fly that tune rag
April 27, 2015 10:25 AM   Subscribe

 
What an awesome creative kid! And so nice to see his folks and other grownups in his life being positive and encouraging, even when they don't fully get the music itself. That's very refreshing.

At age 11 I was mostly content to play video games and climb trees. It wasn't till I was 15-16 that I started getting really interested in creating music. I still remember, quite vividly, pirating my friend's copy of Cakewalk Pro Audio 5 (back in 1997 I believe), right about the same time we started AP Music Theory together.

Back then I didn't know shit about anything, and I had no idea how to use the program. I just experimented like hell, mostly sticking to the notation entry (because of my piano lessons and music theory class it was the most familiar thing to me at the time). Eventually I figured out how to use soundfonts but for a long time all I had access to was the General MIDI soundbank that came with Windows 95.

Because the General MIDI sounded so flat and video-gamey my parents never took any of my compositions seriously. They always poo-pooed it as sounding like "a Mario game" and were extremely negative and discouraging. Of course, that just made me more determined to prove them wrong.

I never made it on the radio, but I did manage to get several pieces written and produced as incidental music for our school's adaptation of "Inherit the Wind", which was pretty rad. Made me feel validated, even if my parents still kind of put it down as sounding cheap.

Nowadays it's trivial to get very musical sounds out of systems like FL Studio (that's what Black Summer is using, judging from the video) and it's really wonderful to see his work being held up and appreciated, especially from his parents. With support like that I'm sure he'll go very far.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:46 AM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


it's really wonderful to see his work being held up and appreciated, especially from his parents. With support like that I'm sure he'll go very far.
Reminds me of this comic: It costs nothing to encourage an artist
posted by theraflu at 12:02 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


<boosts bass 600%>
posted by fontor at 3:11 PM on April 27, 2015


Dubstep? This is some kind of 4-on-the-floor - loosely in the style of contemporary "big-room house" I guess.

There have been a few cases where parents paid for a ghost produced track or two for their "DJ" kid, so to be honest that's kind of what I was expecting here. But I don't doubt the authenticity of these tracks because they're about what you'd expect from a novice. Which makes this a sweet story but not sui generis - in fact production prodigies are kind of a "thing" in the current wave of "EDM." Madeon, Porter Robinson, Martin Garrix all supposedly started around 12 and had real hits between 16-18 - and there are more buzzed-about Soundcloud producers in the 15-18 range than I care to try to count. If this kid has the drive and the talent he could match that but if he does I guarantee he's gonna be more than a bit embarrassed by this news clip.
posted by atoxyl at 4:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


atoxyl: "Madeon, Porter Robinson, Martin Garrix all supposedly started around 12 and had real hits between 16-18 - and there are more buzzed-about Soundcloud producers in the 15-18 range than I care to try to count."

Yes, but one of the things you forget as an adult is how big a difference a year or two makes when you're talking about kids. If an adult does something at age 31 that most people do at age 34, it's no big deal. If a 1 year old does something that most people do at age 4, it's a really big deal.

I'm not saying "OMG it's so amazing, he's Mozart!", but it's not "Eh, every 15 year old has a pirated copy of Fruity Loops, so what?" either.
posted by Bugbread at 5:30 PM on April 27, 2015


what he seems to have is a genuine love of the craft which to my mind is where most so-called talent comes from. you just keep at something until you get it.
posted by philip-random at 5:34 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also wrote a ton of songs around his age, mostly using the presets on my electric keyboard as backing tracks, and so it's really sweet to me in a personally nostalgic way to see this. I totally agree with what everyone is saying that this is definitely a (very enthusiastic and dedicated) 11 year old kid's music, and that's what makes it so great.
posted by capricorn at 7:00 PM on April 27, 2015


Creating your moniker by mashing up the name of your dad's Holden V8 and Summernats is delightfully suburban Canberra.

Adults love to shit on Triple J, but it really is a great thing for young people.
posted by retrograde at 7:21 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was 11, I took my Yamaha PSS-170 and made a little ditty with the "Reverse" and sang into my little microphone "Backtrack... into the shadows... of your mind."

Tell me that wasn't a forerunner to the future LSD use that child would eventually partake in, eh?

That said - this kid, clearly has more talent.
posted by symbioid at 7:39 PM on April 27, 2015


Yes, but one of the things you forget as an adult is how big a difference a year or two makes when you're talking about kids. If an adult does something at age 31 that most people do at age 34, it's no big deal. If a 1 year old does something that most people do at age 4, it's a really big deal.

Well I'm not comparing the music this kid is making at 11 to what other kids are making at 15, I'm comparing the possible trajectory of a kid making music at 11 to other producers who were making music at 11-12 and reached a level between "noteworthy Soundcloud producer" and "honest-to-god star" by the end of their teens. And I'm pointing out that more and more kids are getting into this stuff around this age, because this it the kind of music that's cool right now. But watching the full interview I guess he's already been at it for several years which is more unusual, and the "fist pump" track on his channel is significantly more impressive to me than the linked one. I'm not trying to tear him down at all - again I'm comparing him in a positive way to people who were rich and famous by 18. I just have mixed feelings about the idea of shining a spotlight on someone who's in such an early stage of their artistic development.
posted by atoxyl at 9:43 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Love the comments on the first YouTube thread. So many tiny, tiny, jelly little men. They seem to be awfully threatened by something they claim isn't any good - from someone who's eleven years old, ffs. What's wrong, lads, mum didn't pat you on the head enough? Richard Kingsmill didn't like your sick mix?

Do Canberra proud, Rhys!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:28 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, this 'Fist Pump' track takes me back to my Amiga mod days.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:31 AM on April 28, 2015


Oratilwe Hlongwane, is the world’s youngest DJ at only two years old.

(I'll spare you the music, so simple even a toddler can do it joke).
posted by Mezentian at 3:49 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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