We first met Audi Mogul back in 2018 as he was the Ableton teacher on a Ibiza retreat course we were on. He blew us away with his skills and knowledge not only on Ableton but with general life living as well. So, we are pleased to have him next on the Shapes interview series!Gavin Mckenzie is the founder of Audio Mogul who has been advocation mindfulness, creative expression, well-being and electronic music as a therapy. Gavin has created methods to help music professionals continue their adventure in exploring music helping them become pioneers of production! From meditation, plant-based diet, coffee and nutrition he has help show these are all integral parts of the creative process.
Hey Gavin, so for those that don’t know you can you give us brief introduction about yourself?
Yeah of course, I hail from Paisley and have been involved with electronic music now for 30 years. I’m currently living in Ibiza with my family and studying psychotherapy, adding another branch to the field of music and creativity. I’m formally a lecturer, club owner, resident DJ for Radio 1 on the Leeds festival dance stage, Mac engineer and Ableton Live user from version 1.
With Audio Mogul you offer a lot of help to music professionals not just in production tips but with everyday life. How did the Audio Mogul concept start and did you think then you would end up being involved in so much more than just the music production? As you seem to cover the whole creative process from getting in the right mind set, eating healthy and looking after yourself.
About 10 years ago I suffered from creative block at a time I needed to write, remix and produce music, it was an affliction and very hard to keep positive and make the music necessary. I read a lot about creative block but there was nothing set in stone, I tried various concepts including a plant-based diet, walking in the country, meditation and CBD. After a year of continuing practice, the block lifted and I was able to think, work and make music again. This led onto starting Audio Mogul 5 years later while travelling around Europe with my girlfriend and 1 year old daughter.
I asked myself a very simple question “why do I love music so much” it can be hard so I decided to help DJ’s and musicians maintain their creativity, health and well-being. I have been working with industry professionals in their field to develop natural methods to activate creativity
It’s been a while since you were teaching us all sorts of amazing production tips and tricks in Ibiza an experience we will never forget. You have a new track out Gavron – Cosmos do you have more releases coming up?I don’t have anything coming out for a while it’s been 7 years since the last release on Bullet Dodge, I’m a slow burner when it comes to releasing music. I don’t put pressure on myself but behind closed doors I’m constantly learning new ideas and reflecting on old concepts. Cosmos took 3 months to create with over 50 channels of audio with at least 30 of them sound design, it might sound fluid and simple but I use the same style as skateboarding, the idea is to make hard tricks look simple and as a fan of Tom Penny I translate that into music production.
You have a E-Book out now called ‘Audio Mogul Creativity Starts from Within’. The book covers several key elements on how creative person can improve their lifestyle and help creativity. Has the book been well received in the industry what has the feedback from it been?I’m really pleased with the book and the feedback has been great, I was really happy when it was shared with all staff worldwide at Ableton. Milton Mermikides wrote the forward and the last chapter and that was something special for me he is the reader in music at Surrey University and has two PhD’s in music, his stamp of approval was essential in releasing the book. I’m now starting the next book about the human mind and electronic music, it’s very special to me and will have a lot of information from the last 30 years of electronic music.
Audio Mogul also runs production courses. What can we expect to see this year?
Sadly, due to the pandemic we have closed all applications to our retreats in Ibiza with a heavy heart but we have 3 online modules for those who want to activate their creativity with Ableton Live and delivered by 3 amazing trainers Phelan Kane, Alec Storey and Jonathan Rogers. I chose these guys for their out of the box thinking, qualifications and ability to deliver content that matters. Youtube has so much for the active learner and it’s free but if you want to stand out from the crowd then it’s a specialist approach that is necessary, we are all about originality, creativity and music that is personal.
We also have to mention your love for coffee. In Ibiza one cup of your coffee helped kick start the creative process now running your own Audio Mogul coffee which is roasted in Edinburgh. We have seen you have now got more and more International DJ’s and producers using your coffee. Why do you think your coffee is now being looked at as one of the key starting elements in the creative process?? What DJs have you now got using your coffee techniques?
You have got to love coffee, if you love music the two are like brother & sister or an old married couple. It has taken 3 years of development our 3 signature coffees working with Steve Glencross from Machina Coffee. Steve and I go way back from running events in Glasgow and Steve was the founder of Sativa nights in Edinburgh. We played records together for many years and I followed Steve’s progress with coffee and we decided to work together and develop coffee for DJ’s and music producers. From the process of making the coffee to drinking the creativity flows, we sit at computers to make music so the beans have to be roasted a specific way in order for the benefits of coffee to work. Now we have the likes of Doorly, Simon Stokes, Ali Love, Ceri, Saytek, Gareth Whitehead, Mike Greig & Roger Sanchez drinking our coffee, I’m very happy with the results and can confidently say the benefits are amazing.Audio Mogul Coffee – https://audiomogul.co.uk/our-coffee/
Over the years you must have heard loads of amazing tracks. So, to finish up what would be one of your favourite electronic tracks and what track would you put on to sit watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee?
Mad Mike – The illuminator