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A quick recap of Native Instruments [@ni_news] Barbican takeover

Last week, one of the leaders in the music production technology held a night to remember for those wanting to pave their way in the grime music scene. The globally recognised brand came to the capital to bring the latest edition of their workshop series ‘Native Sessions’ looking at grime, rap, MC culture and music production.

The sessions were an accessible chance for fans and industry peers to come together in one of London’s most iconic venues to hear from respected artists and test out some of the best products in the game.

We saw long-standing producers and budding breakout acts such as Swifta Beater, Steel Banglez, P Money, Ms Banks, Bamz,  Jaykae, DJ Target and Flowdan all came together to facilitate workshops, roundtables, Q&A’s, demonstrations and live music throughout the night.

Before the night started I spoke to Native sessions Global events manager and UK Artists relations manager.

What’s the reason for putting on the event tonight? 

T: The real goal is to inspire people to learn more about music, to make music and connect with their favourite artists. The global sessions happen twice a year, for this one we picked hip hop and grime. To do it right we feel like every part of the world needs to tell their own story, tomorrow we’ll be in Paris talking about German hip hop etc.

S: Obviously, it’s a Native Instruments event but it’s not really about the equipment tonight. It’s about how artists make music. Tech can be scary so we try to make a healthy balance of entry level production courses and obviously having the artists hold the workshops makes it more accessible for people. People want to make music and they can hear how steel banglez makes music; that’s dope.

Next to the iconic Garden Room there was a series of workshops to participate in, using Native Instruments range of products, and led by some of the best in the industry talking all things processes and production. Kicking it off was Bamz (Nadia Rose’s producer and DJ) and later on Sir Spyro and Flowdan.

I sat down with Bamz after her session.

How did you first get into music? 

I first started beat boxing at the age of six and from there I started producing at the age of ten from there I got FX studio for my birthday until my laptop got stolen and I had to start all over again. From then I started using Reason and then onto Logic. Generally, my journey started organically from having that love and obsession with rhythm, beats melody and all of that stuff.

And how did you get yourself out there as a producer to be sitting on a stage here now? 

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It’s actually mad, little old me holding a workshop. Working closely with Nadia rose has really helped me out just providing her with production and beats, she’s definitely been a gateway to everything that I’m doing now.

How important is it for producers to gain as much recognition as artists? 

That’s based on the preference of the producer, some producers prefer to be in the background, but they all want to be credited. It’s important that its done properly. Whether it says their actual production title, making sure the beat tag is on the beat and you’re not taking it out just generally having that mutual respect for producers.

Did you ever get to do workshops like this when you were younger? 

I can’t recall going to many workshops, I remember a few crash courses a couple of times, but the problem with these workshops is that they teach you the duality of things, like what’s wrong and what’s right as opposed to expressing your creativity and what you want to put in a track. Obviously in production there are things that are wrong and right but telling someone that your sound isn’t industry standard is a way to knock someone’s confidence and make them feel like they’re lacking to the point they can’t build themselves up to be who they want to be.

The way I see it, especially the last couple of years being able to travel with Nadia, music alone is education the fact that your given the chance to go elsewhere, you’re able to learn a language, make other music. It’s a gateway to so many other things, and I feel like if we incorporate that into workshops as opposed to this practical work and then having to do this written work to be qualified to be something there would be a bigger influx in people wanting to have that skill. It’s very important that we increase the frequency of creative workshops and just have them there instead of having to sign up and get qualifications.