Defyre Society: Defining the new frontier for aspiring EDM musicians [Interview]
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Here at Conscious Electronic, our team has a keen eye and a vested interest in any groups, organizations, or companies that are making waves across the dance music industry. That’s why we’ve turned our attention onto Defyre Society, a mixing and production school bent on educating the next great round of electronic music artists.
Education is ultimately what will define the next generation of musicians, so we’re honored to feature Defyre Society as an upcoming contender in the realm of education for beginning and continuing music producers. Owned by Alex Defyre and Jackson Brown, Defyre Society has featured established artists from the likes of MUST DIE!, BIJOU, TYNAN, QUIX, Trivecta, G-REX, and so many more.
We sat down with co-owner and CEO of Defyre Media Inc, Alex Defyre, who sheds insight about what Defyre is about and how the online educational platform aims to change the way aspiring artists learn.
CE: So what exactly is Defyre Society?
Alex: Defyre Society is a school aimed to provide electronic music producers with the kind of mentorship, education, and development that other schools would normally charge 25-50 times more for.
CE: Why is this important?
Alex: We provide a strong foundation and network. Networking is such a vague term, but when you’re constantly getting feedback from some of the biggest artists in the industry day-in and day-out, and building personal relationships/friendships with not only with the instructors – but also 1,300 of your peers all actively pursuing greatness—that’s networking to me.
CE: What are the objectives/ desired goals?
Alex: To build professional producers, but with a realistic approach—through hard work, patience, and GRIT.
The Defyre process is simple:
Rinse and repeat.”
Most producers don’t make it past Step 1, because they don’t know how or what mistakes to identify, so they get frustrated, and then they procrastinate and/or quit. That’s where our rigorous mentoring system plays such a crucial role. It’s not just education–it’s a support system.
CE: What problems are you attempting to solve that music producers commonly face?
Alex: Not having any guidance or feedback. One can never achieve expertise in ANY field without feedback on their work from people more skilled in their field.
This is why producers struggle despite watching hours and hours of YouTube, and even paid courses. It’s a one way street, and producers are left driving in the dark.
CE: What products/services do you offer to help achieve these objectives?
Alex: To go into specifics: we provide up to 50 hours a week of real-time, live-streamed feedback (7 classes a day) by internationally-touring artists analyzing students’ submitted songs inside the DAW. Then there’s 2-3 live workshops a week by massive artists on production, branding/marketing, and mindset where they field any questions producers have over the course of 90 minutes—all archived on the platform. We also provide group coaching calls on mixing/mastering, mental health, and branding every month for more personal attention, private lessons, sample packs, and hundreds of hours of content.
CE: What types of artists do you feature, and what criteria do you use to screen them?
Alex: We feature artists that are proven. When I say proven, I mean artists that are signed to major labels, supported by major artists, and have a strong following. Nailing these three pillars is probably the hardest three things for an upcoming electronic music producer/DJ to achieve, so why not have what you aspire to be – teach you?
CE: If there are artists that have already found success in their careers, it makes sense to have them be role models for others to learn from – no sense in recreating the wheel.
So what are you doing that’s different or unique within this educational environment?
Alex: What we are doing different is destroying the traditional idea that you need to go to a school (in the traditional sense) to become a professional electronic music producer. Dozens of our current students actually graduated from these schools, only to realize that a diploma in electronic music production that is literally just a piece of paper. I have two Bachelor’s Degrees and two Master’s Degrees, and while these have helped expand my mind in some ways, and also provided the groundwork for a promising career – I still feel I blew way too much money.
I see that in electronic music production schools; traditional ways of education that have simply become outdated, and also provide you with sparse to non-existent job opportunities. The inexpensive options people have online nowadays are simply too much for ‘brick and mortar’ schools to keep up. We are even seeing this phenomenon happen now with U.S. universities–while albeit expedited due to Coronavirus—trending towards online. Moreover, I see Defyre Society as a graduate program, with the “revise, submit, revise, submit” Defyre process taken right out from my days as a PhD candidate fine-tuning academic papers for journal publication—with the consistent help of my graduate advisors.
CE: That’s an all-too-familiar sentiment most university graduates have experienced within the music production field, it sounds like Defyre is definitely setting itself up to be a strong contender against these traditional institutions.
Given the forward-thinking direction that drives Defyre Society – what exciting upcoming news/projects/features would you’d like to share with us?
Alex: We’ve recently made some partnerships with the biggest software companies in electronic music, such as Image Line (FL Studio), Propellerheads (Reason), and Kilohearts (Phase Plant). We’ve been hosting remix contests with NSD:Black Label and Crowsnest, and as we continue to grow, we will bring more and more talent to help our students. And finally, I would like to begin holding live Defyre events here in Los Angeles. These events will host some of my instructors, and some of my students (brought up from the minor leagues so to speak!) for DJ’ing and performance. Then there’s always the aspiration of creating a festival with the same Defyre firepower, just on a larger scale…but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.