Tony Li (‘23): Beat producer, song remixer, and president of the Music Production Club


You’ve probably heard of Geometry Dash. It’s a platform game with a pretty simple concept: the player is tasked with keeping a block alive as it careens through a maze of rhythm-based obstacles that must be dodged at precise timings. For most of us, the game was a way to aimlessly kill time as we tapped our finger to the background noise. But for Tony Li (’23), it was his first major musical inspiration that started him on producing music.

“There are a lot of media-streaming platforms like YouTube [and] TikTok… All of them use music in some way, so for our generation, we just bonded to the fact that there is music,” said Li.

Tony started out interested in electronica, a broad music genre that includes house music, Eurobeat disco, and even the Geometry Dash soundtrack under it’s umbrella. Thanks to its reliance on computer-generated sounds, that means creating electronic music has constantly increased in accessibility and range over the years as software has become more developed. Nowadays, people of all ages and backgrounds can produce tracks just by sitting in their bedroom.

“The newer music that is being made is more electronic rather than acoustic… The big branch genre for all electronic music is electronic dance music; anything that is electronic and has a beat, you can name as EDM, and you can just make anything you want after that,” said Li.

So far, Tony has produced an impressive amount of work, from full-on albums like his 2021 release Emulation to remixes of the Super Smash Bros franchise.

“Sometimes, you just can’t make the sound you want, and you can be stuck for a couple of days. But it is a hobby of mine, so I could stop it for maybe a week, to just take things out, and give it another shot next week,” said Li.

Since his start all those years ago to now, Li is now working on running the Music Production Club as the president and one of the co-founders. In the club, he plans on using the experience he’s picked up over the years to help others who are interested in making music but clueless about where to start.

“Some other people might be a guitar player, play a horn or a string instrument, [but] he knows a lot about how to make electronic beats and use electronic instruments. I’m happy to come meet him [at meetings] and see other kids learning music software that’s available for everybody,” said club advisor Mr. O’Dea

In the future, Tony plans to keep experimenting and testing himself with new music. In between homework and club activities, you’ll be able to find his current projects over at his Instagram handle @tony.li_official.

“After coming up with an idea, I start to put it in the digital audio workstation, and after that, I just listen to other inspirations from other artists and figure out how to take things from their [music]… Because I think all of my works are sort of mediocre, I still have a long way to go,” said Li.