Soundfly

Home for the Curious Musician

Student Spotlight, Volume 6: Listen to New Works by Student Artists

Another month, another round up of some of the best student work here on Soundfly! This month, we have a budding producer pushing himself to create full tracks, a field recordist mixing works for a museum piece, a couple songwriters crafting new tracks, an orchestral artist transforming his sound, and some artists looking for a boost in their careers via some marketing support. It’s an eclectic crew — take a listen below.

These tracks all came out of sessions with our Soundfly Mentors, who worked with these students either through one of our in-depth Mainstage courses or a self-designed curriculum via our Headliners Club program. Want to work with one of these Mentors yourself? Tell us a bit about yourself and we’ll find the right program for you.

In the meantime, check out the full playlist below, and then scroll down to read more about each student and who they worked with.

“Week 2 Idea”

Student-Artist: Grayson Starling
Course: Headliners Club
Mentor: Ian Temple/Sam Friedman

Ian: Grayson is an amazing producer. He didn’t need that much of our help, honestly. The thing we did that was fun was chose a different idea kernel each week and tried a different approach to turning it into a complete song. His pieces are just overflowing with creativity, so it was fun to see how he took some of our constraints (some of them borrowed from other genres) and turned them into an exciting, engaging electronic piece.

Grayson: One of the most important things I got out of my session was a little persistence. My goal was to turn ideas into fully fledged tracks. I learned that there is no shortcut but you have to approach your idea with a plan, a plan that has viable, tangible steps. It was really nice to have personalized feedback and support from Ian and Sam.

“Intimate Expanse Part 2: Evoking Emotion (museum audio guide)”

Student-Artist: Diane Hope
Course: Headliners Club
Mentor: John Hull

John: Diane started this session pretty much from square one, learning the basics of pro tools. By the end, she really had started putting the tools to use in creative ways to construct music, and began listening to other genres and sounds in more musical ways. I had a great time working with Diane, and am so proud of her and her final project she put together. Not only is it a great piece, with a really important message — we have to protect our public lands for our future generations.

“Something 4 U”

Student-Artist: Ken Smith
Course: The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony
Mentor: Joseph Capalbo

Joseph: Ken has the ability to turn a chord progression into an infectious groove! Throughout The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony course, we honed into his songwriting and production skills in order for him to achieve his personal goal of fleshing out a groove into a full track. After this course, it is clear that he is well on his way to accomplishing his goal!

“Can’t be who you want”

Student-Artist: ANG
Course: Headliners Club
Mentor: Mahea Lee

Mahea: Angie is a super creative artist. I was excited to work with her within a few seconds of first hearing her music. She has a great ear and is drawn to some beautiful chord progressions and haunting melodies. We explored different ways to further connect her musical and lyrical instincts. I love the songs she wrote during her session, and am honored to have been a part of that process.

“Shed My Skin”/”Lifeboat (Tasman Sea)”

Student-Artist: Feiloka (a.k.a. Shasha)
Course: Headliners Club
Mentor: Mahea Lee

Mahea: I had a wonderful time working with Shasha. She had a already had a collection of fantastic songs, so I’m grateful that she was so willing to try a new approach during her session. That allowed us to focus in on specific tips and theoretical concepts in a very direct way, while allowing her to apply what she discovered to existing and future pieces. She’s currently working on a beautiful EP, and I can’t wait to hear it when it’s done!

“Come to Life”

Student-Artist: Stefano D’Agostino
Course: Faders Up I: Modern Mix Techniques
Mentor: Sam Friedman

Sam: Stefano began this course with a five minute track he called “Groove Strings.” It was beautifully-arranged, but at best, it sounded like a live recording. After working through the course material and applying concepts like EQ, compression, time-based effects, etc., his song was sounding better than ever. The before and after was really remarkable, and I couldn’t be prouder of how well he took to each lesson.

Innessa

Course: Headliners Club
Mentor: Angela Mastrogiacomo

Angela: Innessa is the kind of student teachers love. She was not only eager to learn, but to progress and grow in a way that was captivating to watch. With each new task I presented her, she asked questions, met deadlines, did the research, and came back with a plan that allowed us to fast-track her results. By the end of the course she had become much more skilled at her social media marketing and relationship building, and begun to set the groundwork for future projects. She was a true inspiration to watch, and proof of what a few weeks of hard work, planning, and dreaming can accomplish!

Innessa: For me the eye opening discovery would be – the importance of networking. I’ve never looked at my music through the lenses of networking. I thought a quality unique product plus some marketing is enough to be discovered. But I realised I should be actively looking for new people, new collaborations, new connections and like-minded musicians (through GIVING and not spamming). Since our sessions I made new online friends, regularly attending local music conferences, enjoying enormously meeting like-minded people from music industry. Angela also mentioned that there’s no point of making a perfect plan if you can’t implement it. So we worked on my time management as well during our sessions.

What’s Next for Innessa: This is a very exciting time for me. I have officially finished my online studying and moved my focus to the creative process. I am about to release my first single “Golden Wreath” that represents my new project (Alternative Folk with Eastern-European Influences). For the first time I am not just throwing my music out there hoping that someone will notice it but investing my money, making a certain strategic plan, hiring PR company etc, basically doing the same thing but on a totally different level and it feels great to do it with some knowledge how things work.

You can follow Innessa on Facebook or Instagram, or listen to her music on her website.

Bumbac Joe

Course: Headliners Club
Mentor: Angela Mastrogiacomo

Angela: Bumbac Joe came to us with a major case of burnout—something I see a lot of in the music industry and can even personally relate to. Over the course of 4-weeks we worked to identify his pain points, which were often different than what he had anticipated, and yet he took each new reveal in stride, eager to turn things around. He worked hard to overcome the obstacles I identified, to complete the assignments given to him, and by the end of 4-weeks I was looking at a completely different person! Now, he sounded excited when he talked about his projects and the future. Watching Bumbac Joe’s transformation from burnt out to excited and inspired by his music and his budding career path was truly jaw-dropping and a beautiful reminder of the power of what can be done when we’re able to step back, regroup, and reapproach.

Bumbac Joe: I think the most valuable portion of knowledge I got from Angela was to understand the dynamics of social media, and how we can use it in our benefit as an artist.

Find Bumbac Joe on Instagram.

Ready to Reach Your Musical Goals?

Our Soundfly Mentorship program is built on our belief that accountability and guidance can have a huge impact on helping students reach their goals and develop their musical identities. We currently offer mentorship with nine courses, including those mentioned earlier, as well as the Headliners Club. Our mentors are passionate, experienced musicians with a shared love of personalized learning and artistic curiosity.

You can find more information on our courses here or by reaching out to [email protected].

*If you think you have what it takes to be a Soundfly Mentor, learn more about the program here.

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Mahea Lee

Mahea Lee is a classically trained pianist and composer who has a degree from a jazz school and leads an electro-pop band. Her greatest musical passion is lyrical songwriting, but she's been known to write the occasional fugue. She graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Contemporary Writing and Production and minored in Music Theory. For more Mahea, check out Soundlfly's course, The Improviser's Toolkit.