Audio being a niche market but spanning so many different genres lead SAE Institute Glasgow Alumni Obi Dozie to push his creative boundaries to create an app to refine audio content and bring it together for audiophiles around the globe. He shares his life with Vibe ...
Did you have a straight route into studying audio?
No not at all. My father was an engineer and my mother was a nurse and I followed quite a traditional route through education. But growing up my father had a set of 1940’s turning plates and he used to let me play with them. I always loved it. I actually went to university back home to go along the traditional route that was expected of me in real estate management and it was during those studies that I created a mini home studio in my bedroom and recorded my first hip hop album. I really loved everything about the process and realised then that I had to switch and study audio. I’d tried to teach myself a lot from watching online tutorials but it got to the point where I knew if I wanted to take it up a level, the studying had to follow suit.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I had piano and drumming lessons growing up and I wasn’t really that interested in them at the time. I feel a bit bad about it now but it was just where I was at at that time. I was good enough to play in the church band but there were no bands growing up in Nigeria.
Where did your passion for audio tech first begin?
When I found that I could make music through computers. I then went back to my piano training and brushed up on it.
Any genre in particular?
I love jazz. The improvisation of the sound - seemingly random but an utter skill to achieve. I then spent a lot of time playing and recording different tracks.
How did you come across SAE Institute?
Well I was trying to teach myself more about production techniques and I came across it in my research. It was a big decision to choose between the US and the UK, but I loved the vibe of Glasgow, despite the cold.
What do you love about Glasgow?
Gosh it just felt so creative and everywhere I go I always see people carrying guitars and musical instruments. The live room was amazing and really expanded my horizons on my view of bands and band culture. It’s the opposite of back home and I just always get inspired by seeing other people pushing forward with their passion. It’s insanely cold but a very good vibe.
Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do as a vocation after study?
I came to SAE with such a tunnel vision of what careers in audio would be open to me. SAE really opened my eyes and changed my ideas of what I could do after my degree - from sound engineering and music production to the impact of sound on society and social integration. Since graduating I’ve found myself moving away from the studio and more into the tech scene. And that’s how the All-things Music PRoduction (AMP) app was borne.
Ooo tell me more...
It wasn’t until the last month of my study that I actually thought of the idea. Then in 2013, way after I’d graduated I formed a team with my now business partner Jonas Boateng and I designed the front end and he designed the code. And on top of that I’ve put together the website and branding. It’s taken over a year to get right but we’re so pleased with the results.
So AMP has had a soft launch in July 2015, how has it gone?
Yes it’s been good to launch it softly and get feedback and test it further. But now we’re ready to show the world.
Brilliant. It’s fantastic - the world of audio should appreciate this for sure. What’s your immediate plan?
Well we’re going to be present at a number of trade-shows to spread the word directly with the tech manufacturers, magazines and industry people of the audio world, as well as going to the SAE Alumni Convention in Berlin.
Is AMP free?
It’s free at a basic level and within a year we’ll have a pro offering for people to purchase. It really offers deeper categorisation pertaining to the readers’ preferences. So they’ll be able to further categorise music vocals, business or bass guitar for example.
What’s your overall aim for the rest of 2015?
To have 10k downloads. If we have that, I think the traffic after that will grow organically as word spreads. Of course we’ll still be pushing it but it allows us to concentrate on offering the next phase of the app.
Any words for new students?
Stay true to your passion in life and be open to where it leads you. These are massive industries that we’re in and the opportunities are vast. Really focus on what you want to do and create your niché. Download the AMP app here, for android and ios. Best wishes for success from the Vibe team Obi and Jonas - keep up the hard work.