Sound On Blog Cover-min

Sound On – Epsiode 1: Darren Sabadina

Join us as we sit with Darren Sabadina – Voice Artist, Actor and teacher at NIDA. In this episode we dive into his experiences learning music and how it has helped shape his career. We also talk the upcoming projects that Darren is working on for Channel 9 and Netflix.

If you want to catch it on the run, get it wherever you get your podcasts.

Full Podcast Transcript – Sound On – Episode 1 – Darren Sabadina

Anika Evans:

Hey, how you going? I’m [Anika 00:00:10] and welcome to our first podcast. And today we have Darren Sabadina.

Darren Sabadina:

Hello. How you going? Good to be here.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. So we’re going to just talk about basically your experiences with music and sound.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. Great.

Anika Evans:

But first, before we jumped into that, I want to sort of let everyone know what you do for work currently. And then we can go back a step and talk about the music side of things.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. Cool. So currently, I’m a voiceover artists and I also teach for NIDA. So for open programs, so grades three to six, seven to 10, and then older kids. So that’s sort of where I’m at, at the moment and also acting as well. So yeah, that’s sort of where we’re at.

Anika Evans:

And I think you’re being a bit modest. You’ve been doing some voiceover acting that’s actually on Netflix. Cha-ching.

Darren Sabadina:

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So that’s happened basically from last year where I’ve really sort of started to find my feet in the animation world. I love it. It’s great.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. That’s cool.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. It’s good.

Anika Evans:

Yah. I think anyone that knows you knows how animated you are.

Darren Sabadina:

Yes.

Anika Evans:

And it’s really cool to see. So jumping back a step, I know when you were younger you learned to play the drums, and you’re a bit of a heavy metal fan as well.

Darren Sabadina:

Massive heavy metal fan. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

And we were chatting before about your experience at school and doing music and it didn’t quite gel as much as you would have liked.

Darren Sabadina:

No. It was interesting actually. I remember high school because dad used to play drums, and so then I started to play drums and I absolutely loved it. But the way I was taught, I was actually taught to play right-handed and I’m naturally left-handed, so it was sort of, I was all over the shop, so I was-

Anika Evans:

Because they didn’t know how to teach you or because it was just this is the way it’s done.

Darren Sabadina:

No. Yeah. It was just different. Yeah. So yeah, I started playing drums from him. And yeah, never read any music. So it was all listening by ear, listening to cassettes. The CD’s. So yeah, it was all listening. And then yeah, music and school was just different. All I wanted to do was play drums. Yeah. And I felt like every time we went into a music class it was a chore, because they were just teaching. I found it wasn’t a fun and enjoyable class. What I had in my head was like, go for it, enjoy yourself and then see what we can get out of it.

Anika Evans:

Experiment and be creative, whereas it was more theory based.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. Which wasn’t a problem, the theory based stuff. It was a chore I felt, every time I went to music class, I was like, “Aw.”

Anika Evans:

Yeah. They didn’t make it accessible in a way that clicked with you.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Yeah.

Darren Sabadina:

No. Not at all.

Anika Evans:

Instead it’s dry and you’re like [crosstalk 00:02:53].

Darren Sabadina:

Oh yeah, that’s it. And as soon as that happens with me, I was like, “Bye.”

Anika Evans:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Young boy with a lot of energy as well.

Darren Sabadina:

Young boy with a lot of energy. Yeah. And now… Yeah. That was it.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Fair enough. Do you think that if it had’ve been, say, more creative, interactive the classes, that you would’ve pursued drumming a bit further?

Darren Sabadina:

Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah. If it was a little bit more creative where you could do sort of what you wanted to do in one aspect, obviously, it would’ve been a lot more fun to be in. But I just remember it, I just didn’t like going to those classes and it was more of, I come home and then I’d start playing drums and whatnot. But yeah. It wasn’t a good experience to be honest.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. They lost that. Yeah. Lost in translation.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. That was it.

Anika Evans:

And there was a drumming teacher too, he was one of my teachers. And he was like, “Oh, you’re a drummer too.” And so there was always this standoff thing. Probably because I was a better drummer than him. There was this standoff and I was like, well… It was really-

Anika Evans:

Rather than encouragement and respect, it was like, get off my territory sort of thing.

Darren Sabadina:

Exactly. Yeah. Anyway.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. That’s weird.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. Whatever.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Okay. So teachers, I think, definitely have a big influence.

Darren Sabadina:

Massive influence.

Anika Evans:

My claim to fame, my music teacher was Angus and Julia Stone’s dad.

Darren Sabadina:

Oh fantastic.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. And so they were the local famous heroes in Avalon where I grew up. But the thing is, there were some great things that I learned from that class. But aside from that, it was a little bit of a bludge class, unfortunately. And it was like, pick up a guitar and go off for half an hour and then come back for the end of the lesson, whereas I wanted to take music more seriously. Yeah. So it didn’t really quite click with me, and then I was one of the only people playing piano in that class. So it was always a solo venture versus jamming with other people. That was just a big disconnect for me, that I think that’s why I’m so fond in trying to do that in our school here, is to give them that experience.

Darren Sabadina:

That’s great. Yeah

Anika Evans:

Yeah. I think maybe that’s my chip on my shoulder. You’ll have what I didn’t have.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. That’s great. That’s what we want to have. And I think parents and the kids, especially, the way you’ve already, that I’ve seen you do stuff it’s so much and just enjoyable. And that’s what they need. It’s like when we teach for NIDA as well, and we teach the kids there, you want them to have an enjoyable experience. You want to give them confidence. And that’s what you’re sort of about is obviously not having that, “You must do this. This is the way of doing it.” It doesn’t work like that anymore unfortunately.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Exactly right. And everyone learns differently. So if something’s not gelling with a student, it’s not, “Oh they’re silly, they don’t get it.” It’s, “Okay. I need to rethink this. It’s not coming through properly, so I need to find another way to get through them.” They might be more visual-

Darren Sabadina:

Attention spans as well, they’re minimal now. Yeah. Because of digital.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Especially the younger ones. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly right. And you competing with games and apps and that sort of thing, but still not being scared of technology. I mean, I’m guessing they do filming and that sort of thing in NIDA, but you don’t want it just to be about the tools, it’s the theory behind it and the method behind the madness.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah, of course. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Yeah, cool. All right. And talk to me about the voiceover side of things. How do you view sound as a whole? You have to manipulate your voice almost like a singer, almost probably more than a singer, really, because you have to make different tones, different dialects and accents and that sort of a thing. Do you think that if you had’ve had voice lessons, would that have helped or is it purely imagination and acting coming together?

Darren Sabadina:

Voice lessons is the number one. That’s the goal.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. When we were going through NIDA, I never thought I’d sort of fall into this world. Always had a love for animation and doing voices, but voice lessons is the most important thing. Yeah. And so we did that when we were going through our training, and now it’s every day. It’s opening up an app and going through different training, different vowel sounds and whatnot, which is really fun. Yeah. So I think that’s probably the most important thing is, yeah, is voice. Yeah. For what I do anyway.

Anika Evans:

Yeah, right. And are the kids doing that in the classes as well?

Darren Sabadina:

I let them do it in the classes. Yeah. Always warm them up. And then I always put on my little spin with them as well. I find they’re starting to really enjoy some of the different tongue twisters and whatnot. As long as you’re engaged, yeah, there’s a lot of energy going on in the classroom, and you’re constantly focusing on each individual student, I find that is sort of a big thing, which they get engaged with. Because if you kind of boring with those voice exercises, which they can be, but-

Anika Evans:

Yes. You got to make a joke of it a little bit to make it, it’s okay to laugh at yourself.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. And I think that’s a big, yeah, it’s an important thing.

Anika Evans:

I was just thinking about group learning environment, which obviously we’re very pro here and that’s what you do as well. What are your thoughts on group versus private? Because that’s always the debate that we sort of have to come up and say the advantages of groups. Thinking about when people enroll their kids into sports, it’s not to be the number one soccer player in the world or… You know what I mean? But when it’s music class, for some reason, we’re compared to, “Well groups are the lesser than private lessons because my child doesn’t get a hundred percent attention.” But it’s not about that, it’s everything else they get from it. They learn from each other, the social skills, emotional intelligence.

Darren Sabadina:

Working as a team, ensemble.

Anika Evans:

Problem solving. Yeah.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. Problem solving. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Confidence building too, because you’re used to sharing your ideas and if one falls flat it’s like, okay, you get used to that little bit of… Not rejection, but it’s okay, it’s not a big deal if something doesn’t necessarily work.

Darren Sabadina:

At everyone works at their own pace too. So it also helps you boost as an individual. You watch some of the kids that hold back and then they’re like, “Aw, my mate over there is doing it. Well, you know what? I’m going to try it as well.” I think they’re most important, I’d love to send my kids to anything to do with acting, music or sports in groups, ensembles, it’s the most important thing I believe. Private lessons obviously, it just depends on what you want to get out of it. But I think groups, ensembles probably the most important. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Yeah. And making friends is all part of it as well.

Darren Sabadina:

That’s the biggest thing too. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

And feeling like you’re a part of something. I mean, I know, I did private lessons for piano growing up because there wasn’t groups available, but I was very shy. I mean, I still have that. But getting lessons from a little old lady down the road, it wasn’t exactly thrilling.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. Exactly.

Anika Evans:

And doing repertoire that is old and dry and it’s been done before. And then by the time I was in high school, there was this massive disconnect of people are asking me to accompany them or jam with them, and I was like, “How do I do that? I don’t know.” I’ve been taught to just play what’s in front of me on a sheet, rather than be creative, find the chords, figure it out, have fun with it, which I’ve longed to do, but it was just like, “I’m so lost.” Which is, yeah, I think if it was in a group setting and what we do here is teach them cords from the age of five. It’s training their ear, being creative. I love when kids show me something they made up at home, I would never be like, “Oh, you didn’t do your set homework.” I think it’s so good. Keep going.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. And that’s why you’re different. And it’s great. And they want to hear that too. Because I remember getting shut down too in school, say, “Oh no, this isn’t the right beat.” And I’m like, “Well, what is the right beat?” Do you know what I mean? And as soon as you have that teacher that can get on your level, because I was a bit of a hard kid hey. Seriously, if you got on the wrong side, see you later. I was just in one ear, out the other.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Shut down.

Darren Sabadina:

But the teachers that I found that really could understand what I wanted to do or what it was when they got on that level, all of the attention was there. And then it was… Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Well, it’s inspiring then. Because when you click, it’s like, “Oh cool. I can bounce this idea and grow,” and then you’re not scared to share either. Yeah.

Darren Sabadina:

I love where you’re going with this.

Anika Evans:

Yeah.

Darren Sabadina:

Yeah. No. It’s great.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. So not to embarrass you, Sabba.

Darren Sabadina:

Okay.

Anika Evans:

But here’s plugged time. So what projects have you got coming up that we can share with everyone and keep an eye out for?

Darren Sabadina:

So that was supposed to come out this year, but COVID. So one is a 26 episode by 24 minute series coming out on channel nine and ABC, that should be out next year, that’s called Space Nova, which is really good. And then Maya the Bee the 3rd: The Golden Orb, that’s a really great film as well. That’s coming out next year as well, which is [crosstalk 00:12:17].

Anika Evans:

Exciting. Excellent.

Darren Sabadina:

Exciting. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Well, we’re going to put your details down the bottom.

Darren Sabadina:

Okay. Great.

Anika Evans:

Plug time. No, I really appreciate you coming on and having a chat with us and-

Darren Sabadina:

No, I love what you’re doing. Yeah. It’s fantastic what you’re doing. And I think the kids and the parents will really enjoy what you’re trying to do. Yeah.

Anika Evans:

Yeah. Awesome.

Darren Sabadina:

It’s great.

Anika Evans:

Thank you.

Darren Sabadina:

Great.

Anika Evans:

High five.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top