From becoming a world champion DMC scratch DJ to releasing twelve albums and getting on hundreds of thousands of yoga playlists on Spotify, Sol Rising has risen to prominence as one of the top yoga music and ecstatic dance DJs. This is an independent artist success story we think you need to know about.
After discovering meditation, traveling through India, and becoming an accountant, Sol Rising came to Pyramind to further develop his production, DJ, and instrumentation skills, which helped launch his career in the yoga music scene.
Sol Rising has since received millions of streams, earns a living producing and performing, and travels the world as an independent artist. We were lucky enough to have him stop by Pyramind to discuss his expansive career and how he does what he does. Click HERE to watch our full video interview.
This week I had a great time hosting Pyramind Alum Eric Luttrell in my ongoing “Planning for Success” guest speaker series for our Music Business 210 class.
Eric shared with us the entire journey of his discovery of electronic music during a college trip abroad to Berlin where he and his college friend Ben Swardlick together chose to come to Pyramind where they met Andy Coenen and formed The M Machine.
From there the indie dance group found success releasing music with OWSLA, and hitting major festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, and Tomorrowland.
The many twists and turns in Eric’s career path has now found him working with the amazing team at Anjunadeep and today he has dropped a full length album called Lucky Ones!
It’s out on all major services and also available on CD and limited edition 2×12″ vinyl with Luttrell-Motif slipcase.
Ben Swardlick, aka Swardy, is the musical solo works of Maine raised / Los Angeles based Benjamin Swardlick.
His ten+ year career as an electronic music producer / DJ has been defined by deeply emotive and conceptual music. He’s a Pyramind class of 2009 graduate and founding member of The M Machine.
Today we’re happy to announce his birthday release: The Gold Line.
With millions of streams and hundreds of thousands of followers on Spotify, this is a Pyra grad you need to follow.
Since graduating from Pyramind in 2015, Oriel has gone on to become a serious creative force to be reckoned with, releasing 4 music videos in just the past year.
Most recently, she has collaborated with Max Savage of Noisy Savage fame and is working on an entire new EPs worth of music. In her words “my job is my passion”.
Siddhant, AKA Sid, son of famous Indian singer Sudesh Bhosle graduated from Pyramind’s Electronic Music Producer program in 2018.
Since then he has traveled the world and released multiple tracks and music videos, most recently released his new single, Fida on all streaming services.
Zac, aka Zaxcess, recently graduated from our Complete program with flying colors. Acing the Pro Tools Expert qualifying exam set him up for his current career in game audio. Since his move to LA he has released an EP entitled The Takeover, worked on a game entitled Artificial Selection and has even written a book about Reason… yes… the software!
About his time at Pyramind, Zac says, “Being around people who are genuinely passionate about something is really inspiring. Having the opportunity to learn in a professional studio environment is also exciting, especially for doing sound to picture and surround mixing.
On the artistic side, I would say that learning the approach to quickly go from collecting a few musical ideas to arranging them into a full song was really valuable. On the technical side, getting to see how to organize and structure a mix session in a professional way was enormously helpful; in particular, learning how to correctly use reference tracks is a very valuable skill.”
Clayton Wolfson aka WolfsOnbience is a graduate of Pyramind’s EMP program.
Since graduating he formed Dub Love Records and is a resident artist for Muckshire Records.
Marie Jenkins AKA Kyns is more than just an artist. She graduated from Pyramind in 2017 and since has been bouncing around The Bay Area and LA doing freelance work for artists and filmmakers. She has dabbled in session vocal work, co-produced and written for several RnB and pop artists, and is currently working on the music for her second animated short film project.
When we asked her about her time with us, “I’ve met some of my favorite humans through Pyramind, and most of them I wish we talked more! Matt and Steve’s classes felt like coming home.”
Most interesting however, was her response to our question about her fondest memory with us:
Sara, aka Gizma, came to us from Mexico, but after falling in love with the music scene in the bay, she is now a San Francisco based DJ, producer and sound designer.
She started Pyramind after getting her medical degree and finding herself wanting to expand her knowledge to the world of audio.
When asked about her favorite memories of Pyramind, she said: “Hard to pick just one. From being happily overwhelmed and excited on the first days, to being inspired by such amazing teachers” After graduating, she was recruited by the legendary Spun Records as a DJ, and now DJs at festivals across Mexico and the US.
It’s a full time job, but when we asked how she felt about music as employment she said, “I don’t see my Gizma project as employment, but has brought me great opportunities and experiences. I focus most of my musical time on that.”
Listen to Gizma’s latest releases here
After finishing Pyramind’s Ableton Night Program Anjanette Lanae has made a living creating and selling beats on Beatstars, making tutorial videos, and releasing singles and EPs.
She demonstrates her production prowess as her own artist and as part of the duo Evanae.
Read below to learn more about The Ableton Night Program and to listen to Anjanette’s music click HERE.
Carl, AKA Ullliik came to us from Austria in 2018 to become an engineer, and in just one year he earned his Pro Tools certification. In a language that is not his native tongue, and on a PC (not an easy task, if you aren’t aware).
After starting classes he quickly became very close with his fellow students, and since graduation, he has released many collaborations and remixes with them. Check out Carl’s most recent collaboration with fellow alumni, BYRD YRD here.
Check out all of ULLLIIK’s music here, and message him on Instagram here
Since graduating from Pyramind in 2018, Josh, aka Augnos, has ingrained himself as a mainstay in the Vaporwave community, as well as the Pyrafam. Post-graduation he worked as an audio instructor at The Academy Of Art and then returned to Pyramind after applying for the position of studio manager.
He is now using the Pro Tools chops he learned in school to complete mixing and mastering projects that include work for Microsoft and Wested. He also works on multiple Podcasts including Mentor My Mix. He also is currently running his own music showcase, Fresh .Wavs, and co-hosting the Private Suite Podcast.
Check out his SoundCloud here, and if you’re into Vapowave or just want to find out what it’s all about check out Fresh .Wavs here
Soul Glitch is the brain child of Pyramind Alum Nick J. Hasty. Nick is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and controllerist. Based in Northern California, Soul Glitch creates Epic Soultronica (a dynamic fusion of indietronica, electro-pop and synth-pop genres), seamlessly integrating infectious beats with messages of personal and social empowerment.
In Hasty’s words, “Soul Glitch is about tuning in to our higher selves and finding meaningful purpose in the interdependency of humanity and all living things.”
Nick released his eighth single “Hold On” in November 2019 and is currently working on his debut LP, which is slated for release in Spring 2020. The anticipated record will feature new solo work, as well as bonus collaborations with two-time Grammy Nominated Producer, BRIDGES (Wildheart by Miguel, Automatic by Kaskade).
For those of you in SF The Bay Area you can check out Soul Glitch live at The Brick & Mortar this coming January 30th.
Mario, aka Sharc, came to us from Miami Florida in 2015 with guitar skills and a thirst for knowledge.
After graduation, he was immediately scooped up as one of our Studio Managers and quickly rose the ranks to be an integral part of our administrative staff.
Mario’s influences vary from electronic artists like Koan Sound, punk artists like Jeff Rosenstock, jazz artists like Pat Methenty and plenty more. He currently teaches the higher level Sound Design courses at our Ground Campus, and has overseen the re-construction of our brand new Logic Pro X classes as noted above.
He is a founding member of the Pyramind_tv Twitch stream, an avid gamer, and recently completed his first PC build.
Listen to Marios music Soundcloud and book him on our mentorship network here.
Lucas Kwasny may be one of the only people we know of with Pyramind tattoos.
When we asked him about his favorite memory at Pyramind, he said, “I think my best memory from school would be the “7972” tattoo that myself and one of my best friends Quinn got. Quinn and I met at orientation day and clicked right out of the gate. Late one evening after asking the man, the myth, the legend, Steve Heithecker himself, to write it down on a piece of paper, we got our “7972” tattoos… If you know, you know.”
Lucas aka BLKBRST graduated from our Electronic Music Producer program in 2017, and since moving back to the great north (Canada) he has released hit after hit, signed 16 tracks to multiple labels, and works on post-production for films. Lucas has also been wearing masks since before Covid-19, here’s proof, and you can listen to all of his world-class music on Spotify here.
Leonardo, aka Lyo, has shown enormous dedication to his craft through his determination to come to Pyramind (all the way from Italy!), the work he put in as a student, and his many projects since his recent graduation.
We caught up with Lyo recently to ask about his experience at Pyramind:
“Both the students and teachers I met there are wonderful people who are very passionate about music and open to all kinds of musical genres. The atmosphere at Pyramind was that of the family. I [can now] combine my knowledge of recording, arranging, songwriting and mixing. The music is a fusion of Pop, Electronic Music, Jazz, and Film music. I’m proud of it because everything is created in my studio.”
When we asked about what he was up to now, “I’m currently producing a singer from Puerto Rico, and working on the mix for my next single, “Waterfall” in collaboration with the Pyramind graduate from Austria, ULLLIK. Also working in many other projects that will be released later this year 😉 “
Lyo has been steadily releasing music since graduation. His newest release, Way Back Home, has received much critical praise and was remixed by ex-Pyramind instructor, HAAK. Both have over 10K streams on Spotify, as does his previous collab with Pyramind alumnus ULLLIK on the track Mucho Muy Muy
Take a listen here.
This is a milestone week for Pyramind alum, Brennan Anderson: last Friday Square Enix released Marvel’s Avengers. This is Brennan’s first AAA title and we couldn’t be more proud of him, or more excited to play this game!
After graduating from our Sound for Picture and Games program, Brennan went on to become an audio producer at Disney Interactive, working on audio for games like Big Hero 6: Bot Fight and Star Wars: Assault Team.
After his stint at Disney he returned to Pyramind in 2016 as a production lead for our studios and to teach our Wwise audio for games implementation course. During that time he developed audio for Nomadic VR as well as for HTC Vive’s Arcade Saga VR amongst others.
He left Pyramind in 2018 for an Audio Designer position at Crystal Dynamics, the studio that has developed many games including the very successful Tomb Raider Series.
If you weren’t already considering applying for our Sound for Picture and Games scholarship, Jeremy’s story is yet another reason you should.
After graduating from the same program, we couldn’t let Jeremy’s talents go. He worked with us on World of Warcraft: Lords of Draenor, Crimson Dragon, Looney Tunes Dash, and Arcade Saga. He then left Pyramind to work with some of the biggest names in the gaming industry.
Most recently, Jeremy was hired by Zenimax Online Studios to work on Elder Scrolls Online. After their purchase by Microsoft this week, that makes the second studio where Pyramind alumni work to be purchased by Microsoft, after Double Fine.
To learn more about Jeremy and his projects, check out his website here.
After graduating, Michael Roache began work at Pyramind as a studio manager. He quickly moved up the ranks to become one of our high-level Project Managers, and eventually became our Director of Production, spearheading our work on world-class games like Halo: Anniversary, Spec Ops: The Line, Rocksmith, and many more.
After 7 years in the role, Michael then moved to Blizzard Entertainment as a Senior Producer of voiceover, casting, and overseeing production on World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and, Overwatch.
More recently, Michael has re-connected with his former mentor and former Pyramind VP of Business Development, Paul Lipson who now heads up the team at Formosa Interactive, one of the leading studios in the southern California Game Audio industry.
We’re extremely proud to call Michael an alumnus and wish him continued success in all his endeavors.
Shawn Minoux is a veteran audio professional with world-class production skills concentrated on creative sound design and interactive audio.
Shawn gained his specialized training by attending Pyramind as a student and then continuing on as an intern, post-graduation.
His time at Pyramind led him to intern with Disney Mobile and laid the foundation for him to begin work at Blizzard Entertainment.
Shawn is now a Sound Designer II at Blizzard working on titles like Overwatch 2. To learn more about our Sound for Picture and Games Program click here and checkout the interview we did with Shawn way back in 2012 HERE.
We’re seeing a growing trend with Pyramind students choosing to move to Berlin to explore and grow in the vibrant music scene there.
Jamaica was one our the first to make the migration and has made quite a name for herself there. She’s been featured on Ableton’s “One Thing” series, has recently released tracks on the vinyl label Gradient records, and has played some of the biggest clubs in Berlin.
Named by Boiler Room as one of “Berlin’s best kept secrets,” Jamaica Suk has fused her jazz and metal roots from the Bay Area California into contemporary techno driving dance floor workouts across the globe. A lifelong music experimenter, musician, sound engineer & DJ – She embodies the deeper character of techno, postmodern forms of melodic storytelling and soul that rise from the industrial drive of her evolving sets.
Hailing from Marin county, Max started at Pyramind in 2011, and ever since graduation his production company, Noisey Savage has garnered a large amount of album credits, including Cathedrals, New Spell, and fellow Pyramind alum, Oriel Poole.
Founded in 2013, Noisy Savage is a boutique production house for all forms of media. After moving to Paris to continue his work in film, he has recently returned to the Bay Area to take the production company to the next level.
Check out his website here, as well as his Insta here
Connor Smith-McCurdy graduated from our Complete Producer program in San Francisco. At the time of writing, he has just graduated. And yet, he has multiple releases out, more on the way, and a whole VR game soundtrack (and sound design) under his belt. We recently caught up with Connor (virtually).
“While I was hoping for the world to be a little different upon graduating, I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few projects to keep me focused. I had an old friend of mine hit me up about doing sound for the virtual reality game he was building called Cybercade. I hadn’t even finished the final game audio class at this point so it was perfect timing to have a full project of my own to build, while still having the ability to get direct questions answered. I made music, sound effects, and also programmed it all using Fmod. The reception to the game has been phenomenal and far more then I ever really expected. Currently we’re over 18K downloads with 4.9 rating, and the reviews some people have left… They’re really nice man. I have a pretty large audio update coming soon, new weapon sounds, new music for a new level, not to mention a lot of new sounds for destructables we just put in.
By now you’re likely aware of the many opportunities available for producing license music for TV. You may even have heard some big success stories of songs getting placed that provide a large sync fee and royalties for whoever wrote and published it. Right?
Well we recently sat down with a Pyramind alum, John Honore, to discuss his career creating license music cues for primetime TV. After leaving Pyramind he’s gone on to compose music for a ton of CBS television shows, earning a comfortable living making music nine months out of the year!
Click HERE to read and watch John’s full post on sync licensing.
Ankit is a graduate of our Complete Producer program with a focus on sound for picture and games.
Ankit recently was the Music Director for a short film- “Stains” which speaks about the dichotomy of culture in India regarding menstruation. The film has been showcased in over 15+ Film Festivals and Ankit received the Best Music Director at the FEFKA Film Festival. The film has received plenty of awards for Best Film, Best Music Director and Best Cinematography.
“Matt Donner, I want to thank you personally for guiding me and teaching me how to score films.
I dedicate this one to you!”
Ankit is also currently taking part in a 48-hour Film Project and actively part of the Independent Music Industry of India as both an Artist and a Journalist.
He is also doing a #asongadayfor30days challenge where he’s making a track a day for 30 days. Check him out HERE.