks and spending days having to prepare for each set, so i decided to switch to djing.
My housemate at the time collected vinyl, had decks, but literally couldn't mix at all. I knew the principle behind it, but had never tried, so learnt how to mix as a result of teaching him how to do it. I still borrow all his kit to play out now tbf, so not looking forward to him moving out lol!
I started on Serato, as I had a laptop but was never in the position to buy vinyl as I never had any spare cash.
I loved having all the tunes there, and the ease of digging out tunes, but after a few nightmare gigs involving dodgy decks and dealing with arsehole diva djs getting shitty about setting up serato I decided to switch to CDJs (big ups madd and riskotheque for the suggestion). The lack of stress involved with CDJs is amazing. If something doesn't work, it's the clubs fault and no longer mine, which means I can just enjoy turning up and playing.
In an ideal world I'd use serato with cds, but unfortunately melted a few components of my laptops motherboard when I was doing the mixdowns for The Cold In You EP, so no longer have the means to use it. I think if I'm in the position to buy a laptop again I'd probably start using serato again with CD control, and just take a cd wallet of tunes in case it's not possible to set up serato!