I did my PHD and my post-doc, then wanted to do my own research rather than following someone else’s ideas, but ultimately ran out of funding. At the same time I was also deep into writing music and DJing, and all of a sudden found myself accidentally earning my living from music rather than from science.
I don’t really have much musical training. I certainly had a lot of music around when I was a child – my mum was a piano teacher so every time I came home from school there’d be piano lessons going on in the background – so I’m sure that had some influence. I played the violin a little bit when I was a kid. The violin is a really useful instrument, like the cello, where you have to learn to tune every note yourself so it gives you an intuitive understanding of pitch and tuning. I’m sure that was a useful tool but I certainly don’t have any real usable training past the childhood experiences.
My real background is in genetics. I was always had good biology teachers when I was a kid and so often the good teachers can influence your decisions when you’re deciding A levels and degrees. I was interested in the theory and the maths and the programming in this more technical, more quantitative side of bioscience, so I went into computational biology which is making computer simulations of biological systems.
But I was still reading a lot of science and thinking about those ideas, as well as arts and music. I knew that if I couldn’t somehow integrate that side of me into the music that I wouldn’t be happy going forward – I wouldn’t be happy just DJing and writing club music. I wanted to try and be able to bring all my interests together, and the more I started looking at that more the more fruitful became – it just kept opening doors creatively. When I started thinking about how can I take a scientific idea and put it into a music video then make a piece of music around that it pushed me in new directions directions.