Hyperbits Masterclass Student Spotlight:
'There is a light in each of us that makes us special. Use it to leave your mark on the world.'
— Ms. Unicorn
It's time to give credit where credit is due by turning our attention to Hyperbits Masterclass alumni Ms. Unicorn.
Ms. Unicorn, or simply Anna to her Hyperbits fam, is a Miami-based singer, songwriter, and producer with some serious credits attached to her name. Her signature mixture of future-forward grooves and heartstring-pulling harmonies has accrued her support from the top names such as Laidback Luke and the maestro himself, Tiesto.
Since graduating from the Hyperbits Masterclass back in 2017, Anna's talents have taken flight, propelling her up to a whopping 100k+ monthly listeners on Spotify alone. Her fanbase hit this critical mass, and her gigs started exploding which landed her opportunities to play at state-side mainstays such as Space Ibiza and Lava.
Anna talked about her experience taking the Hyperbits Masterclass, how it helped her conquer music production, and how working in the fashion industry has shaped her musical identity as a performer.
Tell us where your sound is at now, and what you are trying to achieve with your music.
My music has changed quite a bit during the last 6 years. When I first started my journey in electronic music, I was writing vocals for other producers. I am a classically trained singer, so my goal was to become a successful vocalist, but my voice was too niche to fit every genre.
Afterward, I decided to branch out into production, which at first was very synth-pop driven. After experimenting with different styles, I became very passionate about future house and the more commercial side of deep house, which I am still doing today. My goal is to create meaningful music that makes people feel good.
How has the sound of your music shifted as you have gotten better at production? Was there a definitive turning point along the way?
My earlier productions were very pop-driven; I had my vocals recorded professionally and hired engineers to do vocal production since I focused mostly on singing. My tracks, however, were lacking energy and depth; they were extremely simple. When I started to take music production seriously, I figured I'd give the progressive house a try and realized how incredibly complicated it was.
I experimented with piano house and deep house and soon discovered it came to me very naturally. I tend to overthink, so I seem to do better with genres that don't require an excessive amount of layers and are more straight to the point. I hit a turning point when, after three years, my music started to sound more professional. I started getting support from big music blogs and was recognized in international competitions
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What is the best piece of music production advice you've ever received from a teacher or mentor?
“Be true to yourself and find what makes you special.”
I know this sounds cliche, but it seriously has opened up so many opportunities for me, and it's something that I have learned to do overtime. Nowadays, it is extremely easy to imitate others. We are almost afraid to be different or to stick out from the crowd. It is safer to copy someone already successful than to follow your instincts, take a chance, and be rejected. It is the survival instinct in all of us.
But when you write music that comes from the heart, regardless of how "different" it is, people will be able to relate to you. They will see something unique and special. My favorite tracks that I produced are not necessarily those who have gotten supported or signed; they are the ones who genuinely embody who I am despite their imperfections. You gotta know that eventually, someone (labels, A&Rs, or managers) will find value in your uniqueness, but it is going to take time to find that special person who truly gets your vision
Despite everything, 2020 was a great year for Ms. Unicorn
Talk about a few aspects of production that you have always struggled with, both while starting out and still to this day.
I still occasionally struggle with sound engineering. I've learned that, honestly, it is not for everyone. This is likely because I am really impatient and want to dive into creating music right away.
If you are someone who overthinks, you want to be able to move through the production process as quickly and as efficiently as possible without having to spend too much time on one particular sound. I do this all the time, and constantly have to remind myself to take a step back and slow down.
This really hinders my creative process. Therefore, I focus my energy on what I am good at, and I've learned that there are countless ways to manipulate a sound to make it unique without driving myself crazy.
How much did the Hyperbits Masterclass help you overcome these issues?
It helped tons – I learned that you don’t have to be a full-blown sound engineer to make fantastic music!
There are so many techniques that can help you take an existing sound and alter it to make it more unique. Saturation, layering, automation, and panning are things that I use every day in my productions that can make a sound more exciting and diverse.
Did you see the most significant improvements in your productions while taking the Masterclass, or in the following months and years after applying the Masterclass methodologies?
I saw immediate results after the first week. I realized that I was missing so much knowledge, and I wasn’t implementing many techniques in the correct ways
I could create melodies and chords since I had experience on that front, but I had no clue how to engineer music properly. I saw significant improvements after I completed the class, and it really changed my entire approach to producing dance music.
What do you love most about producing music at the level that you do? Has this shifted over time as your skills have improved?
Ideas come easier to me than they did before. I have gotten increasingly better at writing melodies and making exciting chord progressions. Even though I still get writer's block every now and then, I apply methods that I learned in the Masterclass, and I get inspiration to start something new and different.
I can also do more genres than before, which is really important to grow as an artist. I have more liberty to work on what inspires me the most in any particular moment.
Share what you think is the single most effective trick or tool a producer can use to convey more emotion in their tracks.
A producer must be able to write amazing songs. You need to be able to create a memorable melody or chord progression, you can genuinely make the listener feel your story's emotions. Unfortunately, many producers focus too much on sound design and forget the importance of great songwriting.
That is why you hear so many tracks with a really "cool" drop, but you really don't feel connected to them. So learning to implement music composition techniques is equally as crucial as making cool sounds.
"I saw immediate results after the first week of the Masterclass. I realized that I was missing so much knowledge, and I wasn’t implementing the right techniques...
...I could create melodies and chords since I had experience on that front, but I had no clue how to engineer music properly. I saw significant improvements after I completed the class, and it really changed my entire approach to producing dance music."
Do you do anything to creatively recharge when not working on music? What are your favorite non-music activities?
I actually work in the fashion industry and love styling and designing clothing. I took up sewing and pattern design which is also a creative process, but I don't feel the pressure to be successful – I do it without any expectations.
Also, I am a social media influencer sometimes, and I love playing dress-up, which I've been doing a lot to create a unique look for my brand. Plus, free clothes are every girl's dream!
What makes you most excited about music as you look to the future?
All the potential I still have yet to unfold! I am a person who loves learning and growing, and I challenge myself to be better every day. I hope that people enjoy the music I am planning on releasing this year.
I am also getting back into singing and plan on featuring myself on some of my tracks. I haven’t done that in a while, so I am excited to show the world a little more about me!
Anna knows it better than most; having something unique to say just isn't enough anymore. An artist needs to be the total package, and Anna's energy, cutting-edge fashion, and production chops to match will show that she's truly something special. And growing alongside the Hyperbits Masterclass was quintessential throughout the entire process, as it enabled her to show the world what she had to say in a way most other producers never could.
We want to extend a gracious thanks to Ms. Unicorn for taking the time to sit down and chat with us. Keep up with Anna and keep up with the hottest fashion and even better music:
If you would like to learn more about the program that garnered Ms. Unicorn millions of streams worldwide, check out The Hyperbits Masterclass.
We help music producers conquer advanced music production with a proven framework and supportive community that helps thousands of producers achieve professional results every year.
You can also scope out 20+ epic Hyperbits Masterclass alumni to see what's possible after taking our flagship program.