Name: Courtney Beckford
Also known as: Hi5ghost / Wu Yen
Second year Music Production and Engineering student at dBs Music Courtney Beckford opens our dBs Music Student Diaries series, where we take a look behind the scenes at some of the currently enrolled students set for big things.
Best known under his production alias Hi5ghost, the certified Bandulu Gang member has already had several successful releases, including his 2014 breakthrough track Kung Fu Kick, released on Bandulu Records – Kahn and Neek’s strictly vinyl DIY label.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Courtney released his fullest Hi5ghost EP to date (also on Bandulu) Holy I$$h, which includes three original tracks and a Lemzly Dale remix. The very well received EP closely follows his July single release on Hotline Records, No Sleep.
This is on top of his 2016 Noire EP, which he released on his own PaperCranes label under alter alias Wu Yen. Fortunately for everyone with a set of ears, this level of output looks set to be the new norm for Courtney. With a promise of more singles and another EP in the pipeline, he showed us around the dBs Music studios on St Thomas Street.
Where are we most likely to find you in the building?
If I’m not in class, I’m most likely in the library.
Favourite piece of equipment?
At the moment, I’m a big fan of the SSL desk in Studio 6. It’s functionality and how easy the routing is are the main reasons why I enjoy using that desk.
At the moment, I’m a big fan of the SSL desk in Studio 6
Are you working within a particular genre and if so, what draws you to it?
Mainly grime, just because it something I’ve been a fan of from the age of 13. And likewise with dubstep, it’s been a scene I’ve been lucky enough to watch evolve from its early stages.
Can you describe your ‘sound’ in a nutshell?
What are you currently working on?
At the moment apart from projects for uni, I’m currently finishing another EP and single.
apart from projects for uni, I’m currently finishing another EP and single
Can we hear something you’ve finished recently?
There’s a lot of new material from myself and Boofy within our most recent mix for Rinse.FM –
As a published artist, why did you decide to go back to study music?
At the time I felt that if I’m going to have a 9 to 5, I want it to be in music. Being realistic, I don’t want be a DJ all my life. The dream is to become a studio producer / engineer, and for me to have any chance at that I need the knowledge and experience I believe I can only learn via higher education.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned at dBs Music?
Improving my workflow and approach to starting a project. Everything I have learnt so far has been valid to what I what to do with my music. However, being able to work more efficiently and overcome creative obstacles is a tool that’s not just limited to music.
being able to work more efficiently and overcome creative obstacles is a tool that’s not just limited to music
Have you got any words of advice for people considering a professional qualification in music production?
All I can say is, despite your opinion on student debt and all of that, education is something that will last a lifetime – the skills available aren’t just limited to music. Being surrounded by like-minded people and having access to top of the range equipment is something worth considering if you feel that it can help you progress to the next step in your music career.
Find out more about studying at dBs Music at dbsmusic.co.uk