Meet dBs Plymouth student Sammy Wightman aka Trance producer and DJ Sam White. We caught up with Sammy to talk about his journey into production, how dBs helped him grow as an artist and his experience playing at the official Transformation closing party at Club Tropicana, Ibiza.
Having just finished our Access to Higher Education course and returning from the party island's infamous closing parties, 2019 has been a busy summer for Sammy Wightman aka Sam White.
Transformation is one of San Antonio’s most popular events, how did this exciting booking come to fruition?
Well, it's an interesting story and a good example of how networking and getting to know the right people in your scene can open lots of doors. Back in 2015 I visited Ibiza with a friend called David Boyle, who was a regular on the island and also well connected. During that trip I joked that David should start his own event because he was so well known on the island. We laughed at the time but later that year he launched his brand ‘Reverie’ in Motherwell.
During that 2015 trip David, who had heard my DJ mixes previously, introduced me to the owners at Club Tropicana. After a little convincing they agreed to let me play at their event. The set went well and I started to build a good relationship with venue owners. Fast forward to 2018, David had continued to grow ‘Reverie’ and also built a reputable brand in Ibiza securing a regular club night at Tropicana. Between 2015 and 2018 I started getting heavily into music production and began releasing music on different labels. Following a good run of releases I was invited back to play in 2018 and again in 2019 for the official closing party.
Tell us a little about about your journey into music production, how did you get into making music?
Music has been a lifelong passion especially Trance, which I fell in love with in the 90s. In 2014 I saw an advert for Native Instruments’ Maschine and was compelled to buy one. Once I had the Maschine I became totally hooked making anything I could at the time, which was a mix of House and Trance. At that point I knew I wanted to become a music producer full time.
How did you find out about dBs Music and why did you choose to study with us?
I moved to Plymouth from Scotland in 2018. I wanted a fresh start and had lots of friends in Plymouth from my days as a Royal Marine Commando. My passion for music had been growing and growing and I knew I wanted to take it to the next level. I did a lot of research looking at colleges throughout Cornwall and Devon. dBs Music excelled in every aspect, from the state of the art facilities to the friendly staff and beautiful location close to Plymouth’s Barbican. Shortly after my initial tour and meeting the tutors, I knew it was the right place for me. I had also met some of the students and heard stories about the projects they were working on and the trips they go on during their courses. The annual trip to Superbooth Berlin (B.A. (Hons) Electronic Music Production), was one of the things that got me excited about studying here.
You have just finished the Access to Higher Education Diploma, how did the course help you develop as a producer?
The course really pushed me to learn new techniques and approaches to music production. My tutors Amy Edwards, Matt Radley (aka Crystal Mad) and Paul Connaughton taught me how to use Logic Pro X. They helped me to think about music in terms of space, depth, width, dynamics and context as well as considering the emotional impact of my work. I also discovered techniques that helped me create more punchy and more coherent mixes. In short, dBs helped me to up my game hitting a more professional level.
You’ve just completed your induction for our B.A. (Hons) Electronic Music Production degree, what are your plans for the future and where do you hope to be after you finish?
I have big plans for what I want to achieve over the next three years so that I can leave the course with a career in place. My biggest ambition is to reach a level where I can create music that later becomes an all time classic. The type of tracks that will be remembered forever. I also want to produce a high volume of material, enough to play live sets featuring entirely my own work. My dream is to create a show that I can take on tour globally.
During my degree, I’m looking forward to using the hardware synths, drum machines and modular systems. I believe this experience will help develop my live show and enhance the creative possibilities of my studio work as well. dBs Plymouth is also home to Ableton Certified trainer Chris Pratt who teaches on my course. I’m excited to learn some advanced sequencing techniques from Chris that I can incorporate into my live performances.
What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to release their own music and play live?
Work hard, have self belief and just go for it. I would also encourage people to join a group or take a course that provides real interaction working with other people rather than just watching YouTube videos or online tutorials. I’ve learnt so much just working and performing with others. Having feedback from the tutors has helped expand my creativity and provided the opportunity to keep improving all the time as well.