In 2019, we launched the JBL Master Class live event series, offering music creators the chance to connect with leading producers through close-knit conversations. Held in intimate venues throughout Los Angeles, New York and Barcelona, the Master Class series featured a different rising artist each month. World-renowned producers, DJs and artists gathered to discuss everything from writing and producing to advice on navigating the music industry. Now that we’ve completed our first year of the JBL Master Class Series, let’s take a look back at some key insights from each artist:
Gareth Emery is a world-class trance producer and DJ, best known for racking up millions of monthly listeners with his three studio albums: Northern Lights, Drive and 100 Reasons to Live. During his Master Class event, Emery covered a wide range of topics, including his approach to combatting perfectionism, his ‘Golden Rule’ of production and an in-depth walkthrough of his vocal processing techniques. Watch the video.
“There are three elements to creating music in the studio. Writing is when you’re writing the melodies, chords and vocals. It’s creating the content. Arranging is moving around the blocks and puzzle pieces. You’re deciding where the breakdown and the drop will go, and deciding what happens at what point. Engineering is making it sound right. You’re making the bass sound full and making the vocals sound great. My ‘Golden Rule’ is to never do all three at the same time.” — Gareth Emery
Luca Lush is a DJ, producer and remixer based in Brooklyn, New York. Luca broke into the SoundCloud scene with a collection of flips, edits and remixes that seamlessly blend elements of tech house, DIY punk rock and future bass. Luca delivered a fast-paced Master Class, packed full of useful tips on creating your brand and building a community, as well as a track-by-track breakdown of his hit remix of ‘God’s Plan’ featuring Kid Travis. Watch the video.
“I strongly recommend active learning. Open your DAW up at the same time. Don’t watch a tutorial while you’re making breakfast or on the train or something like that. You want to be actively modifying parameters on your synth or doing the same things that the tutorial is doing so you can understand the process and internalize it.” — Luca Lush
Sam Vogel, better known by his stage name Jauz, is an electronic dance music producer and DJ specializing in chill trap, bass house and dubstep productions. At just 26, Jauz has achieved some pretty impressive accolades, including collaborating with Skrillex, releasing a single on Diplo’s record label, Mad Decent, and founding his own record label, Bite This. Jauz covered a lot of ground in his Master Class, including his advice on getting started, branding and putting in your 10,000 hours. Watch the video.
“There’s no shortcut other than working harder than everyone else around you. For the beginning of your career, there’s literally no substitute for spending more hours in the studio than the next person.” — Jauz
Born in Africa and raised in New York, Gashi is a renowned rapper, singer and songwriter known for his eclectic blend of musical elements from around the world. While speaking to a packed house at his Master Class event, Gashi talked about several defining moments in his journey from being homeless to signing to the biggest record label in the world. Watch the video.
“I hit the streets of New York City, selling that CD that I made. I would sleep at Wendy’s, just trying to get a record deal with this CD. I thought to myself, ‘It’s going to happen.’ Then one night while I’m sleeping on the streets of SoHo, I see Kanye walking. So I start following him to his apartment and I waited outside of his house for almost two years. One day he says, ‘I see you every single day. Give me a CD.’ And there’s a picture online of Kanye West giving me a pound after taking my CD.” — Gashi
Snakehips is a British electronic music duo consisting of Oliver Lee and James Carter, known for their energetic remixes of songs by Banks, The Weeknd, Bondax and Wild Belle. Shortly after a live performance at the Sonar+D Festival, Lee spoke to a massive crowd about his love of sampling, the benefits of working as a duo and advice for up-and-coming artists. Watch the video.
“Get yourself out there. If I was even the slightest bit proud of my music, I would send it to everyone. Maybe your snare drum’s not EQ’d right or your kick is whack, but if you’re confident in the music you’re making, you just have to keep doing it. Don’t spend too much on one thing; just do a million little things. I was doing five beats a day for two years.” — Oliver Lee
Born in Brooklyn, Kirk Knight is a highly influential record producer and rapper. Best known for his work with Nyck Caution, A$AP Ferg and Joey Bada$$, Knight’s debut album, Late Night Special, broke into the Billboard charts shortly after it was released in 2015. Knight recently finished touring the country with rap collective Flatbush Zombies and fellow Pro Era member Nyck Caution. Watch the video.
“My advice is to create your own sound, because when the time comes and they ask what is your sound, you better be ready. If it doesn’t come to you naturally, then it doesn’t make sense to force it. If you force it, you’re not going to like it.” — Kirk Knight
Pegboard Nerds is a Danish-Norwegian electronic music group consisting of Alexander Odden and Michael Parsberg. After joining forces in 2011, Pegboard Nerds quickly took the world by storm with their unique blend of videogame-inspired music, which combines elements of Scandinavian demoscene, chiptune and other EDM subgenres. During the Pegboard Nerds Master Class, Odden and Parsberg discussed their approach to creating dense yet balanced arrangements. Watch the video.
“What makes a track feel whole is balance, and an equal loudness of sound that caters to your auditory system. So if you lack something in a certain frequency range, the production will sound dull in some way. That’s the difference between a well-mixed record and a boring record.” — Michael Parsberg
With millions of plays on SoundCloud, Vincent has established himself as a trendsetter in the trap and future bass genres at just 23 years old. After making his debut in 2015 with remixes of Meek Mill and Drake’s “R.I.C.O.” and Alison Wonderland’s “U Don’t Know,” Vincent released a trio of genre-bending summer anthems with “Anax,” “Her” and “Breathe.” For his Master Class session, Vincent gave advice on how to get your music heard and grow your brand. Watch the video.
“Learning how to use social media in your own way is a big thing. There are a lot of people who have their own brands on social media. Everyone uses social media differently. Finding a way to do it in your own way, and in an honest way, is what I think will bring people together or back to your music.” – Vincent
An innovator in the progressive trance genre, Audien is a GRAMMY Award-nominated producer who has done remixes for everyone from Calvin Harris to Bastille to Bruno Mars. His original songs “Insomnia” and “Something Better” both reached #1 on the Billboard charts. Audien has also been a mainstay act in Las Vegas with residencies at Marquee, XS Nightclub, Encore Beach Club and Drai’s Nightclub. At the beginning of his Master Class, Audien gave advice to aspiring producers who are trying to find their sound. Watch the video.
“When it comes to finding your sound, part of honing in on it is repetition. Using certain elements again can keep a story to your sound. I think repetition is cool, but you have to modernize it. Make it advance your sound. Make it more 2019, something you were using in 2013 might not sound good this year.” – Audien
Morgan Page is a GRAMMY® Award-nominated DJ and music producer, known for hits like “The Longest Road”, “Fight for You” and “In the Air.” Page has remixed over 400 tracks for renowned artists such as Nadia Ali, deadmau5 and Ellie Goulding. During his Master Class session, Page discussed how he prepares for world-class festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Burning Man, and offered production tips from his Morgan Page Quick Tips series. Watch the video.
“Are you married to anything in the track? If you mute it and you don’t miss it, then get rid of it. A lot of times, I’ll get into this trap of being unsure about a sound and I over-layer. If you over-layer out of fear, it gets very muddy and messy and it’s hard to know what to delete. Create with confidence, don’t layer out of fear.” – Morgan Page
The first JBL Master Class event kicked off in Los Angeles with QUIX, a trap and bass DJ from New Zealand. Best known for his collaboration with Boombox Cartel, “Supernatural”, QUIX has also gained the support of top-tier DJs including Skrillex, RL Grime, Major Lazer and more. During the event, QUIX talked about his approach to creating original tracks, and how to brand yourself as an artist. Watch the video.
“You should just do what you love, one hundred percent. If you have an artist project with a trap sound and you put out a house track—that could be a bit weird for the viewers. But if you’re not at the stage where you’re putting out music as an artist and you’re just making beats for fun, then just do what you love.” – QUIX
For more information about previous and future events, visit the JBL Master Class website.