Hi! My name is Alex, I’m 25 years old and from North London. I’m on BA Music Production at BIMM Berlin. Producing under the pseudonym ‘Frank Slimm’, I make ambient / chill electronic music, mixing acoustic instruments with electronic productions and samples. I’m also working a lot with various musicians at BIMM writing soul, funk, hip-hop, pop, rock. I’m always looking for something new to get into.
How did you get started?
Depends how far back you want me to go! I started playing piano when I was 4, drums when I was 11, guitar when I was 13. I toured in a metal band for about 3 years after school and I started production during that time. I’ve probably been solely producing for about 2 or 3 years now. My mother raised me on a lot of soul, funk and jazz music and I discovered hip hop when I was about 18, so my initial inspiration was based around sampling and making beats. It’s a funny question because to be honest I still feel like I’m just getting ‘started’! This is just the beginning for me really.
Why did you choose BIMM Berlin?
I’ve known about BIMM for a very long time. I’m from London where there is a campus and I have friends that applied to the original campus down in Brighton when I first left school at 18. I’d heard so many good things about it over the years that when I stopped touring it seemed like an obvious choice of place to go considering I wanted to start focussing on a different area of music and the industry. I actually initially went to apply to London but when I found out there was a campus in Berlin I couldn’t turn it down. I played a lot of shows here and I fell in love with the city when I first came here 5 years ago, so it didn’t feel like a choice. It was a foregone conclusion!
What has been your highlight at BIMM?
I guess it’s a bit of a cheesy answer but the people that I’ve met here are my highlight. I think it says a lot that there isn’t really one ‘stand out’ moment because I’m lucky enough to come to this building and talk about and engage with the one thing I love more than anything else every day with like-minded people. And not just the students but also the tutors. I thought I’d heard every songwriting technique under the sun and I’m still leaving lessons and rushing home to get down new ideas and feeling more and more inspired each day. It’s a good place to be.
What advice would you give to future students on your course?
Say yes. Just say yes to as much as possible. There’s so much going on around here that it’s easy to get overwhelmed but I know people who are musicians who would kill for opportunity to be doing half as much as we are here. People are playing their first shows in Berlin to 50 or 100 people and collaborating with musicians from the other side of the world. I’m not even on a performance degree and the amount of things that are available to me, on and off stage, is crazy. So actually saying yes isn’t even enough; make sure you put your name in and get out there and do it as well. You get out what you put in and there’s a hell of a lot to get out of your time here.