Making music in a mansion: SAE Oxford student tells us about the Airbit Academy Music Producer Retreat

01 Oct 2018

SAE Oxford Audio student Joe Grain was the lucky student selected by SAE to attend the Airbit Academy Music Producer Retreat, which took place at a lavish mansion in early September. Bringing together producers from all over the world, including big names such as Tone Jonez and the DopeBoyz, the retreat was a fantastic collaborative experience for all involved.

We spoke to Joe to hear about his time on the retreat.

1. How did you find the retreat?

"The retreat was an all-round fun and exciting experience. With everyone sharing the same interests and goals, it was easy to connect with all of the producers and let your creativity flow. The mentors were so insightful and really tried their best to pass their knowledge on to us aspiring producers. They were so helpful during and after the retreat, allowing us to ask them as many questions as we could possibly throw at them and they answered every single one to the best of their ability. Aside from music, the house and setting was also lovely, providing many activities to enjoy and it was a great place to just clear your head and get into a new creative state."

2. What did you learn?

"The main thing I took away from this retreat was new ideas and ways of marketing your music to gain a wider audience. This is one aspect of being an artist and producer which can make or break your career, this retreat gave me a lot of new ideas to try when it comes to marketing myself and my music." 

3. What was the highlight of the retreat?

"The highlight of the retreat had to be the daily producer challenges that we were given. Each day we were put into groups and were given a challenge which we then had to play at the end of the day in a showcase in front of all of the groups. One example of a challenge was the 'sound design challenge’. For this challenge, we had to go around the house recording sounds that we could make a track out of. This was one of my favorite challenges of the week and really made the retreat interesting as it kept it fresh and exciting."     

4. Did it live up to your expectations?

"I didn't really know what to expect going into the retreat but I know that I came out of the experience with a lot more of an idea about what elements are needed to make a career out of being a producer. I learned about each step in detail which was really useful to me. The house itself was amazing with so much to do there was never a moment when you were bored. All the staff did a great job in setting this up and running this retreat and I cannot thank them enough, I am also very appreciative of SAE for allowing me the opportunity to go to this retreat. It was a truly great experience and I was lucky to be a part of it."    

5. What was it like to collaborate with other producers?

"It's always a great experience to hear different points of view and mix them with yours - this is how you really grow as a producer. It was great collaborating with different producers from all walks of life, I have learned so much from all of them."    

6. How has attending the retreat had an impact on your career as a producer?

"It has really made me think and consider taking the plunge into the beat selling world. Before this retreat, I never really gave it too much thought but now after being there and gaining all that information from the different mentors I am now seriously consider going into that field. That aside, I also learnt a lot of valuable lessons that I can apply to either the producer or artistic career path that I choose to go down."