19-year-old Newcastle producer Aquinas has been rising in prominence within the music underground, with their beats accompanying the vocals of artists like Boy Scout Gatsby.
The producer, however, has also been growing a global audience outside of his usual bracket. With the release of his new song, ‘Bonsai,’ in which the producer unleashes his vocals on his own beat, Aquinas showcases that he is versatile with his art – and pushing boundaries.
The producer, who shares his producer title with his real name, originally started making music with a passion for music, a bootleg copy of FL Studio, and a desire to learn.
Aquinas previously lived in Tasmania for 3 years, and it was there that he met his friend, Hugh, who would later help the aspiring producer on his musical path at age 16.
Hugh had a talent for producing EDM styled music, and aided Aquinas with using FL Studio. They recorded over a Bones styled beat using a phone, and a mosquito net for a pop filter. Aquinas enjoyed the process, and began to learn how to produce on FL Studio using YouTube, independently.
“When I was 18, I think is when I was getting tired of using Youtube beats. I
wanted to do the whole thing myself. So I just learnt how to make beats,” says Aquinas.
The producer also would like it to be known that they now own a legitimate copy of FL Studio.
“Invest in your craft,” says Aquinas.
If you have been keeping up with the Newcastle-based producer, you may have noticed his social media tag, ‘AquinasWC.’
This tag comes from the title ‘Wrong Crowd‘, a group that Aquinas is affiliated with from Chattanooga.
The producer has also endured hardships along his journey.
Finishing high school in 2017, Aquinas studied building design. However, this path wasn’t for him, and he dropped out fairly quickly.
Dealing with the process of creative dry periods is also something that Aquinas has faced, frequently. The producer comments that at periods he can lack a creative drive, and feel self-doubt with his craft.
“You just gotta let yourself rest in that time [lack of creativity]. Shift your focus, don’t expect yourself to be A1 always,” says Aquinas.
The producer deals with these moments through his hobbies, such as skating, and visiting art museums.
The Newcastle producer also lived in New York City, for a period, when he was younger.
“I got to experience so much. Coming from Australian schools to a school just on the edge of Harlem was so different. I met a lot of great people there. Sadly, I lost contact with them though,” says Aquinas.
Aquinas also speaks on his inspirations.
Originally the producer only listened to mainly ‘old-school west coast hip-hop’ such as Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre.
Later on, Aquinas also adopted the tastes of individuals like Childish Gambino, Chance The Rapper, Frank Ocean, Kanye, Tame Impala, and Young Thug, into his inspirations list.
The producer also speaks on one of his greatest achievements. At Wavyland, an underground music event run every month or so in Sydney, Aquinas watched as his production was performed live.
“Boy Scout Gatsby is one of the best Australian artists I know, and I went down to Sydney and got to see him perform the songs he’s got with me in front of an audience. That was crazy,” says Aquinas.
Boy Scout Gatsby recently released a remix to Aquinas’ new track, Bonsai.
The producer is also very thankful for the audience they’ve developed over the past year, or so.
Aquinas also gives advice to those in the music scene.
If you’re uploading your beats on YouTube, ensure that your thumbnail is enticing, and pleasing to the eye.
The producer also comments that keeping your [hash] tags on Instagram to a minimum is key, as doing otherwise can clutter, and look unappealing.
As the producer continues to create new music, he has also commented that he would love to have more of a role as an artist.
“Being an artist is my main goal,” says Aquinas.
Expect to see more versatility from Aquinas in 2019.
To stay up to date with Aquinas and his musical career, be sure to check out his social media below: