Conor Ettinoffe, Software Engineer and Music Producer

Hi, my name is Conor Ettinoffe, born in England to an Irish mother and a Dominican Father. I am currently a Software Engineer at Here Technologies, Germany, working on traffic solutions. I am originally from England, and I was living in London when I came to Berlin on vacation, where I met my wife. I decided to move here after realising that the city is much more laid back and easy-going than London and obviously to be closer to my wife. Berlin is also a city of Music, which is also my passion alongside coding so I have had many memorable nights out here.

Since a young age I was always interested in coding in one form or another, creating my own spoken and written languages for communicating with my friends at school without the teachers understanding. I then went on to learn Japanese on my own. This led me to gain an interest in the advanced mobile phones that were available at the time. After speaking with a consultant at my high school, I decided to go on to study Software Engineering at College and then at University, graduating with a BSc in Computer Science and Japanese.

My interest in music really started when my parents bought me a keyboard at the age of 5. My parents also love music, so it was always playing in the house. I was used to hearing many different genres due to the different cultural backgrounds, from Irish music to Country and Reggae.

Producing music is my place that I go to where I really get in the zone. All of my stress and worries are at bay while I am producing. It has helped me all throughout my life, especially during stressful times, such as studying at University, where I produced an album with a group of friends. Producing also allowed me to meet many new people with similar interests, and even led to my music being played across the UK on the BBC Radio Network.

How I create music mostly depends on what I am producing and for whom. At times an artist may already have written lyrics, to which I would hear the acappella and produce the backing track accordingly. Other times, I may be listening to some soulful music, which has some really nice chords with strings, which gives me an idea of a track that I may sit down for the night and try and produce. Other times an idea can come out of making up a melody on the fly and letting it develop, which at times even changes the genre of music that I am producing in that moment.

I personally believe that having any creative outlet is vital, including sports. Working on something that is not purely logical, but requires originality and creativity, allows one to think in different ways when trying to come up with solutions in the working environment, especially when you are a coder – creativity is key!

Working with musicians and fellow programmers does have some similarities. There are strong characters inside and outside of music, so finding solutions to issues, when many people have different ideas, is vital in order to keep a project going in the right direction.

There are many greats that I admire due to the childhood memories that their music created for me such as Frank Sinatra, Dennis Brown and Dermot Hegarty. Within the genre that I produce, which is Hip-Hop I currently follow closely The Worlds Fair / Children of the Night.

If you are going to chase a career in music, especially in the modern day, you really have to dedicate everything. It really is a win-or-lose industry to go into, which is why I have always kept it as a side project because I am not willing to risk it all personally. But for those that are, they should go for it without fear.

Check out Conor’s SoundCloud and YouTube to hear his music!

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