Producer and DJ Gnarly is known for her impressive live finger drumming performances. Her weapon of choice is the Native Instruments Maschine, where she creates jazzy, soulful beats with a helping of funk. Her skills in music tech are vast and Gnarly is the lead Mix and Mastering Engineer post-production for the UK Beatbox Championships.
What was the first album you bought and how do you feel about it now you are a producer?
To be honest I don’t remember the first album I bought. My sister used to buy a lot of tapes and CDs when I was a kid and she was a teenager. I remember spending hours making mixtapes /mix CDs from them of my favourite selections including TLC, Eminem, Blink 182 and Aaliyah to name a few.
I don’t remember when I made the transition from listening to her music to buying my own. It seems like such an archaic way to listen to music now by having a physical copy. Most of the music you’d listen to in those days was chart music and it would be a dream to appear on Top of the Pops. With the internet, anyone can distribute their records now and have them heard all over the world.
Where do your ideas come from before you make a track?
Sometimes I’ll hear a song or sound in daily life that will inspire me such as music in a game or a line in a TV show or a post on Instagram. Other times I like to sit and actively listen to music for hours to draw inspiration from. I like to spend a lot of time experimenting, sometimes it turns out great sometimes it doesn’t.
Do you have a favourite performance of yours? My favourite performance was being in the Finger Drumming Competition at Sample Music Festival in Berlin last year. It was my first international gig and first time in the scene, performing for people that were there specifically to see Finger Drumming. I got to network with a lot of other finger drummers too which was really cool.
Are there any artists that you draw inspiration from — if so who and what type of music?
Lido is my biggest inspiration. He’s a multi-instrumental live performing producer. His beats are kind of future RnB. Music that is full of emotion and well executed. Seeing someone create and perform with such good energy inspires and makes me want to level up.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians and producers? Stay consistent, practice daily and make an effort to be the best you can be. Set goals for yourself and be determined to achieve them.