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An Australian producer has won Beatport’s Beats In School contest

Beatport and Circus Recordings have announced the winner of the first Beats In School contest – and it turns out label boss Yousef landed on an Aussie producer.

The winner is 28-year-old Byron Bay native Taya Mills, who’s now based in the growing electronic music hub of Bali, Indonesia. Taya had what he calls a pretty “colourful” upbringing that set him on a path to winning this contest. Weirdly enough, he was born into an actual circus, with doof-loving parents who’d take him to bush raves “all rugged up in my cot with little fluffy earmuffs on.”

Unsurprisingly that led to a life obsessed with music, from making progressive psytrance as a teenager through to his current Berlin-influenced 4/4 sound. Before entering Beats In School, he released standout tracks on Bassic Records, a label geared towards outdoor dancefloors.

Taya will now be mentored for a year by Yousef and the Circus team, along with a host of other prizes aimed at accelerating his career. Yousef said of the Byron producer: “He is skilled, makes great tunes and seems like a great person. I’m looking forward to pooling our resources to help Taya get more exposure.” As for Taya himself, he’s ready to work closely with Yousef on polishing his sound. “Touring the world sharing my music has been my dream since I was nine, and it’s becoming closer and closer to my reality,” he says.

Phase two of Beats In School is coming soon, with Above & Beyond’s trance powerhouse Anjunabeats offering the next label mentorship. So if you’re a producer making progressive house or trance, this could be your opening. In the meantime, take a listen to Taya’s winning mix (with his original production at the 22:33 mark) over on Mixcloud.