As an artist, who do you want to sound like? If your answer to that question is anyone other than yourself, why are you even making music? I don’t mean that to sound discouraging or condescending. It’s a genuine question; something to which you NEED the answer. I’m ALL ABOUT taking the time to find out what YOU like as an artist. Trying shit. Stepping outside of your comfort zone. Seeing what “gets you off.” And what makes you cringe. That takes a lot of fucking time. Like, y
Your fans are out there. Hiding in plain sight. You just have to reach them where they are. The internet is too damn noisy for them to find you. Did you know that you can target specific groups of people with Facebook? The power of this technology is absolutely mind-blowing. (Think of anytime you were on a company’s website and then the next day you saw an ad for them. Same principle.) Most bands don’t really know about this, or they think the technology is not accessible
So, I post a lot of informational posts. Sometimes I make motivational posts. But they’re really only helpful if you actually do something with the information. All the reading and studying in the world won’t really help you unless you get out there and do it. It’s not the act itself of “actually doing it” that benefits you. Sure, you get the thing done. Check the box. But the REASON that "actually doing it” works is that it gets you one step closer to SELF-ACTUALIZATION.
Making comments (even jokingly) about how bad you are is a coward’s way of life. It’s kind of like saying “well, I’m not really trying.” …which takes no courage. No balls. “Hey everyone! Look at me not try.” Nobody wants to do that. People want to see you at your breaking point—and moving past it. Why do you think sports are so popular? People want to see the best in the world breaking past their own limitations. It’s the ultimate metaphor for the human spirit. I think
Soooo many people bitch about Spotify payouts etc. These people are just complaining that things have changed. Yes, it’s true that the payout sucks. BUT, what these people don’t talk about is all of the GOOD things that this “new era” has brought. Mainly, the chance to access fans like never before. It used to be that you put out your album and you played live shows. That was about it. Now, you can stream directly to people. You can stream your creative process, your studio
I never really got into that movie as a kid. BUT, there is genius in it. Think about how they portray the “dark” and the “light." The “light” represents comfort. A safe space. Contentment. The known. The “dark” represents the unknown. Danger. Fear. They tell Simba to stay out of the darkness as a cub, to stay safe. Stay in the known and nothing will hurt you. But, after refusing responsibility, he ends up fucking about for far too long in the light with Timon and Pumba
How valuable are you? Let’s talk about it. I don’t mean in a spiritual or self-esteem kind of way. I’m talking economics. What can you do for someone else? Writing great music is a start. However, lots of people can do that. Supply & demand causes the value of great music IN AND OF ITSELF to unfortunately be not worth that much. Writing great music and delivering it to people in a way they want is better. Think unique live shows, creative videos, content, recordings, per
Success is built on the shit you DON’T want to do. Just because you’re GOOD at something….. doesn’t mean the world owes you anything. Take pro athletes for example. Sure, they’re GOOD at what they do. Sure, they ENJOY it. That’s not what gets them to the pro’s. That’s not what makes them champions. It’s all the extra crap: the weight-lifting, the treadmill, the dieting, the missing their families, etc. That’s how they become the best in the world. Now put this in terms of y
If you don’t have any songs yet, you don’t need to worry about booking shows, or having a full band (if you’re solo), or what the artwork is going to be. Write some songs first. If you only have three songs, don’t worry about booking festivals. You ain’t ready. Literally. Get your songs produced (professionally!!!). Figure out your branding. Get your website and image in order. Launch your songs on Spotify (with a plan!!!). Write more songs and repeat. If you have a bunc
Some of my favorite clients are the ones who can face the hard truths. They don’t wince and flinch and cower when I tell them how they’re fucking up. And not only can they tolerate hearing it, they CRAVE IT. And MOST importantly, they DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Clients who previously wanted to release full-lengths are now putting out singles with videos and running ads and building an audience. Clients who had a dated sound are letting me bring them up to speed with the times (w
Why do you want to make a career out of music? “Because I love music” isn’t that good of an answer. EVERYONE does that. I talked to an artist recently who said he wants his son to see him “going for it.” THAT’S a good reason. When shit gets hard (as it inevitably will), he can refer to that reason to get him through it. That deep of a reason will keep you in the game. If you’re having trouble getting to your reason, just keep asking yourself “why?” to every answer you have
What drives you, internal or external validation? Do you chase the approval of others? Or would you rather just BE who you want to be as an artist? One is surface level. The other is God level. If you just ARE the artist you want to be—comfortable in your artistic choices, your vision, your drive, your momentum—not only will that help your career, but you’ll sleep better at night. Nobody can take that away from you. Your soul will be at peace. And isn’t that the real goa
When you hire a pro, that person deeply considers details that you don’t even know exist. How can you possibly know? There’s plenty enough to do as a musician already. Also, here’s a secret…. As a producer…. I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT YOU PLAY. It just has to be good. Whether you go up or down on the melody that one time in the bridge, whether the drum fill goes “ba dop BAH da” or “ba dop BAHda bahda” doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me. You’re the musician; that’s YOU
When I work with artists & bands, what we create usually lies within a “common ground” of influences that we each have. I want to learn what they like (and learn about some new music), and I want to show them some new music as well. I have my tastes that aren’t relevant to the project, and they have theirs that we might not use either. We meet in the middle like a Venn diagram and that’s where the magic happens and we create something NEW. Which brings me to another point.. D
If you want more out of your life, you’re going to have to BE more. Be a better person, learn new skill sets, help others. If you can reach your goals by being who you are now, your goals aren’t lofty enough. #getsome
I just listened to an old record of mine (from 2013ish) that I always thought I did a pretty good job on, but I just now realized it’s flaws and my mistakes. Most would probably expect me to be bummed out but I’m honestly psyched about it. Because it means I’m still getting better. I worry about “peaking” all the time so this is good news 😂 In the wise words of the immortal "Slipperman’s 10 Commandments of AE Beatdown”…. “Stop expecting to like your own work in the long run.
A great producer is going to analyze you and learn your strengths & weaknesses. He will know how to use them to your advantage. He (or she) will push you farther than you thought you could go. I’ve done this several times—artists thought I was just being an asshole, but they later thanked me for pulling the extra mile out of them. The compound effect of this is that the artist now has an expanded worldview of their skillsets. They can now be farther along the path for the n
Don’t get me wrong…. Artists recording themselves can be a good thing. But all the gear manufacturers conveniently forget to tell you how valuable a producer is in the process of realizing your art and your message. Judging takes, helping you find your voice, discovering who you are, holding you accountable, and pushing you to be better are far more important than any piece of gear. Record yourself. …for the demos. Get a great producer for the rest. #getsome
Ok. Honesty time. I was driving with my kids, and they wanted to listen to the Moana soundtrack. I don’t mind this stuff at all—I thought the movie was great, and the songs were good, and anything that gets my kids interested in music is fine by me. There’s a song in that movie where Moana is staring at the ocean, wondering what’s out there, and if she makes the plunge to explore the ocean, how far she’ll go, should she stay on the island and do what everyone else says, etc.