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Who Are They: Paul Whalley

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We caught up with Composer, Producer, Songwriter and Tileyard Education tutor Paul Whalley.

Paul has been an established member of the Tileyard London community since 2015. He first came across the community through his long-time friend, Milly McGregor. Milly is now the Head Of Operations at Tileyard London and, like Paul, found her creative and musical home in this bustling and exciting creative complex. After catching up for a lunch in the on-site Cafe one day, Milly prompted Paul that Tileyard could be an exciting place for him build the next leg of his creative career, he hasn’t looked back since.

Paul’s journey into music was pretty unconventional, he started learning to play the piano at the age of 5, and from here he completed his Grade 1 Theory Exam. Paul put down music for a while after that, and it wasn’t until he was 10 that he decided to pick it up again playing tuba in a brass band. He was very good at reading music and this set him on a path to the successful music Producer we know today. Paul is a master of music theory, and went on to complete his BA in Classical Tuba at the Guildhall School Of Music, and eventually his Masters in Classical Composition.

During his studies, he started to expand his way out into other areas of music. He ended up acquiring a taste for jazz and got into function bands and West End work for variety. Paul’s session work and other projects came out of this expansive time. It was on one of his many projects that he met Milly, who is also a classically trained violinist. The pair shared many adventures together on tour and their friendship flourished from there. On a break from one of Paul’s tours with The Gabby Young Project, Paul was introduced to Producer Mushtaq Oddin. Mushtaq has worked with he likes of Cypress Hill, House Of Pain and Souls Of Mischief. Mushtaq was in need of a studio assistant at the time, especially one who could play music, so Paul quickly took on the role and worked with Mushtaq for several years. Paul lived in the studio, spending time learning from Mushtaq, and making beats in down time, until he was eventually given the autonomy to start producing tracks. He started working on some KPop, that got him some cuts. Eventually, Paul started producing with friends where he got his first ever Sync for a Samsung advert.

Paul left Mushtaq’s studio, with the intention of branching out, and after nearly taking a studio space in Wembley, his trip to Tileyard in 2015 inspired him to make his move to King’s Cross instead. He quickly met and began working with other Producers at Tileyard such as YK Koi, Michael Angelo and Tonino. He got plenty of session work, which helped him to continue to grow and sustain his practice as a Producer. Eventually, Paul got invited onto a songwriting camp by Jason Sharpe, an A&R Manager at Tileyard Music. The camp was in collaboration with Notting Hill Music and through this he built a great relationship with the publishers. In 2017 was signed as a Producer. From here, Paul met his manager, and said:

“In 18 months, my whole world has flipped on its head”

Paul has been pushed in front of major labels and his career has accelerated. He has been working with some big names, including Mumford And Sons, Little Mix, Ellie Goulding and ‘The Lost Frequencies’, who have between 200-250 million streams daily in Europe. He said things have just been rolling, with various offers and sessions coming in all the time, Paul is never short of something exciting to work on, and his success has just grown and grown.

Paul said one of the things that really helped him to pick up Production as quickly as he did, was because he was working with such big names and that his approach had to always be professional and high-level. He quotes his Grade 1 Music Theory exam as being the fundamental starting point. He said his advantage to making music is he approaches songs:

“As a musician first and a Producer later”

This gives him a key advantage when mixing and making tracks. Paul has a long and exciting career ahead of him, with already so many credits to his name at the age of 29! We look forward to catching up with Paul later in the year to see what new projects he’s been working on.

You can follow Paul here.

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