Get to know: Prodigal
The final artist that will be joining us to perform live at our next showcase event this Thursday 14/7/22 is a producer that has really caught our attention recently! Prodigal’s productions have been getting everyone moving at our showcase events ever since he started getting involved a couple of years ago, and we are looking forward to having him perform his heavy and rolling style of Drum & Bass to close up the night!
Introduce yourself – who are you and how would you describe your music?
Hi, I’m Prodigal and I’m a drum and bass producer and DJ living in Kings Heath.
How did you get started with music production?
I originally started DJing and fell in love with the scene at that point. After a while, I realised that I wanted to do more with the music and that hunger led me on to opening a DAW for the first time. After that, I became completely obsessed with making the tunes as well as spinning them!
What would you say are your main influences – musically or otherwise?
My main influences musically are definitely coming from the darker side of drum and bass. I love what 1985 music are putting out as well as a lot of the stuff that Critical puts out. Artists like Monty and Visages are killing it right now and reaching that standard of production is a big inspiration. I used to be a big jump up head so try to capture some of that fun and energy into my sound as well.
Tell us a little about your production workflow – any software or hardware you use, any special techniques or sources that are indispensable to your sound.
I work in audio mostly and find that Ableton is perfect for getting an idea going quickly. Progression across a tune is important for me and the automation in Ableton is powerful and easy to use. I am not the best at synthesis so tend to start with something quite simple and then layer it, distort it and resample it till I have another content for a tune. Go-to plugins for me are Soundtoys Decapitator and the Slate Digital Mix Rack. These work wonders on your drums and have loads of other uses besides. There is another saturator I use a lot called Tantrum which you can get some pretty mad sounds out of as well!
What do you do when you’ve lost your musical mojo?
Take a break! This is definitely easier said than done but it is really important to get some space between you and the PC when things just aren’t going right! Come back tomorrow and approach things from a different angle. Walking my dog is an absolute godsend for this.
When you make music, where do you start?
Typically, I like to start with drums and try to keep everything quite clean and precise. For me, the drums have to sound catchy and have impact on their own merit. I try to build my own samples and create a unique sounding kit for my tunes. After that I’ll move to sub bass and try and get something with some movement going. Once the main vibe is there, I will start looking for the other elements that really give the tune its identity.
If you could go back to when you first started out and offer your former self one piece of advice, what would it be?
To spend more time actively trying to learn new techniques and understand how things work. There is a lot to be said for jumping straight in and experimenting but there is also a lot to learn and I probably shied away from that at first! Also, networking with other producers at a similar stage in their journey to you is invaluable and I should have done more of that!
Can you tell us one thing you really appreciate about the Birmingham music scene and one thing you think could be improved?
I love the community feel to some of the smaller events and people here are always accepting and friendly. There is a truly underground scene in Brum that is making some wicked music right now. I think we are lacking the “premium” clubs in Brum to compete with some of the other big cities. It would be great to have a venue on the scale of Printworks or Warehouse Project here.
When you’re not making music, what other interests and hobbies do you have?
I love to spend time in the garden, growing all kinds and looking after my bonsai, and am also trying to keep fit and get better at running. Great beer is another passion of mine and I’m regularly out in Stirchley and around the city on the hunt for it! Not sure that the beer helps with the keeping fit but there we are!
Do you feel Listening Sessions has helped you progress as an individual artist?
Absolutely! Listening Sessions gave me a safe space to show off my music and gave me the confidence to start sending my music out to others. It has really helped me to meet other local artists and helped me get my first release as well! Big up LS!
Which other Listening Sessions producers are you feeling at the minute?
Have to big up the Ghost Snares team at this point. Loads of new darkness coming from the guys and the label is making waves!
Where can we hear more of your music?
My first release (Busy Tone / Paper) was out last month on Ghost Snares and that is streaming on Spotify. Everything else is unreleased at the moment so you will have to keep your eyes and ears peeled!