It was back in 2013 when LilRockit walked through the doors of the School of Electronic Music (SEM). With no background in DJing, it was simply her passion and desire to learn that gave her the push to enrol on the SEM DJ course. Fast forward 5 years and she’s since performed at some of Europe’s biggest dance events. Cream, Amnesia, Creamfields, Ibiza Rocks and Ocean Beach are just a few on her checklist and in the process she’s gathered an impressive following. Whilst Lilly always had a passion for music, she claims it was her first visit to a nightclub which ignited her passion for djing and the live music scene.
“My sister invited me to Sankeys in Manchester to see one of my (at the time) favourite DJs play and it was my first experience in a nightclub and one I won’t forget, as luckily for me my sister was good friends with him and we were able to stand in the booth whilst he DJ’d. In that moment I was able to feel the adrenaline, the buzz and the excitement of the possibility that I wanted more than anything to pursue the view in front of me as an opportunity that would allow me to be able to be myself, whilst playing the music that I absolutely loved to people that would love it too.”
Whilst Lilly always had a passion for music, she claims it was her first visit to a nightclub which ignited her passion for djing and the live music scene. In 2014 Lilly lost her sister to her battle with cancer and this experience led her to change her life. She talks about how her sister inspired her to do more of the things she loved.
My sister changed my life – no matter how many operations she had or how much chemotherapy she was given she was still determined to go out, party and live life to the fullest. Every gig that I play I imagine her there dancing away with her hands in the air, loving life. Every gig that I have played and will play will never be about money or fame, it will always be about the unity of happiness between the people, music and the freedom it gives (and colour, lots of colour). That is my motivation. That is my focus. That is my story.
In 2016 Lilly decided to return to SEM and enrol on the Complete Music Production Course. Whilst DJing was a skill in which she was very competent, her production techniques needed polishing and she was eager to take her skills to the next level. On the course she would gain a strong grounding in music production skills and learn to use Ableton Live along with MIDI, audio and virtual instruments.
“I will be honest in that I have never touched or seen Drum Rack in my life. On the course I learnt how to create a sample pod full of musical elements like drum, clap and kick hits from scratch and how to manipulate those sounds using the functions of Simpler and to be able to play those sounds using a keyboard.”
Whilst Lilly had a self taught background with Ableton Live, she admits that it was a struggle to teach herself all the essential elements needed to produce a high quality track.
“I’ve used Ableton for my productions and because I am self taught I’ve struggled trying to find the right settings to be able to adjust the different areas in a tracks composition, mastering, eq’ing, etc and everything else in between and it really frustrates me. I’m a gamer, so knowing the ins and outs of controls is a must (I see making music as a game except I don’t have the knowledge of the controls to be able to get to the next level!).”
One of the benefits of the Complete Music Production course is that it enables students to study a variety of music styles and to learn how different genres are structured.
Learning basic sound design and mixdown techniques has taught Lilly to transform arrangements into finished polished pieces.
“If you’re a DJ and you lack the knowledge to progress and become successful, join a Production course and get your skills up. Making good quality music is a key to the next level.”
“I don’t know why, but the Critical Listening and Production Case Studies class has been my favourite. I’ve never spent the time actually listening to what the whole basis of a track is made up of. After these lessons on critical listening, I was (re)taught to listen Finding each single individual element, be it a kick, drum, clap, hat, bongo, congos, whistle, trumpet or tinkle and mapping it out is the best way to find and figure out how a track was made.”
Lilly has since progressed onto the Advanced Music Production module of the Complete Music Production Course. Over the next 6 months she’ll study different types of synthesis (subtractive, wavetable, frequency modulation, granular, additive) alongside depth mixdown and mastering techniques using a range of high end processors.
‘knowledge is the key to success’ and once I have that knowledge, who knows what country and on what stage I will need a flight case to stand on to be able to see the view of happiness over the decks’…
Lilly will be keeping a blog throughout her studies at SEM. Keep checking back as she updates us on her progress.
You can also follow LilRockit on social media using the following links.