Everybody loves a success story. This term we’re incredibly excited to share the news that VIP Studio Sessions student and former Track of the Year winner, Jake from Burnt Mill Academy, is making major strides in the music industry. As well as releasing his own tracks and receiving blog coverage, Jake, under the artist name Snarl, is now dropping official remixes for major-label artists with millions of plays.

We met up with him and his music teacher, Cristin Casey, to talk about his experiences so far.

The staff at Burnt Mill were early adopters of VIP. Access to our online music platform was subsidised by Essex Music Education Hub and fully supported by teacher Cristin. Jake began using VIP in Year 7. He composed and won our Track of the Year competition early on that year with his track ‘Hammer Fall’, which received hundreds of plays.

He’d also participated in Grown: a Grime Opera– our collaboration with Grime artist Eyez, the Essex Youth Orchestra and the Essex Music Service Choir and singers. Jake describes the experience as ‘amazing to be part of a world first… the combination of Grime and Orchestral music’. He helped to produce some of the tracks and was a part of the work’s live premiere using Ableton Push to trigger electronic sounds alongside the orchestra after watching and studying our Push tutorials.

Jake credits VIP as a key part of his success. When starting out, he’d spend up to five hours on the platform in one session to get his early tracks finished! His passion for music started young, and he’s always wanted to work with artists.

‘VIP and winning the competition gave me the foundation – alongside the influence of my father, who brought me a Daft Punk album,’ he says. ‘I knew that I wanted to make energetic music, and once I’d listened to Skrillex’s Bangarang EP, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.’

While highlighting the importance of creating your own sound and style, Jake combines commercial EDM with a darker Metal and Dubstep vibe. ‘I’d recommend that you listen to bands you like to get a starting point,’ he explains. ‘My advice for Year 7s starting out is to work hard, and keep working hard and often – but don’t be too harsh on yourself! In the long run, this can pay off massively.’

To get where he is now, Jake would complete all school tasks once he was home, before spending the rest of the evening working on tracks, or creating new ones. Listen to his latest track here.

Nice one, Jake. We can’t wait to see where your career goes!

Teachers can try out VIP free, for 30 days – complete with access for up to 30 students –  by registering for a no obligation trial. To ensure you get the most out of your trial, you’ll be able to sign up for one of introductory webinars too. Look out for an invitation once your trial has started. For more information email vip@charanga.com.