We check in with Tailor Jae, who won RA's scholarship last year to attend the Point Blank DJ and music production school. She mixed up a thrilling hour of dubstep, garage and grime to show what she's been up to since.
I think I can see changes in my mindset as a DJ for sure, just being a bit more assured in what I know. I already had prior experience as a DJ, however I entered the experience with open ears and eyes to learn. You can never know too much. There where things that I wasn't aware of on the technical side, and techniques like scratching which I'm happy I learned a lot more about (shout out to Mr. Dex, my tutor). I'm still as competent as I was last year. I've always had my own style and realise more that it's a huge benefit. I've just added some extra sparkle to that.
What were the highlights of the program for you?
The key highlight for me was finally getting my head around sound design. This was something I went in determined to do. I now actually understand how to create the sounds I longed to use in my music, and its been life changing (shout out to Ali Jamieson, my sound design tutor). I'm actually making music, there's still a way to go but I'm happy to be on the production journey finally.
In general I learnt so much about production, DJing, the industry, things that I thought I knew that I didn't. I now have a very good understanding of how the industry has changed over time, the direction it's heading in and what to be prepared for, I'm grateful for that. It has been a real eye opener and I just want to say thanks to all at Point Blank who helped and supported me.
I also met so many amazing people from all around the world too.
If there was one lesson you learned that you think would be particularly useful to DJs on the come-up, what would it be?
There is no right or wrong way to DJ, and you have to define what success as a DJ means and looks like to you. The principles of beat-matching, et cetera, yes of course but what I mean is own what, who you are and what you wanna play and how you want to play it. There was a point I felt like my musical choices may have been a hinderance to the direction I wanted to take and the heights I intended to reach, but if I compromise on that then I'm not being true to myself. I play music made by people in their bedrooms, who have little or no following not because I have to, but because I love what they do and I'm not going to stop. That's the stance I've taken: choose yours and don't let anyone define that for you. That doesn't mean don't be open, just spend time developing your style, it's what is going to set you apart and define you. In the music industry classes we delved a little bit deeper into successful artists and the majority had a story, something that audiences connected or resonated with. As you continue on your journey your story will develop too and you will find your audience!! Stay true to you and don't give up! (And of course have fun!)
What are the next steps for you as a DJ / producer?
As a DJ naturally you want to play as much as you can. So far I've been securing my own bookings, so maybe the next step is to connect with an agent.
Production wise, it's early days and it's definitely a long-term learning process. I'm going to continue to work on solo projects and continue collaborating with other producers. I have been working on some tracks with Traces, a UK dubstep duo from London who I met a Point Blank. We're making more hybrid bassy stuff, it's sick. I want to travel a lot more and collaborate with artists across the globe, find new sounds and discover new scenes and throw some parties too! I have connected with so many amazing producers who just don't realise how amazing their music is. I will continue to shed light on them, that's always been a key driving force for me, so maybe a label is a shout too! I have so many ideas, so we will just have to see which ones manifest, one day at a time.
The main thing is; it's time to leave the "up-and-coming" prefix behind. It's way overdue; I have arrived and I'm ready to "duppy a dance"—translation: smash some parties, haha.