Becki Whitton knows that girls in music rock

Vocal engineer, songwriter, producer and sound manager - Becki Whitton is a woman of many talents. She is also a solo artist under the name Aphir, producing music that has been colourfully described as 'ethereal trash', a label that she wholeheartedly embraces.
Person sitting in studio, smiling. Wearing faux fur coat. Becki Whitton

Originally from Canberra, Becki is currently working from Avacan Studio at Rolling Stock Recording Rooms in Collingwood, Melbourne as well as freelancing from her home studio; something she is doing a lot more of since COVID-19 lockdowns were enforced.

Passionate about women succeeding in the music industry, Becki believes in fostering the next generation of talent and has been volunteering with Girls Rock! Canberra as a sound manager for the last five years.

After moving to Melbourne in 2013, Becki studied a Bachelor of Audio with SAE Creative Media Institute from 2015 to 2016. During her studies, Becki interned with Andrei Eremin at Deluxe Mastering studios, where she continued working for the next four years after graduation.

Under Andrei’s guidance, Becki learnt the intricacies of working with a wide range of artists, all at different stages of their careers.

“Andrei was working with well-known artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote and Tones and I, as well as other up-and-coming artists. I was able to gain such a wide breadth of understanding of diverse perspectives during my time of working with him.”

Now based at Avacan, a vocal studio built from a converted shipping crate, Becki can show off all she has learnt and has also worked with a range of high profile Australian artists such as; Tash Sultana, Allday, G-flip, Eilish Gilligan, Touch Sensitive and Memphis LK.

Like most engineers, Becki describes herself as a perfectionist, but distinguishes true perfectionism as knowing when to leave the rawness that conveys the emotional heart of a song.

While mostly working with pop and hip hop, Becki’s roots in working with a wide range of artists means she is comfortable in all genres, even >Persian art music.

“Every artist has a different way in which they have influenced me. From them I can draw inspiration in my own career, and they each give me different insights into their way of working; I come away from each experience with something valuable.”

“As every artist is different… my role is different with each job. I had a really fun time working with Allday and Memphis LK, it was really chilled and our values align strongly.”

When it comes to her own music, Becki approaches Aphir with an air of experimentation. While her first album titled Holodreem was choral music, her album, due out on September 25th, will flex a new skill as Becki starts to introduce beats and electronic pop. With distorted drums and reverb, the sound of Republic of Paradise is more textural.

Evolving with the challenges of 2020, Becki is also producing the final stages of Aphir’s new album on the streaming service Twitch. In her home studio, Becki broadcasts her mixing and mastering techniques to a live audience via the platform.

“Originally used predominantly by gamers, Twitch is also starting to be adopted by the music community. This is a new way of working for producers and I’m excited to see that grow.”

Becki’s Aphir was born while she was still living in Canberra, and this was the motivation to learn production skills to increase the quality of the music she was producing.

‘The music community in Canberra is a do-it-yourself scene, I assumed that music was only ever professionally mixed when a label came on board. But I am thankful for this homegrown introduction to music, it has given me a greater understanding of aesthetics and an appreciation of the process.”

And through Girls Rock! Canberra, Becki continues to be a champion of our nation’s capital music scene.

A week-long music program, Girls Rock! is for gender minorities aged between 10 and 17 years old and is a place that Becki describes as a utopia.

“There is just so much loveliness that comes out of Girls Rock! It’s like stepping into another world for a week, where I work harder than ever before, but it is so beautifully rewarding.”

Becki aims to take the kindness that she experiences at Girls Rock! back into everyday life, and to the music industry itself.

“The industry can create a certain pressure, competition and at times can seem counterintuitive to the purpose of music. But I think producers, engineers and musicians alike are all striving to find and connect with kindred spirits and create something good.”

Becki’s latest single – ‘Give You One‘ featuring Sandy Hsu is available now.

Header image by Karla Gilbard

Bearded man working on an audio desk

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