The second ever Alberta Electronic Music Conference is set to take place November 16th to 19th. The aim of the conference is to connect attendees with industry workers and artists that are passionate, driven, diverse and multi-faceted. One such artist that will be gracing AEMCON is Nomine. Hailing from the U.K., he’s the self-professed “walking no rules bass orgy.”

Over the past two decades Nomine has amassed a large arsenal of stories and experiences related to everything about the music industry, which he’s turned into lessons he shares through social media (as well as more formal classroom settings). Subjects have a vast range, and if the more technical studio production tips aren’t of interest to you, there’s a pretty big chance he may follow it up with a profound life lesson for his “tribe.”

We spoke with Nomine to discuss what 20 years in this industry looks like, and the subsequent lessons that come from it.


Freq: I’m always interested in people that decide to attain their education a little later in life. This is a personal question, but what drove you to leave school to begin with?

Nomine: I left school because I thought I wasn’t good enough. This is what I was always told and what I believed. If there were ever any somewhat positive feedback at school, it would be “you are capable, but lazy.” Turns out I had chronic anxiety, which I only found out in recent years, but have suffered my whole life. In addition to this, I discovered music and wanted to pursue that, I lived for jungle and drum and bass. When I left school I started a mail-order company that shipped out promo vinyl on behalf of many top U.K. jungle and drum and bass labels. Through this I got to know some international promoters and by the time I was 16, I was DJing in Germany, and at 19 I was playing at Direct Drive in New York City.


At which point did all signs point to yes, and you knew you had to resume your education to attain a Master’s degree? 

I was spending a lot of time in the United States from around 2010 to 2012, flying back and forward like a headless chicken. I got bored/angry with the music “industry,” took some time out and started Nomine as an anonymous project after 15 years of doing my Outrage drum and bass project, just to find my love for music again. It was nice to not have to live up to any expectations. I returned to the U.K. in 2012 and realized I had nothing outside of music -no backup plan – so applied for and got the job as a teacher delivering a DJ unit in a college for 16-19 year olds. At the same time, I applied to do a Master’s degree in advanced music technology and got accepted based on my industry experience. In the same week as being offered the job, and getting a place on the Master’s program, I also got offered an exclusive album deal as Nomine with Tempa records. Anxiety overload to say the least! The Master’s nearly killed me—returning back to education after all that time! However, I got through it and was two per cent over eight models away from being awarded a scholarship to a PhD, which was mind blowing really. I have now been a university lecturer for five years, and a couple of years ago I did a teaching degree. 


As a second part to that question, did you struggle with your own self-confidence leading up to your return to school? 

Very much so, especially after the negativity I experienced at school. I had to revisit the very basics of academic writing, it was SO hard!

You’re in the middle of setting up an online music school, and you’ve been hosting Education & Bass events in the U.K. already. How important is teaching to you? 

I absolutely love teaching. I like to promote the fact that if I can do it, they can do it, because many learners suffer from self-doubt, when most are more than able, they just need the right support. I am still very much involved in the music industry, so it is great to be able to share fist-hand experiences with the next generation. I often say that I teach from my ongoing mistakes over 20 years, rather than what I think I know or what I get from a book.


Can you tell me a bit about the school you’re currently setting up? 

Yes, it is an affordable subscription service (pay as you go, no contract) with the option to buy courses for a one-off payment. It’s an online platform that will be accessible for anyone, anywhere, regardless of their level of music technology knowledge and experience. In addition to myself, we have a variety of instructors (Digital, Macabre Unit/Nurve, Cocktail Party Effect/Kasket, X=X and guests) on board who specialize in (and who have been very successful in) a range of genres.

Each instructor is active in the industry, and some are also university/college lecturers. We will provide short and long courses that will be genre specific and general production tips and tricks. Some content will fall in line with academic curriculums at a variety of levels that can be used as enrichment or support for learners studying music technology. Additionally, we will be offering some one-to-one mentoring for the next generation. We have some nice unique elements such as live studio sessions with guests; live interviews/seminars with industry specialists; and lectures that will be broadcast live exclusively for subscribers. 


I’d like to talk genre for a second. I know that genre is something that is very frustrating to an artist (and also something you’ve addressed before). Labels in general can be really frustrating to a creative. Musically, if you had to label yourself, how would you do it? 

I will try to keep this simple. I am a big believer in not having to be restricted by genre, however, I think new producers should master one genre first, get known, release some music, build a following and then take their followers on the multi-genre journey.

Unfortunately, people (press, media etc.) like to put you in a box, otherwise they cannot not get their head around what you represent. However, I also strongly advise that behind closed doors, one should always experiment with a variety of genres throughout their entire journey. Each genre has something different to offer musically and technically, to learn from these and then bring it back into your “thing” will contribute greatly towards a unique signature and longevity as a producer. 

I would label myself as a walking no rules bass orgy.


You’ll be speaking about some of these topics at the Alberta Electronic Music Conference this November. What do you have planned for that visit? 

I plan to teach from my 20 years of ongoing mistakes as a human, a father, an international touring DJ, a multi-genre producer, a multi-genre record label(s) owner, an event promoter and all of my other rollercoaster adventures.


You spend a lot of time reaching out to fans and spreading wisdom. This one might be a bit of a chin scratcher for you since you spend so much time thinking about life etc. Ending off, what is the most important single piece of advice you’ve ever heard or coined yourself from your own experiences? 

Focus on, and ENJOY the journey over the “goals”.


Catch Nomine speaking Saturday November 18 from 1:15-2:45 pm at his Music Workflow Master Class and again November 18 from 4:00-4:45 p.m. teaching the art of the remix with Native Instruments. His night show will be November 17 at Nite Owl.

Stay caught up with Nomine via www.nominesound.com and https://www.facebook.com/NomineSound/

Buy tickets for AEMCON at https://www.albertaelectronicmusic.com/ticket-information/

BY: Kayla Graham

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