Ellie Baker

Note: Ellie completed our FdA in Music Production in 2019.

"I would never have considered showcasing my work anywhere outside of my bedroom, but with an amazing support network here I've begun to put my ideas out there."

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Ellie Baker - FdA Music Production

Ellie Baker is an entrepreneurial student in her second year of our FdA Music Production course. She is currently planning to launch her own business, Barefaced Women, a project that aims to challenge the lack of women in the music production industry. 

Has your music / approach / technique changed at all since your first year?

In many ways, for sure - it's pretty impossible for it not to when it becomes a part of your daily lifestyle. My ear for music has changed massively; it's no longer "I like that", it's now "how did they do that." I've realised that in this industry it really does show that work, attention and your own personal style is what makes the difference. This course has made me acknowledge so many different areas of music that I haven't considered before, in ways that have helped my own work to explore different genres.

What has been the most interesting project you have worked on so far?

At Leeds Conservatoire I've been working on various remixes, which I never would have considered to be my main interest. Having the resources within my reach has helped me to experiment with as many different genres as I could, and I found that it was manipulating and using samples within my work that clicked. The close networks and the vast variety of music students here have really encouraged me to collaborate with other artists, which has meant I've been able to put my production skills into practice. Outside of Leeds Conservatoire, I'm launching a project called 'Barefaced Women' starting next year. It will focus on showcasing a variety of female talent through annual gigs, not just through artists involved but sound technicians, too. It's an appreciation and encouragement for women working in an, unfortunately, female-lacking production industry.

Is there anything that has really made you push yourself as a musician or anything new that you've not tried before?

I've always been happy to work independently, so working in the studio has definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Working within a team has definitely allowed me to take on different roles and given me the confidence to network further for more opportunities. I've always struggled to translate my ideas to a finalised track, but help from mentors has given me the confidence and guidance to do so. I would never have considered showcasing my work anywhere outside of my bedroom, but with an amazing support network here I've begun to put my ideas out there.

What sort of accommodation are you living in? What advice would you give to new students about accommodation?

I'm currently living in York and commuting to the conservatoire via train. I love Leeds' vibe and the fact there is literally always something going on to get involved in. Personally, I've got networks in York which are a large part of my life, as well as preferring to live in a smaller city. Similarly to Leeds, York has a large music scene and being small has made it easy to socialise and get involved with work here too. I would definitely say to anyone considering commuting to the college, it's tough, but only to begin with. If you're motivated and passionate enough about what you do you can definitely have the experience of living and working in two different cities. It's allowed me to meet twice the amount of people and experience more music through two different resources.

What do you get up to outside of Leeds Conservatoire?

As mentioned earlier I'm currently focusing on setting up my own Barefaced Women organisation. I try to attend as many gigs as I can, I always find that half the time I end up meeting other musicians who want to be produced and get in the studio. I love to work not only with students from Leeds Conservatoire but from further afield too, as it gives a nice contrast in ideas and work. When time is on my side, I try and continue to compose my own work. I'm currently learning Ableton as a new way to compose, as well as investing in new pedal boards and plugins to try and find my own sound.

Have you been involved in the SU / societies or other Leeds Conservatoire activities?

I was the Student Representative last year for FdA Music Production. Having the opportunity to help make changes and developments for both the college and students was a very rewarding experience. I'm hoping to get more involved with the SU to continue this.


What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of applying to your course?

Ask as many questions as you can. It sounds cliche and over said but it definitely is true. The amount of help and advice available is amazing, it has definitely pushed my own music past boundaries I never thought it would. However, I would also say keep an open mind to both your own music and others. Inspiration can be a bizarre thing and it's difficult to know when it'll strike or where it'll come from. If you gather as much knowledge and experience from as many sources as you can, it will only give you more ideas for the future. Even if you don't think something will be to your own liking, it may link to another opportunity. 

How would you describe your experience at Leeds Conservatoire so far in three words?              

Development, challenging and exciting.

Study FdA Music Production at Leeds Conservatoire

International applicant? Find out more here.

See more from Ellie here.

"Studying at the Conservatoire has been one of the best decisions I've made in my life." Read the @LeedsNews inter… https://t.co/vmniE7pvPp
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