Bianca Whirl interview
Hi, i’m Bianca, and i’m a DJ and a music producer. So i was probably 18 -19. The whole dance music thing was probably not as big as it is today. I remember distinctly one night I went out and I saw, i’d never seen a female DJ before basically. I went out to a place with some friends, and i saw this girl playing music, and she was playing amazing, amazing music, and i just looked at my friend and said ”˜i want to do that.’ And that was pretty much, pretty much it. I went home, i bought myself, you know, CDJs and Decks, taught myself everything from scratch, and just kind of met people and networked and kept going along the way.
Starting out as a DJ it was very much a culture of just DJing, just playing other people’s music. It then changed very quickly as technology changed and, you know, those sort of things became more available I suppose at a cheaper, cheaper cost. People started producing their own music. So I guess, from an artist’s perspective, you jumped from being a Dj, you kind of had to produce to keep up with the game. Everyone else was sought of becoming a producer or playing their own music i suppose when they’re DJing, so that’s how that really, really came about.
I guess for me, being a DJ, i decided that, you know if I wanted to continue down this path i also would like to play my own music, so production kind of just works well when you are doing those sort of things.
A producer basically, you know, I see as kind of like the visionary of the project. You can be involved at several levels, so whether it is obviously using the programs, creating music. But it can be also sources like finding talents, singers, pianists, you know, any kind of person who plays an instrument that you want to incorporate into that project. I find it to be quite the visionary of the whole project, so pulling elements together to make that certain track a certain way or, you know, doing something for the artist. You know, the recording process, the mixing process, the mastering process, there’s all these different elements that come together to sort of make that, what the project is.
The thing I like the most about producing music I suppose is the overall, I just love sounds, as crazy as that sounds. I love music, so I guess for me incorporating elements and, you know, just working on projects that really, you know, are from my heart I suppose.
When you are a music producer and dealing with artists of different calibers, and i guess different backgrounds, and, you know, you’re dealing with people really, it’s really important to understand where they’re coming from, what their idea is and, creatively, what they want to get out of, I guess, the session. From a producer’s perspective, it’s you job to basically get all those insights and that information, and work out the best way to plan and organise what you’re going to achieve. I think just being really open and honest with the person that you’re working with, the artist or their band etc, and if it’s something that you’re not really interested in or its not really your thing or you don’t feel like you can work on it, I think that it’s important to also be upfront with that kind of thing as well. Because if you’re not interested or you’re not passionate about it, i don’t think that going to come through in your work , and then, you know, basically you’re not achieving the best results for anyone.
The thing about this is that it’s probably not the most traditional job, you know, being a lawyer or something like that you can always graduate and go straight into a firm or into an organisation, which is many jobs and many things that you are doing, but i suppose with production it’s probably not that traditional. Once you finish you really need to network and work with people with artists. You may do a lot of free work, you may charge, you know, a lower amount for your work and those sort of things. It’s really important to network and do great work and continue down that path.
With any industry it’s really important to keep learning. Growing up with my parents who, you know, love the Beatles and all those kind of things, Abbey Road to me was very much a London thing. You know, the big studio there, and they had made countless amounts of records and all those kind of things, so in that sense i knew it was a place that holds a lot of value and is respected world wide. When i did some research into doing production full time, i came across Abbey Road here in Melbourne, and i thought ”˜this is where i want to be.’
I love the flexibility of the place, and it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what level you’re at, or all those kind of things, you’re always learning something new. There’s people at entry level, there’s people at a few years in , and depending on where you are at in your journey there’s no right or wrong, or, you know, everybody helps each other, so i think that, for me, is the best part of it.
I’m really, you know, the ability to use the studios. I’ve never had access to this kind of equipment and studios beforehand, and so for me being able to be in here and using all the equipment, and the studios and recording things and, you know, it’s just taken my production and where i’m at to a whole new level. The amount of resources really available, so the teachers here and the facilities and the staff are second to done. They’ve been in the industry for, you know, 20-30 years each of them, in different areas as well; live sound production.
The best learning for me is from the theory perspective, you know. All the background things you need to learn and then that will get you to the next step.
To be a producer in sort of any music environment is to just have a passion for it and a love for it. Think also you need to sort of be a little bit technical minded, but, you know, i wasn’t sort of completely that way either, i’ve learnt along the years. Other attributes i think is just kind of having a good ear for music I think, you know, sort of needing to know what sounds good and what doesn’t sound good.
Music, you know, is something that you share between people I think, and it’s something you create a connection through, you know, whether you are just dancing in your bedroom or, you know, doing all these kind of things; music is music. It makes, you know, it basically changes your emotions very quickly, go from happy to sad and all these kind of things. having a good is just, I think me personally is being able to recognise what sounds good, so, you know, things that are gonna make people happy, things that, you know, are going to make people sad, depending on what kind of song you are producing, i suppose. I think recognising ”˜this is going to sound good’ or ”˜this is going to work’ you know, is super important as well.
Being a producer, you do have to have an element of being artistic or creative. I think the creative process can also be learned, you can learn how to apply things to be creative, which, you know, can lead you into doing this and doing that. So the more you do, the more you’re involved, I’ll think you’ll find that my creativity, I like to put certain sounds on things, I like to put my own sort of spin on things because that makes me unique; that makes my work stand out. So i think in this day and age, it really important to have a bit of an edge over, you know, the guy next door.
So if you’re interested in this particular field, i would recommend, honestly, just jumping online, jumping on the internet, start looking at programs and tools and elements for production. You basically need to work off something, so Protools, Ableton, anything like that. Logic, i think Apple does logic as well. So start looking into these programs and start really, you know, learning how to use these programs, i think that’s really their best advice. Start recording friends and start, you know, recording bands or, you know, go out on weekends and see what people do and go, you know, speak to maybe somebody who does recording and those kind of things, learning about microphones, learning about, you know, instruments and how things sound. Just getting your foot in the door whenever you can, I think that’s really important.