Not your average beat maker. SAE Audio graduate Essie B tells us her inspiration, experience and goals

03 Dec 2018

She’s not your average beat maker. A musician, music producer and singer-songwriter, Essie B is the epitome of creative talent. Graduating from SAE London with an Audio Production degree last year, Essie has already had her music played on BBC Radio London and featured in Tidal playlists. We caught up with her to hear all about her unique journey.

When did your love of making music begin?

I've always been surrounded by music from a young age. I was playing around with keys from about the age of 3 but I officially learnt my first instrument the violin when I was 6 years old. My love for making music via a computer, came some years later, when I was 14 and participated in a songwriting workshop at secondary school. The workshop didn't just require us to write a song from scratch but we also had to make a backing track as well. My love came from there and I literally continued to make beats every day after that, even during my lunchtimes at school!

Who inspires you?

Whoa, this list is long. I get inspiration from everywhere and anywhere (not to sound cliché lol but I do!). I grew up listening to a lot of 80s music actually so of course Michael Jackson is there, Donna Summer, Boney M, Kool and the gang, Barry White just to name a few from that era! Music producer wise, I'm inspired by Timbaland (one of my favourites in the game), Darkchild, Will.I.Am (Black Eyed Peas), The Neptunes, Pharrell, Missy Elliot, Warryn Campbell and UK producers Labrinth, Victizzle, GKid. Music that inspires me from ‘my era’ are artists such as Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Lecrae, S.O the Kid, Christon Gray, Will Smith, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Mary J Blige, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, T-Pain, OutKast and sooo many more but I have to stop here otherwise it will turn into an essay!

What made you want to study Audio at SAE London?

Before I came to SAE in 2015, I did a lot of research into various music schools around London a good year before. I wanted to have an all-rounded education on all things audio. I personally learn really well in an institutionalised environment so SAE was right for me. SAE really widened my eyes through the audio production course and showed me various ways audio could be used from film to recording a full band to electronic music production. There was so much more I could venture into than just composing or making instrumental beats! I l had learnt how to engineer a track, mix it and I was able to see how mastering really added the final touches to a complete song. I think the icing on the cake was the studio access to practise what we had learnt and record! That for me, really put SAE above the other music schools. Who wouldn't love that?

What was your experience like? Do you have any key memories/highlights?

The "Super Supees", their jokes and the late night sessions in the studio. Those studio nights were super tiring but fun! The Supees (a.k.a. the audio supervisors) were always willing to help and they were a huge part of the SAE culture for me. I loved how we as the students were able to collaborate and help each other record bands, singers and all sorts. It was a good way to bond and I really miss being able to use the Neve and SSL consoles! I really loved recording songs with them! It was also pretty awesome listening to some music that had been mixed in 5.1 surround sound too.

How did you get to where you are today?

It wasn’t easy but my faith helped me loads! I believe in God so I had to trust that all things were going to work out the way they should. All I had to do was keep believing in my dreams and keep striving for them the best way I knew how until some new knowledge comes along that can push me to the next level. I also visited lots and lots of music seminars! Knowledge is power as they say!

Has your time at SAE shaped your career?

My time at SAE definitely helped to propel me forward as I had learnt a lot of useful tools that I was able to hone in on my audio skills; especially in regards to engineering a track from start to finish.

What has been your career highlight so far?

A career highlight for me would be that three tracks, Compromise, Go Blind and Fountain Pen,  I have produced for my good friend and artist InderPaul Sandhu have been played on BBC Radio London! They've also been featured on Tidal Playlists! Being able to hear the finished product in its full glory is always an amazing feeling for me. Then I do it all over again.

What does the future hold for you? Do you have any particular goals?

I am definitely going to keep making good music. I want to make music that is real and relatable; that points people to a positive direction. I want to make music that will last beyond decades. Those kind of unforgettable songs are the best and for a reason! Also, I am a very creative person so who knows, I may be doing more than just music later! Don’t sleep on ya girl!

What is your advice for our current Audio students? Do you have any tips to share from your own experiences?

Record as much as possible! Get experimental and make all the mistakes you can make because once you do, you can learn from them and get better!

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Check out Essie B’s music:

Compromise  - InderPaul Sandhu (Recorded/Produced by Essie B)

Go Blind  - InderPaul Sandhu (Recorded/Produced by Essie B)

Fountain Pen - InderPaul Sandhu (Recorded/Produced by Essie B)