Why DO I call myself Amateur At Play?

My artist name occasionally stirs up interest. It also seems to provoke a response – some think it’s an understatement, others see the humour and there are those who plain hate it.

Whatever. I’d be more worried if it didn’t invoke a reaction.

When I was starting out, I was a total amateur. I knew nothing about keys in music. I knew it went from A to G, but I didn’t even know about minor or majors, let alone scales. I’d never heard of music theory, I didn’t know of a single piece of software for making music with. By rights, I shouldn’t have even been able to do this.

The only thing I did have was a keen sense to learn, and around 25 years of listening experience. I knew what I liked, but didn’t know how to make it. My first records were nothing more than me joking around and seeing what came out. Hence why I call myself Amateur At Play.

I never saw it as anything serious until much later, after realising I seem to be pretty good at this. It was a sharp learning curve, but worthwhile. Deep down, I suppose I didn’t think I could do it. It was a surprise to discover otherwise.

It was actually Doug Gray, label head at Unity Gain, who first questioned why I used that name. I’d done a remix for the label, almost entirely thanks to the fact Darian Crouse was a huge fan from more or less the start. He persuaded me to put out the remix under my own name.

The Amateur At Play name has served me well thus far. I’ve considered changing it, but I will probably just end up using different aliases for different things. I’ve been dabbling in trance and more breakbeat kind of stuff lately too, so will no doubt be using different names there