In the studio with Angry Suzy
Jaz from the RepostExchange Team
Mar. 28, 2023

Angry Suzy started her musical journey in 2020 after taking Zoom classes with fellow Re-Ex member Kade B, and has been producing music ever since. Her music production skills are honed with the use of Ableton, which she approaches logically to create her unique sound. Suzy shares her tips on experimenting with different sounds and techniques and how to stay organized to maximise productivity. She is also the first Yemeni woman to own an independent record label - Hidden Portal Records. If you're a fan of electronic music or looking to get into music production, Angry Suzy is definitely an artist to watch out for. Read on for more in the studio with Angry Suzy!

How long have you been producing music and how did you learn? 

I started learning in the summer of 2020. I had been planning to start for a while and the lockdown provided that much-needed free time. I started taking online Zoom classes with an Ableton-certified instructor & producer Kade B.

What DAW(s) do you use and why?

I use Ableton. When I initially started my research into electronic music production, I saw FL Studio and some other DAWs, but Ableton's interface seemed superior.

What are your favourite pieces of gear and why?

I have a few synthesizers from the Korg Volcas series. They are a great value for money, easy to travel with, and create amazing sounds. 

Ableton Push 2 is another piece of gear that is fantastic.

My music would not sound the same without my speakers. I use ADAM A7X.

Universal Apollo Twin sound card - the processor and plug-ins it comes with are fire.

What are your favourite software plugins and why?

When I started out my go-to plug-in would be SERUM and still is, as it is super easy to learn and use, and can create a wide range of diverse sounds, suiting whatever genre you are working in.

For more dreamy & melodic tracks I like to use DIVA. For my Breakbeat & Drum'n'Bass production, I use different VSTs, such as Massive & Vital.

How would you summarise your approach/workflow when creating a track?

I have two main approaches - I might have an idea in my head, which I will sing to myself, record it in Voice Memos on my iPhone and start developing once I reach my laptop.

The second approach needs just one thing - a desire to create! In this case, I don't have any particular ideas or melodies in mind, so I will fire up my system and start playing around with random things, VSTs, samples & tracks online, 'til I find something that inspires me or makes me go "OOOOH!"

What resources do you use to improve your craft?

YouTube helps a lot. There is a tutorial for everything. I also seek advice from other producers working in the same genre. It is very important to have a mentor who understands your genre and has experience in producing AND playing this music. This way you will not be stuck in an echo chamber and get constructive criticism that will help you improve and evolve.

What is the last YouTube tutorial you watched that you would recommend to other Re-Ex members?

I have been researching Drum'n'Bass music and here is what I watched & found useful recently

What knowledge or advice do you wish you'd learned earlier?

I think I had a pretty logical approach to everything from the start. I would advise future producers to take one-to-one classes with an instructor, record online sessions, and make notes.

All of this helped me stay motivated and focused. Go nerd-mode on it!

What challenges related to making music do you face and how do you overcome them?

A creative block is a real thing. I never force myself to create, as it never produces good results. When this happens I curb the frustration and self-doubt by indulging in other hobbies; I am an avid gamer, so diving into an open-world fantasy game takes me to another dimension.

Taking a break (a few days, a week, a month, whatever you need) from producing or listening to any music helps rest your ears and brain, which is very important. Sketching, doing some DIYs, listening to interesting podcasts, meeting friends and new people - all of this helps feed your creativity. Think of this as if you are watering your plants.

If I have a gig, preparing for it takes a lot of time and energy. I also have a full-time job, which also reduces my free time during weekdays. I make sure I have weekends, where I avoid parties & loud places, and give my brain space & freedom to recalibrate.

Can you share any killer tips or techniques?

First and foremost - make music that YOU will enjoy listening to! Never produce to fit a trend or what a crowd "likes". 

Sing or hum your ideas into your recording device (Voice Memos on the iPhone for example). 

Explore your VST or free sample lab on your DAW to the max! There are so many secret gems out there.

Any sample that you find online - never leave it as it is! Edit it, put effects on it, and make it your own!

Do you use any online tools to assist with the production process?

I use Loopcloud to search for sample packs.

Do you try and get feedback or suggestions to improve your music? If so, how?

Yes, most definitely. Music producers and synthesizer enthusiasts are the most friendly and approachable people. Find someone whose work you like and get their advice, or ask for an online session.

Keep in mind that paying for their time and feedback is important and valuable. Even if they do not request payment, offer it yourself out of respect for the craft. Artists sadly do not earn much and we have to support each other.

Which track are you most proud of and why?

I like all my tracks, but from the latest releases I really love Bad Reception. I wanted to make a lofi, chill breakbeat, and dived in not knowing what the outcome would be. 

Another release I love is Northern Lights that I released under my other alias, 'SU SANNA'. It is a melodic, progressive house track, and I am proud of the guitar synth that I played, which had some people ask if I had a guitarist on my track! This feedback inspired me to learn to play an actual guitar.

Has RepostExchange affected the way you make music? If so, how?

RepostExchange has not affected my process or my genre selection, but it helped me meet other underground artists and get exposure to new people, which is very important for someone starting out or struggling to reach the right audience.

Desert Island Gear

Top L-R: Arturia Midi Keyboard, Volca Bass.

Bottom L-R: DT 770-PRO headphones, iPhone, Macbook Pro.

Connect with Angry Suzy on Instagram, Soundcloud, Beatport, and Youtube

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This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.