Meet Simon Watkins aka Saffaboy
Who are you? I have been a DJ for well over 25 years now. I started producing my own stuff about two years ago and have not looked back since! I spend as much time as I can producing- on the train, during my lunch hour, over the weekends basically whenever I have a few minutes spare you will find me plugged in.
Tell us about your and your background in dance music? I originally started out as a radio presenter back in the mid 90's in South Africa. Rave had just hit the scene and I covered (for the radio station) most of the big parties that took place at that time. I had the privilege of interviewing Tony De Vit watching Carl Cox mix on 3 decks up close, met Frankie Knuckles and many other great memories from that time.
I decided to move to the UK in 1998 but could not find any work as a radio presenter. So I decided to lock myself in a friends basement in London for 4 months and teach myself to mix using vinyl and an old Gemini 626 mixer. In those days it was all about hard house! Following that I left the UK to go travelling and ended up playing in Thailand - Indonesia and Australia. I landed up back in the UK where I played professionally and promoted gigs in one of the best towns in the U.K. For dance culture and live music: Brighton that is where I find myself today- not playing professionally any more but I do get out at least once a month - the DJ bug never lets go 🙂
Describe your skill level as a producer? I would say that I am at an intermediate level. My skill set improves all the time. To quote one of my favorite producers: Maceo Plex: " Make a lot of shit music and you will eventually start to make good music" I have made a lot of crap music! I am happy to say that I have started to turn a corner and every next tune I make is better than the last one!
Where did you look for production related tips and tutorials before finding the Underground Elite course and ItsTheDJ.com? I am a course junky! I have used : Producer Tech / Sonic Academy / Fader Pro and loads of you tube videos in the past.
What was/is your #1 sticking point? My number one sticking point was moving away from what I call clip based production and using midi to create my own sounds and patterns.
How has the course helped you over come it? The course cut through the noise and uncertainty by being a no BS one stop shop to finishing music quickly whilst achieving great sound.
How long did it used to take you to complete a track? It used to take ages to finish tunes mostly because of procrastination and self doubt.
How long are tracks taking you now? I knock them out super quick now. I have a six month release schedule of tunes all ready to go. With at least 3 more in the pipeline. My main focus right now is getting the social media stuff in order to increase my followers and fan base.
How has the course save you time, money, or frustration? The price was super reasonable and Eric is always on hand to answer any questions and feedback that I have. Being on hand to discuss is what sets this course aside. I haven't done another course since this one and have completed at least 4 records in a couple of months.
Can you name 3 other things, good, bad about your experience? Good: very informative and easy to understand. Bad: not having access to all of the plugins!
Is there anything that stands out that you'd want others to know? Do the course spend a little money and you will get so much more in return! Hands on help and weekly updates with plenty of useful free stuff that will assist you to make better music quicker!
Here's a track Simon recently finished. Check it out.