Our Stories: James Brook

Tom Aston

James Brook is gearing up to start his third year on the Electronic Music & DJ Practice course in September, yet he’s already making waves in the music industry.

From mixing and mastering the audio for a recent project for Spin Magazine, to preparing to step into the studio to work on an EP with an up and coming rapper, James is ready to take third year, and the world, by storm. 

Thanks for chatting to us today James. To start, what made you decide to study Electronic Music as a career?

I’ve been involved with music from a very young age, and it was always my main career path. As I got older and understood more how to use DAWs, I saw the endless possibilities that came from electronic music, so I decided to go that route and study it at a degree level.

And so, why did you decide to study at Spirit Studios?

The facilities! There are some insane studio facilities at Spirit Studios which heavily influenced my decision of where I chose to study.

Let’s chat about your recent work with Spin Magazine. Specifically, how did the opportunity come about?

My cousin approached me and asked me to create some music for her friends’ college film. This led to her dad reaching out and asking me if I would be interested in creating some music for some concept videos Spin were working on for the launch of their new website, Spin Projects. 

Wow, that’s incredible. Talk us through your two projects, Moon and Wire. 

Yeah sure, Moon and Wire were two projects I worked on for Spin. To start with, I worked on creating audio for the Moon project. At first, I was shown as little as possible and was asked to create a sense of atmosphere to fit the visual. I created the music for the project using Logic Pro making use of a range of stock instruments and plug-ins, as well as putting my sound design skills to use. 

After sending over the first draft, I received positive feedback from Spin’s President and was told it worked perfectly which led to working on the Wire project. While working on the Wire project, I was able to get really creative as the only requirement was to include the ‘sound of wire’.  

And so, I decided to create a series of sounds out of bits of wire and metal. I used a range of things such as: tent pegs, fishing wire and guitar strings. Out of all the things I used, I managed to get the most interesting results from simply scrapping my guitar with random objects such as a pen, wrench and hammer. Although it was very different to my usual workflow, I really liked it. 

Very cool. How are you staying productive and taking care of your mental health during lockdown?

By just creating music! I’ve started making music in genres I never have before which has helped me stay productive.

Being in lockdown can get quite depressing, so it’s important to keep on top of your mental health. Creating and believing in myself really help with this. Just the process of creating something from scratch brings me great fulfillment and joy.

Great advice. Tell us, what other projects are you currently working on?

I’ve been working on a lot of rap beats to start selling online, and I also have a studio session very soon with an up and coming rapper creating his first EP, which I will be mixing.

Sounds exciting! Who are you listening to right now?

I’ve been listening to everything, from Dubstep, Tech House, Drill, to general UK rap music. Some artists I’m really liking at the moment are Meekz, D-Block Europe & M Huncho.

Before you go, what does the rest of 2020 look like?

Even though we have this global issue going on, everything seems to be on the rise again, so I’m sure there will be a lot of studio sessions and plenty of hours producing music coming my way.

Thanks for chatting to us James. We can’t wait to see what you continue to do in the industry!