Get your notebooks and pencils ready because school is back in session.
Well, at least it is at Tommy Africa's, every Monday for the next several weeks, where two local DJs will be teaching sessions on how to become DJs and producers.
"I was talking to a couple of local guys here and there are a bunch of up-and-coming producers screaming out for some help," says Anthony Traynor, a.k.a. PropaTingz. "Fidel Cashflow said to me, 'Why don't we do a seminar here in Whistler?'"
The pair got together recently and launched The Whistler Production and DJ Masterclass, which will run for nine weeks (the first session was on Aug. 19). The four-hour sessions are broken into three courses covering information for those at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
For those brand new to DJing, the first classes will cover the basics, Traynor says. "I'm going in as a teacher and a leader of the seminar with the idea that these people have never actually seen the software before and don't know anything about the process... If you have an interest in electronic music you'll be able to navigate through the technology so you can start producing."
The classes will be delivered as lectures — covering the production software Abelton, music theory and basic and advanced production techniques — with guests DJs dropping in as special lecturers as well. Canosis, one half of the local Skiitour duo, is already signed up to help out, with more announcements to come. "Every artist, DJ, producer has their own unique take on things," Traynor says. "We will be getting some touring talent coming through."
To that end, the course will also tackle how to tap into creativity, on top of teaching the logistical side of the industry. "It's 50-50," he adds. "I'll be going in there and teaching a lot of techniques that have helped me cultivate my own creativity... Most of the colleges that I've been to will give you tools, but they won't tell you how to be creative. That's what's going to set you apart and create momentum in your career."
While Traynor doesn't have any formal training, he says he spent around eight years learning the ropes by trial and error. He's since toured the world, collaborating with big names like Bassnectar and Freq Nasty.
"Basically what you've got is eight years of training condensed into three seminars," he says. "When I started, Ableton was this geeky thing only a few people got into. It's blown up and become the number one tool for electronic music producers."
The sessions will cost $50 while each course is $135. All three courses are being offered for $375. To sign up, visit their Facebook page at The Whistler Production and DJ Masterclass, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The classes run at Tommy's every Monday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.