Youth on Record Students Attend Workshop as Guests of Mega-Producer, Ill Gates

| July 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

by Nathan Schmit and Andre Hallman

Ill Gates, electronic music heavyweight, graced the Denver art scene last week, hosting his highly acclaimed workshop, Ill Methodology, to a packed room at the Global DJ Academy. Gates and his Ill Methodology workshop have toured the world instructing the budding electronic music scene in such areas as production workflow, sound design, performance and promotion. There is simply no one who cares more about the quality of electronic music than Ill Gates. In true form, Gates donated a number of tickets to Youth on Record and, so that students who might not be able to attend would be able to do so. It was truly an opportunity of a lifetime to be so close to a master, and we thank him from the sub-bass of our collective hearts.

Among many of the valuable insights that Gate’s shared, the following stood out as applicable to musicians of any genre, and most others involved in the creative industry. First, Gates emphasized the importance of representing who you are as a person through your art. This process, making art that represents the individual, according to Gates, lends itself to a far more interesting product then the formulaic replication of any one genre. Although Gates  highlights the importance of studying the music of others, the origins of the music that pushes the limits can only be found in the differences between us. And these differences, he claims, come from the “playful” experimentation of the individual.

Secondly, Gates emphasized that the key to efficient workflow is the separation between “prep” sessions and “writing” sessions. He claims that if you are trying to create a certain sound, this should be done at a different time than when you are actually composing. This ensures that creative workflow is not interrupted. Gates also presented the idea that a song should be composed in parts, with the intention of evoking a particular emotional response from the listener. He states that the contrast between solicited emotional responses, from one of dissonance to unity, is not only interesting but also mandatory for ensuring the desire of the listener to continue listening.

The workshop was scheduled from 6 to 10pm but continued until almost midnight, with each participant eagerly taking notes until the end. Gates’ every move was something to behold. A big thank you on behalf of all the youth who you inspire! Thanks Ill!

Global DJ Academy is a facility in Denver, Colorado dedicated to the instruction of music production, DJing and live performance. Learn more at:

Youth On Record, a program of, teaches music production and lyric writing in residential treatment centers across Denver and beyond, as a means of supporting their specific treatment goals. It is truly amazing what many young people will do and say when given the opportunity.


Founded in 2007 by the internationally known Denver based hip-hop collective Flobots, connects underserved youth across Colorado with music and empowerment education. Led by a network of professional musicians, artists and educators, programs are designed to harness the power of music and those who love it.



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Category: The Future

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