Once again it’s that time of the month where we share with you some of the success stories that have recently been enjoyed by some of our students, giving you an insight into how careers in the music industry are established and nurtured right here at Point Blank. In November 2015, we look at how Jake Warren (One Direction, Versace), Gutto Serta (Hands UP Live), Tony Mancera, PocketJackks (Bang It! Records) and Liilo have been doing since studying with us.
Jake Warren (One Direction, Versace) – Art of Mixing (part of the Complete Master Diploma)
Jake Warren studied Art of Mixing with Point Blank, and since then he’s gone on to compose music for campaigns for the likes of One Direction, Versace, Chevrolet, Lexus, SBTV and many more. The One Direction campaign Jake worked on was part of 1D Day, an interactive live stream presentation designed to promote One Direction’s third album, ‘Midnight Memories’. It is the largest YouTube live stream to date, and Jake was commissioned to make the music package for the show; the theme tune, sound beds and the in-house band played his productions live on stage. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.
Originally, Jake won a pitch for a global Swatch advert campaign, an opportunity that was presented to him right here at Point Blank. Since then, he’s spent his time honing his craft writing and producing music for picture. Jake is pitching on projects of all shapes and sizes, and learning the process. Although Jake can’t reveal too much about some of the high profile campaigns he’s involved in at the moment, he is currently working on a new dance project for Strictly Come Dancing’s Darcey Bussell.
When we asked Jake about his studies at PB, he said: “I attribute the foundation of any success I’ve had to my experience at Point Blank. My instructor Ian McKenzie really indulged me – every question had an answer – no matter how longwinded or in depth. I’d ask so many questions and write pages and pages of notes. I came away with a knowledge of the audio domain I don’t think I could have got without the intensive one-on-one sessions in those early days and the confidence to turn my passion into a full time career.”
Gutto Serto (Hands UP Live) – Mixing & Mastering Award (part of the Complete Master Diploma)
Gutto Serta is one half of Hands UP Live, the notorious Brazilian party duo who have a reputation for throwing amazing parties with a music fusion style. Hands UP Live have quite the following in Brazil, and it’s given Gutto the opportunity to play for many audiences across his home country and in Miami too.
On the production side of things, Gutto’s ‘All My Love’ EP was released by the Italian GreelPound imprint, which peaked at #56 in in the Beatport Deep House genre. He’s also had his tracks played by Solomun, and has received positive feedback from respected names such as Tim Green, H.O.S.H. and Axel Bartsch. As well as that, Gutto’s ‘Speechless’ EP was the top release at London’s CrossTech Records. Hungry for more, he studied our Mixing & Mastering Award last year and is currently hard at work in the studio.
About his time at Point Blank, Gutto said: “Before I went to PB, I was kind of stuck in terms of my productions, and also I had so many questions about my career that people I’ve met helped finding the answer to. I needed to choose the right direction to achieve what I wanted and become who I wanted to be. I’m really grateful to Point Blank, because, as well as improving my production skills, they helped me understand more about the music industry and also how to mature as an artist.”
Tony Mancera – Trance/EDM & Native Instruments: Sound Design (part of the online Ableton Live Diploma)
Mexico’s Tony Mancera studied Trance/EDM and Native Instruments: Sound Design online with Point Blank, and he’s perhaps best known for his funky yet razor-sharp track ‘Play Hard’. Now, he’s just released his pumping new track ‘Fall Again’ (listen below), featuring the vocal talents of Candela Cibrán. If you listen to his music, you can clearly hear Tony has been working hard during his online studies with us and is a super talented producer. Watch out for Tony Mancera in 2016, who’s looking set to become part of the new wave of EDM producers.
On his time at PB, Tony said: “If you want to become a professional in the music industry, I totally recommend you choose Point Blank as you first option for learning electronic music production.”
PocketJackks (Bang It! Records) – Music Production, Sound Engineering, Business & DJ Diploma
Hailing from Mumbai, India, producer PocketJackks is on a mission to take his distinctive brand of EDM across all four corners of the globe. He’s continuing with his breakthrough progress, with two new heavyweight floor fillers, ‘Streetrebel’ and ‘Aces’, which reached #4 in the Beatport Electro House Top 10 on release (see screenshot below). With 2015 still very much the beginning for the Indian producer, the future is set to be full of surprises and promises a steady flow of on point EDM vibes. We await his next move.
So far, PocketJackks’ work has been supported by Laidback Luke, Sander Van Doorn, Steve Angello, Sunburn Festival (Asia’s dance music festival) and many more.
PocketJackks said: “Through Point Blank I met a lot of Industry professionals, who have guided me and helped me. I have been staying in India following the course, but it feels as if PB is just an email away. Point Blank has taught me the ins and outs of the music industry, and has helped me in sharpening my knowledge and skills to produce and play amazing music.”
London drum ‘n’ bass producer Liilo studied Point Blank’s Music Production, Sound Engineering, Business & DJ Diploma in London, the home of electronic music. In the short space of time since graduating she’s released her excellent new EP ‘Gemini Moon’ (listen below), which includes the vocals of Point Blank students as well as vocalists Liilo met online.
Now armed with plenty of studio skills, Liilo is planning on making a hefty chunk of new tracks inside her home studio, and learning more about music production and music in general. Liilo is planning on taking her drum ‘n’ bass sets around London too, to gain experience of that side of music in London’s buzzing club scene. She’s already attracting the attention of online magazines, and has been interviewed by Superhero Mag and Catalogue Magazine.
It’s without doubt that Liilo will soon be snapped up by a big label, so keep your eyes peeled for her on the drum ‘n’ bass scene very soon!
When asked about how she found her studies at Point Blank, Liilo said: “Point Blank changed my life, coming from secondary school with students all my own age, to mingling with students not only 2 to 3 times my age but also obsessed with everything to do with music, like I was; I couldn’t have asked for anything greater. Plus I gained a ridiculous amount of knowledge for music there.“
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