Tom Foden (aka rokalok)

Bassist, Producer & Mixer

Tom Foden (aka rokalok) on SoundBetter

Creative & experimental, technical & precise, focused & driven, soulful & honest - my goal is be your collaborator in creating meaning through music. For over 25 years, I've dedicated myself professionally to various aspects of production - technical & creative, audio & live events. But my passion has always been music - so here I am, let's go.

I've taken the long way here - gigging in the Perth scene as a teenager, small tours and record deals, discovering electronic music production and performing live, working in live sound and events through Australia, UK, Europe and the Middle East, moving to Aotearoa / New Zealand and becoming a husband & father.

Throughout, music was and is my passion. Production is my craft.
Now, I'm in a space where I can combine my craft and my passion to help create new music for new artists - we can learn and grow in collaboration.
Over the last year, I've built up a humble but effective studio downstairs in the home I share with my family - my wife, two kids, a cat and dog.

Why now?
A friend & music teacher asked me this after we suddenly began collaborating on projects together after knowing each other for more than a decade.
My answer was - depression. For most of my life, depression had gotten in the way. Music has always helped me - to heal, create & learn. To feel and connect with emotions and the people expressing them.
I'm on a healing journey now and music is the key.

What I can offer you
I will listen and hear what you need to convey and how you want to use sound to express it. And I can translate what I hear, see and feel from you into a musical form - demo, song, track, recording, sound design, or a jam with a full band of like-minded musicians. Let's go.

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Interview with Tom Foden (aka rokalok)

  1. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  2. A: What do you need to convey, and why? What does this music/lyric/song/sound mean to you? Who always inspires you, and why?

  3. Q: How would you describe your style?

  4. A: Experimental, creative, technical, precise, focused, open. Bass-centric, usually. I like to make spaces with sound - places and layers to explore.

  5. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  6. A: Oklama. He's the GOAT

  7. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  8. A: The first take is usually the best.

  9. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  10. A: Hip hop, although the idea of a 'type' or 'genre' isn't that useful a lot of the time.

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. A: Communication is number one. Everything flows from understanding one another, finding the language (using words music, sound or movement) that conveys what the artist needs to.

  13. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  14. A: It's a work in progress, humble but effective. I've spend a year or so building it up starting from very little - a pair of small Genelec monitors, a MacBook, headphones and a bass rig. I don't own any legendary tube mic, preamps, channel strips or compressors (yet) but I can hire them if the project needs that. Now though, I'm geared up to record my band's rehearsals to edit, mix, master and share. We're a 7-piece with three vocalists plus live drums, bass, keys, guitar, cello and playback including samples, effects and click tracks. I've treated the space with acoustic panels with more to come and measured & corrected the room to allow my mixes to translate well across systems. It's a welcoming, comfortable space to be creative in - the place has a vibe. I've been told this a lot and I feel that way every time I walk into the studio.

  15. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  16. A: Mac Miller is a recent discovery and inspiration for me - he is an artist's artist but his music is so accessible. Kendrick Lamar is easily my favourite music artist and he curates his production teams so well - Thundercat, Sounwave, Terrance Martin, Knxwledge... Nigel Godrich is a master and Rick Rubin is a guru - these producers are legendary and on everyone's list surely. Going back a bit, the Motown and Stax sounds influenced how I understand rhythm and the melodic, driving bass lines of James Jameson will always be the archetype for me. Gotta mention - Scratch Perry, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Plastikman, Inflo, Adrian Younge, Frank Ocean... too many to list!

  17. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  18. A: I'm only just putting myself out into the world of paid music production. The project I've been working on the last year is with MC, songwriter and storyteller, Bennett Pomana - a legend of Aotearoa hip hop. He was a founding member of Upper Hutt Posse who were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa in 2018. He was also in the Dam Native crew and can claim one of the illest verses in hip hop on the track 'The Son' feat Che Fu. We're working on a live set which came from my production on a set of songs Bennett had written - most expressing aroha for his whānau and speaking of his vulnerabilities, losses and grief.

Bennett Pomana, Drive Slow

I was the Producer and Mix Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

I'll work with you to develop the terms of service - each project will have different needs which we'll work to identify together.
Additional costs for session musicians, as needed.

GenresSounds Like
  • Mac Miller
  • Portishead
  • The Internet
Gear Highlights
  • Fender Jazz & Precision basses
  • Aguilar
  • Barefaced
  • Darkglass
  • Genelec
  • KRK
  • Behringer X32
  • Logic
  • Mac Mini M2
  • Akai MPC
  • SSL Complete
  • Native Instruments Guitar Rig
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