What’s your name: Mark Cheyne
Where do you come from? Johannesburg
How long have you been composing? Professionally – 22 years
What is your creative process? I usually start in Logic Pro and put down ideas using virtual instruments. If the piece is going to be recorded, I also have Finale scoring software open and start notating score at the same time.
How do you start creating a beat? / How do you start writing lyrics to a beat? Once I have fleshed-out a track I start refining the melody and coming up with lyrics. Often the lyrics will inform the subtle decisions of how the melody is crafted so that the musical accents align with the syllables of the words that are naturally emphasized.
What made you choose a career in this field? In high school I decided I wanted a career as a music creator – I had no other ambitions.
Did you do any courses for your career field? Yes – National Diploma in Light Music – Pretoria Technikon (Now Tshwane University of Technology)
What advice can you give to aspiring composers? Embrace a good work ethic. Don’t let rejection get you down. Take constructive criticism and learn from it. When you find clients that like your work and pay you, treat them like gold. Watch YouTube masterclasses & tutorials on all the aspects of music production so that your work stands up against the best.
Which other composer’s or artists have you worked with? Currently I work a lot with Monde Msutwana, soprano Kimmy Skota and classical crossover artist Candis Angelene. I’ve composed many songs for corporate productions that have been recorded by well-known artists including Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zolani Mahola, Lloyd Cele and Jamali.
What has been the highlight of your career? As a composer I would say it was when the song I composed and produced for the charity Qhubeka (Qhubeka KubaKuba) was used in the 2017 Tour de France Rider’s Presentation Ceremony, which was broadcast globally.