Working student: ‘By day I’m a student, by night I’m a music producer’
Assignments and exams linger over my head during the day, while at night I find the time to create music
Jonah Craig, a computer science and business student, has just released his first single.
Cover of Jonah Craig’s single.
By day I’m a student in the fourth and final year of my computer science and business courts in Trinity College. By night, I’m a music producer.
When I tell people, I get a variety of reactions. Some smile excitedly, some nod with interest while others raise their brow judgmentally.
By its nature producing is polarising - there will always be people who like and dislike the music you make.
For me, I’ve decided to look at the positive side. After all, there are few students who don’t love hitting the dance floor or kicking back after a long, tough week of college.
My first single release, Ultimatum, is for those who want to let loose and unwind.
Assignments, course work and exams all linger over your head during the day, while at night you find the time to create music.
Being two of anything can be difficult but the support from your closest friends, family and local musicians is invaluable - especially when you’re about to leave college and begin your young professional career.
In times like this, your mentality comes first, especially with respect to the process of creation.
I’ve found that local DJs, singers and music producers in Dublin are all very helpful to, and mindful of, each other. For me, it’s very easy to feel at home around people like this in Ireland.
I got into electronic dance music production through being elected as the entertainments officer at Trinity Ents, a subsidiary of Trinity College Students’ Union.
Throughout the year, I was responsible for organising major college events including Freshers’ Week and Trinity Ball.
By getting to know people in the events industry, I was lucky enough to DJ in various venues across Dublin.
As my year with Trinity Ents ticked along, the more I began to realise that there are hundreds of DJs in Dublin, but very few dance music producers.
The fact that DJs play other people’s music is hugely important, however, Dublin’s local nightclub scene is full of live performers playing other artists’ music.
There is a gap in the market for someone with production skills, I realised, so after I finished up in TCDSU, I decided to focus my energy on music producing.
The simple reason for the lack of dance music producers is the fact that producing music in general is both surprisingly difficult and time consuming.
It requires a deep understanding of music theory such as melody development and harmonies coupled with the technical knowledge of a digital audio work station where you piece everything together.
When you try make this all happen while being in the final year of your undergraduate degree, you will find that time management becomes very important.
It is easy to drift off and daydream of the success stories such as Hozier, who like myself, was once a student at Trinity.
A centred and balanced approach is required from music producers where they know that the fundamentals of music creation are the work ethic and the quality of your music.
These are, after all, the cornerstone of any successful artist. When going through all of this, there is one thing I know for sure I want to do: enjoy the journey, and all the incredible experiences that come with it.
To listen to the track, click here.