Graduate Spotlight: Legal Student by day, fastest-growing Music Producer by Night

Darcy, or his stage-name Hunta is amongst this year’s 2021 RMIT graduates. He is a proud Wurundjeri Taungurung man graduating with an Associates Degree Legal Practice (Paralegal). In the growth of two years, this student has entered straight into the workforce full-time with Victorian Legal Aid, while becoming one of Australia’s fastest growing music producers by night.

I started producing music when I was 11, on a laptop to learn the skills and tricks.

From the earliest onset of Electronic Dance Music, Darcy was instantly attracted to the sound of complex produced rhythms all within a laptop. The earliest experience he had of music production was creating a near successful YouTube channel dedicated to lyric videos. In a time where Genius didn’t exist, YouTube was the first place to search online for lyrics. In primary school he created a channel named Music4U, where he bootlegged music in the top charts to a x1.5 speed to avoid being flagged for copyright infringement.

To the time of high school, production label Monstercat expanded across YouTube to mass audiences, sharing Electronic Dance Music to users across the platform and reaching his ears. Darcy felt his biggest influence was his first EDM song he heard, a Pegboard Nerds remixed edition of Alive by Kruella.

During the formative years of the 2010’s the Melbourne scene of EDM was heavily focused on techno, minimal and bounce music, with traces of it still hanging today. The dance music of Australia is weighted with thousands of subgenres, however Melbourne is heavily held back by its relationship to minimal music.

When Darcy began to experiment with the genre on FL Studio with new genre styles and production, only a few within his school and friends listened to electronic music, within the realms of Tiesto and Timmy Trumpet on the radio.

No one in Melbourne wants that. Everyone listened to techno and bounce. How will my friends listen to my music if they don’t like it?

By Year 9, the formative years of music tastes had finally found fruition. Darcy had began to experiment with forms of music that reflected the energy of teenage angst with a dash of midlife crisis. Hardstyle.

Hardstyle or Harddance music is best described as hard beats with a strong melody. The average BPM is somewhere between 140 and 160 beats per minute. The hardstyle sound gathers hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world with a cult following. For Darcy, the genre carries an emotional weight of melodic instruments to fast paced beats with raw rage. Comparing Hardstyle to Minimal is like comparing Rage Against the Machine to Pikotaro’s Pen Pineapple Apple Pen.

For young folks, Year 10 Work Experience is a dread from the normativity of school schedules. Darcy worked for 5 days at the classic GH music on Flemington Road. He learnt the trade of music with raking leaves in the loading bay and vacuuming for 5 dollars a day. Luckily enough, there was time left to find a new experience that lead the young aspiring musician to Joy FM, Melbourne’s Queer Community Radio Station.

From the age 16 and up, Joy accepts applications from locals with a keen eye for production and sharing the joy of Hardstyle to Melbourne. This was the chance he had to finally share his newly discovered love to the state, and open to applications could lead to the first voice of Hardstyle in new spaces. Successfully, he launched ‘In Hardstyle We Trust’, perhaps Melbourne’s first Hardstyle show on the radio running for 2 successful years. This two-year journey led to opportunities to produce the dance-music night time show during Mardi Gras and a forever permanent place in the cult of Hardstyle. With the chronic weight of youth in a scene dominated by older producers, it wasn’t until he turned 18 and the future of university and careers that music or the 9-5 felt uncertain.

When time came to explore the university-scape and discuss with VCE teachers about the longevity of a career in music, he was shut down consistently. The Vice-Principle of his high school giving him no hope, and shutting down any opportunity to encourage music production. It was only until the beloved Careers Councilor began to examine his grades and schedule that an opportunity to work in legal studies clicked.

The problem amongst law schools is that majority of the courses dictate a future as a lawyer or judge. He spent many weeks searching for a course somewhere in between to continue the long journey of VCE Legal Studies and settled upon RMIT’s Associates Degree course in Legal Practice.

RMIT isn’t asking you to become a lawyer, but teachers legal studies. This is it, this is what I want to do.

At the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria, the music sector was crushed to a pulp with venues and performances becoming non-existent. Somehow with only one release to his name under the name Hunta, the online streaming space combined with Electronic Dance Music to create live shows distributed through Twitch. The events host Bass Maniac launched a Hardstyle show during original club set times on stage with lights and dynamic sound.

Through the online scene, the Hunta name began to gain popularity for the first time with many people asking… who is this guy?

At the closing of Melbourne’s metro lock-down and the name Hunta gaining a following, the invites to Hardstyle events began to flow in. This was his first show as a Hardstyle artist but the audience knew who he was because the scene is so tight.

He was terrified to play, with many experiences of playing to large audiences never had Hunta played with a crowd yelling his name, the new 18 year old on the block. He joined his first set with Kid Columbo and the energy bouncing between the crowd of dj’s was photosynthesis.

We did the set and to this day [it was] the best I’ve done in my entire life, the crowd was nuts. With a long time coming the crowd was waiting to see us play.

But with balance comes stress. With his first solo release with BlackBox Record Label, the success of his hardstyle voice ‘Funky’ was dropped in the same weeks as his first year final exams.

Like many RMIT programs, the WIL Internship is an integral, mandatory part of the course and 120 is required within his degree. As an up and coming musician with a heavily compressed course finding a fitting internship was hard work. After searching for the whole 2 year scope of the course to find the right place, he settled successfully with Victorian Legal Aid as an intern to a full-time career mid-degree.

To find a perfect full-time career before graduation while not abandoning a childhood dream is something beyond admirable.

To this day Darcy sits at his office and loves the rewarding with Victorian Legal Aid with this month announcing that he will be in the line-up for Melbourne’s outdoor hardstyle event ‘Karnival’ on Labour Day weekend, at the Flemington Racecourse. From a small 18 year old with little audience to the hottest music festival of the genre on a prime weekend, he could possible be the fastest growing Hardstyle producer in the country.

Image Description: Karnival Outdoor Festival set list on March 13th 2022 at Flemington Racecourse Melbourne

If you have a story to spotlight of a recent RMIT graduate for Catalyst to feature, please contact us.

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