April 21, 2017 by Caylie Landerville
The Ableton University Tour partnered with Drexel’s independent record label Mad Dragon Music Group, and Drexel concert brand and music tech club, Flux, on April 17 to present an afternoon filled with constructive music production-related events.
Previously, the Music Industry Program at Drexel partnered with the Ableton University Tour in 2015, where they hosted music production seminars using the popular digital audio workstation Ableton Live. Certified Ableton instructor and Brooklyn-based electronic musician, Ben Casey, led the workshop in the Drexel MIDI labs. It was a very advantageous seminar according to students and Casey thoroughly went through the process of creating a beat for a song step by step.
After the workshop, the keynote address took place with critically acclaimed artist “Photay” who showcased special production techniques with Ableton Live. Then, it was time for the producer showcase in the URBN Annex lobby. The showcase included six of Drexel’s own student producers: Richfellow, Arno, OddKidOut, Hazey Eyes, Godchild and Out There. The producers each had the opportunity to share their tracks and discuss their unique production processes.
The producer panel was filled with five Drexel students and one alumnus who have accomplished various milestones. The URBN Annex lobby, decorated with an engaging ambiance, was packed with people eager to hear their tracks and what they had to say.
Richfellow (Jesse Babini) is a Drexel alumnus who produces upbeat club and trap records. He recently signed to MAD Dragon Records and released an EP called “Polymer” April 7. He also recently made an appearance at the South by SouthWest festival in Austin, where he had a killer performance. The event sponsors are holding a remix contest for Richfellow’s latest track, “Eyes on Me (featuring Snappy Jit),” which was recently featured in an Earmilk article.
Submissions for the contest will be accepted until April 30 and the prizes include a pair of Sennheiser HD280 headphones, a $200 gift card, a copy of Ableton’s book “Making Music: Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers” as well as a release of the remix through MAD Dragon Records. A link to submit material can be found on the MAD Dragon Music Group Facebook page.
At the showcase, Richfellow presented his catchy single from his EP titled “Flutes of Bali,” and he also played “Eyes on Me.”
Arno (Ana Wigmore) is a freshman in the music industry program who focuses on producing midtempo electronic and dance records. Her songs had somewhat of a crafty Kygo vibe and were very gratifying. She showcased a remix of “Slow Dancing in the Burning Room” by John Mayer, and an original track titled “Hold On.” Arno also was one of the openers for Valentino Khan and Lil Uzi Vert at Drexel’s own Winterfest concert.
OddKidOut (Butch Serianni) is a junior in the music industry program who has gained various recognition for his unique live beat production performances of hip hop. He exhibited a deftly-produced track that exemplified this distinct sound, much of what comes from his own drum playing. The track he played for us was titled “Growth of Evolution.” He is very excited to just have released his first EP April 7, and made an appearance performing at South by Southwest. OddKidOut will also be performing at the Firefly music festival this year.
Another junior in the program, Out There (Sam Perlow), has found success producing electronic, trap and future-bass records, claiming that his music is diverse and can be explained by his name: “out there.” He showcased a couple of his new headbanging dubstep and trap tracks that had everyone on their feet. The tracks were titled “Hopeless” and “Clash.” Out There is currently recording with an artist from “America’s Got Talent” and will be releasing new content through a label to be announced around June.
Godchild (Najeeb Jones), another junior in the music industry program has been producing hip hop and electro-pop records for various artists. The track he displayed at the showcase was “Give Thanks” and it had everyone swaying their heads to the beat from the start. He also presented an unreleased remix of “That’s My Rule” by Lil Uzi Vert that will be out soon. He recently completed an internship at Mirrorball Music with Tony Maserati, and is currently working on projects with rapper Dwight Marrow coming out in the spring.
Lastly, Hazey Eyes (Thomas Michel) is an Drexel engineering student who has found success remixing and creating original electronic and pop sounds for a diverse array of independent and major label artists. He released an official remix for Charlie Puth’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore” hit single through Atlantic Records, and is in the process of working with a Columbia Records artist on a remix track. The song he presented, “Some Reason,” had a mesmerizing drop that caught everyone’s attention, and it will be featured on his new EP coming out soon.
Overall, each of the producers dove deep into the process that they value when it comes to creating new music. I thought it was very interesting to hear what is it that triggers one to come up with certain sounds and beats and how effective it can be in the outcome of the song.