How I Got Here: Tommy Rando (Collarts Head of Music Production)

Acclaimed singer, guitarist and ARIA chart-topping songwriter, Tommy Rando, recently joined the Collarts team as the head of our new Music Production degree.

With a career that spans working with Mark Ronson, supporting Paolo Nutini and St Vincent, and developing his music career under the guidance of Jazz/Blues legends John Scofield, Lenny Stern and Ernie Jackson, Tommy is an incredible mentor and is itching to share his knowledge with a new generation of future industry leaders.

We caught up with Tommy ahead of the inaugural Music Production intake on May 29th, 2017, to ask his advice for those starting out and on how to build a successful career as a music producer.

  1. What are you most looking forward to about kicking off Collarts’ inaugural year of the Music Production degree?

The degree is a combination of everything students need to know about Music Production. I’m looking forward to the students receiving all the practical knowledge and skills so that they feel inspired to create great works.

  1. How did you transition from being a musician to also being a producer?

When I started songwriting, I always had the entire composition and production process in my head; so the transition from musician/songwriter to producer turned out to be a natural one. I’ve worked with so many different producers over the years and have always been inspired by their knowledge, skill and how they put it all together.

  1. What do you see as the top five most important skills for a music producer to develop?

In my experience, there are five fundamental skills that a music producer should have:

  • Recording skills including equipment and software knowledge
  • Performance Experience to understand the creative process
  • Composition & Theory starting with the basics and growing from there
  • Creativity to create unique works
  • Interpersonal skills great communication and expression is key to delivering great outcomes

We have implemented these streams into our degree.

  1. How have you acquired your most valuable musical knowledge along the way?

I’ve had some amazing mentors along the way – very blessed. I’ve also been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the world’s best producers. I would watch them, then practice and experiment — but mostly I was always passionate and willing to listen and learn.

  1. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice at the point when you started getting more serious with your music-making, what would it be?

It would have been helpful to gain an early insight and understanding of the of the ‘business’ side of the Industry. Having more knowledge around budgets, mechanical royalties, producer’s points, contracts etc. would have been incredibly helpful. So the advice I would give to a younger Tommy when starting out would be ‘ask lots of questions’, ‘be curious’ and to truly understand the industry from a holistic perspective.

Learn more about getting starting your career with a Music Production degree at Collarts here.