We have quite the staff here at Dub Academy. From teachers to producers, administrators to assistants, and some truly amazing interns. This month we’d like to shed some light on one of our very talented teachers, Payton Long.
DA: Alright Payton, just a quick intro, how old are you and how long have you been a DJ?
PL: I am 20-years-old, been DJing for 8. I’ve been a professional DJ for 4.
DA: How long have you been here in Austin?
PL: 12 years
DA: What’s some of your history as a DJ for someone so young?
PL: My first gig was at Kingdom when I was only 16. Since then I have been playing shows at Vulcan, Empire, and a lot at Kingdom. But here lately I have been doing a lot of more production work and house parties. Like every other human being I like getting paid, haha.
DA: What other kind of projects are you working on?
PL: I just started working over at ORB production studio, I work on a client by client basis, purely raw creative work. Working there I have gotten to work with a lot of traditional instrumentalists. You can just walk into the room and feel their creativity; it makes the music making process very honest. I also have my own mixing and mastering pursuits, on a more solo note, and also music consulting. I am trying to land a job now with a fashion company with that. I guess my focus is publishing and commercial music, you know, the kind of music that makes money!
DA: How long have you been at Dub Academy?
PL: I have been with Dub Academy for 3 years now.
DA: What do you do here?
PL: Along with the DJ classes, I teach Ableton as well. I also helped write the Maschine curriculum and the Mixing and Mastering curriculum. I’d say my specialty is Ableton.
DA: So you have been here a while then, what’s your favorite memory so far?
PL: I won’t go into too much detail on the ‘how crazy’ part. But this past year at one of our Dub Academy SXSW parties I was thrown into a DJ set at the last minute. It started out as a relatively slow and empty floor, but thanks to the rain and a long line across the street, and of course my awesome set, the floor was banging in a matter of minutes. Everyone was having a great time.
DA: Who are some of the bigger names or people from around the area that you have worked with?
PL: KJ Hines, D’shaun from San Antonio, a local named QuiSTAR, and Matt Novesky from Blue October, he basically controls my life right now. He’s the owner of ORB studio, I signed to him and his studio just recently. A lot of the guys Matt brings in do rock music, so I have gotten to meet some really famous members from rock bands, that at the time, I had no idea who they were.
DA: What’s the biggest Ableton project you’ve done?
PL: The nature of my job is to make beats and write music, all in a timely manner. A lot of the time whatever it is I’m trying to do happens to come with an audience. Like when I’m in the studio, there’s always people watching me work. When I use that software in front of those people, Ableton almost feels like an extension of myself. I am so comfortable in front of people and with working quickly, it has helped make my job easier for me. It’s like on demand, whoever wants it in front of me that’s in the room.
DA: What else do you do in your spare time?
PL: I like to drive and fix cars, I drive mine and it’s in a constant state of being fixed. I also like to collect clothes. I don’t buy enough or spend enough on them to say that I’m that into fashion, but I have a nice collection of nice things. I also eat a lot of good food, basically all my money goes to clothes, food, and cars.
DA: In your experiences with Dub Academy, have you seen it make an impact on the youth at all?
PL: It’s happened on a bunch of levels. It’s cool teaching public school programs and getting to set examples outside of the education system. I’m not someone telling them what to do, or how to do it, but helping them learn about what they want. I’m not saying screw the system to them either and not telling them to DJ instead and not get a job. I’m showing kids that as an adult you can do what you want and enjoy doing it.
DA: What are the most rewarding moments for you?
PL: Whenever I see kids I taught or people I have helped out participating in beat battles or DJ competitions, sometimes I even compete against them. I still crush them, but it’s cool seeing kids you helped grow and become better artists.
Laurie Lyons is Dub Academy's Assistant Director. A graduate of University of Texas and Full Sail University, she has over ten years of experience working for non-profits and after school programs. In addition to her work at Dub Academy, she is also a blogger, mom to four dogs, and an active participant in Austin's music and social scene.