On patience, hard work, and being an artist

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wub
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On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by wub » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 pm

http://fanumusic.com/on-patience-hard-w ... an-artist/#
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I haven’t written anything not relating to my own music on the blog for a while so let’s get the bloggery blabbery mode on for a change.

I felt like writing down a few words relating to hard work, patience, and being an artist.
I suddenly felt an urge to write after giving some advice to aspiring producers as well as having some conversations with some budding artists in addition to some older music heads whose faith seems to get tested every now and then.
And, yes, my own faith does get tested occasionally, too, so maybe I can refer to this post the next time I feel that times are tough for me. Heh.

The questions that many artists seem to be face periodically are “Is it worth it?”
There’s also the “Will I make it?”
I’ve found myself asking myself those questions a few times, too.
Then there’s also the old classic “I’ve been making music for x–3 years, I’ve sent demos out and I still haven’t gotten any releases out, so should I quit?”

Let me tell you how I see this and throw in my 2c that comes from my own experience.

Now I’m not saying I’m a big artist that’s seen it all – no matter how you measure my success – but at least I’ve been making music for 20 years, released three albums, a collabo album with some legends, several singles and remixes, toured the world a bit doing DJ gigs, learned how to do live performances etc.

What drives me to do it, and what have I achieved those things with?

Passion.

I LOVE what I do.
I truly love it to death.

Every single time I start up my sequencer and just look at it, or even hear a great sound – be it a drum hit, a synth lead, a pad, a bass, whatever – I’m inspired and feel like I want to create music of my own.
When I feel a funky rhythm, I feel like absorbing the greatness of the most awesome immaterial thing in the world called music.
“Feeling it” alone is the best kind of reward you can get – because, the thing is, not everyone has that in them: not everybody gets hyped by music and all its small peculiarities.



Recently me and my friends were discussing growing up and what comes with it.

Work. Obligations. Bills to pay.

We all agreed that we should be doing something that doesn’t feel like work – we should be spending most of our time doing something that’s enjoyable because otherwise it’s not worth doing.
When you grow up and have less free time and more work in your hands, it often feels like doing something that you’re not into 100% isn’t really worth it in the end.
It’s easier said than done, and in most cases, it takes a lot of work to reach that point where you can do a lot of what you love – but even the road to that is worth it.
You should be enjoying “the road” instead of only thinking of the destination.

What I’m trying to say here is that if you do something that really comes from your heart, that alone is rewarding and part of your “payment”. Appreciate that if you have it in you.

Making music – or any kind of art – is only “worth it” if you truly love it.
For me, it’s like I fucking love it to death, and it’s a passion that’ll keep a fire burning inside me till the last breath I’m going to take.
Since I was around 12 years old (now that was 20 years ago), I’ve only been making music because it’s what I enjoy the most in this life and because it’s almost like a biological need to me: I need to get the creativity out by making music, and I enjoy it – fortunately. Haha.

When I started, it took me almost ten years to even think of trying to get something released: I didn’t start my electronic music experiments to try and get my stuff up on Beatport (which didn’t even exist then) in 1992 or to get it picked up by labels. Nope.
My first proper release came out roughly ten years after I started making music.
I’m still a very small artist (and to most, I’m up-and-coming, just like Mixmag’s recent tweet goes to show), and it’s been only recently that I’ve actually seen some results without trying (e.g., awesome music product companies that I respect have been offering me their stuff that I’m super stoked to be using in my productions).

I’ve realized that it’s always when I’m trying my hardest that it all feels very much like hard work.

It takes years – or half a lifetime, almost, you could say – for most of us to “make it” in the commercial sense, and by that I mean getting paid so you can start paying some of your bills with what you love (oh, by the way, music hardly pays half of my bills but I still love 100% of it) and getting a lot of your music out there.

These days every man and their moms are producers, everyone has internet access, everybody has a cracked piece of software + zillions of sample packs with sounds that are honed to perfection by professional producers, Facebook is filled with artist pages etc.

It’s almost like everybody can do the same thing, but what’s going to set you apart from the rest?
Passion.

Not everybody has passion burning inside them, pushing them in their game.
If you’re looking to achieve fame and money with your music: forget it, and get a job at Wall Street.
Music – and being an artist – is a game that takes shitloads of patience, blood, sweat, and tears, and it’s when you start thinking about money that the depression sets in and you’ll start thinking of whether it’s “worth it”.
As long as you enjoy what you do, you’ll always be a winner, and the rest – who keep whining and bitching about not “making it” because they’re lacking the right kind of passion – will eventually drop out, and those who do it from the heart and keep it original will thrive on.

Well, heck, maybe this post didn’t come out as thorough/deep/clear as it should have, but I’m not after a Pulitzer; at least I got some crucial points down.

If you’re a producer/artist (it is likely, if you made it this far), I’d also advise you to check out a blog post that partially inspired me called “Hype, Stress and Whiners”, by Resound, a great, long-time Finnish artist who’s been making music as long as I know and who runs a blog with great content relating to being an artist and what comes with it.

Keep doing what you love and screw the rest – and now, excuse me while I go work on some more music.

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by wub » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:36 pm

http://www.resoundsound.com/hype-stress-and-whiners/
Stress and Whiners
04 Sep 2012 ⋅ by Resound ⋅ in Mindset ⋅ 7 Comments

I came across an interesting article by Alex at Sitting Ovation called I Don’t Understand The Scene : Part 1 – The Producers & Hype. Some of it I agree with 100% but other parts left me thinking. I decided to scribble down a few words of my own. This is an independent article, but I still I highly recommend you go read Alex’s excellent opener first, as well as the comments.

So hype runs this game.

It’s definitely a very saturated market due to the fact that most anyone now has a chance to become “a producer”.

As a newcomer producer you must build up hype to get noticed.

Wait a minute… Let’s stop here for a bit.

If you ask me… Yes that sounds sensible but it just ain’t that simple.

We have to look deeper.



See, there are many kinds of hype.

Hype can be based on knowing a lot of people and how to talk to them.

You can easily shell out the €€€ to create hype.

You could just be in the right place in the right time.

Or you can build hype based on music that is actually really fucking good.



Any other hype than the one based on music itself is quick to die out.

We could frame things as “artificial” vs. “sustainable” hype.

The bottom line is…

To really become long term successful in music there are no shortcuts.

Spend lots of time on the music and become good at it.

(For the record – I don’t believe in inborn talent. You do, you learn and you get better.)



I’ve said it for years: When the music is good enough, it will get noticed.

I’ve seen it happen around me countless of times.

I mean, do you really think Noisia made it just because they put up some funny videos on Youtube?

Upon meeting one of the guys it became immediately clear to me why they became so popular.

They have a passion for what they do, they enjoy it, they put in the work and as a result, they know their shit.



So how do you build the right, sustainable kind of hype then?

I think there are two more ingredients besides good, consistent music.



The first one is something that seems to be forgotten in our fast-paced society.

Patience.

Too many people seem to expect things should happen overnight. Or in a matter of a year or two.

The reality is they very rarely do. You got to commit for the long run.

I’ve been making electronic music for 16 years now. It took a long time to get anywhere. I’m happy with my achievements, but I still don’t consider myself especially successful (of course it depends on the definition of success itself).

If anything I feel I have just started to get a hang of things.

Patience.



The second ingredient is surrounding yourself with the right people.

The kind that you connect with.

You will know when things “just happen” – effortlessly.

With “the right people” I mean everyone from labels to collaborators and other involved people. Anyone you work with.

Create a friendly ecosystem for your ideas to flourish.



Depending on your goals and situation, it could surely be worth going for artificial hype too.

Hype and connections do help, but let me repeat: if the music is not good enough (read: great), hype will fail you eventually.



I see too many producers stress and complain about things on social media.

I swear sometimes opening up Facebook or Twitter takes me straight into what seems like a conspiracy plot: A producer vs. The scene.

(Scene always wins)



For fucks sake, stop worrying so much!

Your own dwelling stops you from coming up with fresh, positive ideas.

It also makes people turn away from you.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You’re much better off just putting your mind to the music.

Focus on what you’re good at.



Granted, it’s not easy to stand out from the masses of mediocrity these days.

But the only good way to really stand out is to come up with some bloody good music.

That’s what I have to say today..

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by wub » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:37 pm

http://sittingovation.com/articles/i-do ... cers-hype/

Image
I Don’t Understand The Scene: Part 1 – Producers & Hype

I can only talk from experience, from things I’ve heard about and from my impression of how things are, so this may or may not feel accurate to you, but the more people I speak to, the more it seems like this is very similar for lots of other people within “the scene”.

For the purposes of this article, “the scene” refers to artists, producers, DJs, VJs, promoters, booking agents, labels, stores and those involved with music creation, consumption, profit or promotion in some respect. I’m also referring to music that I know about and am involved with, so we’re talking deep dubstep, bass music, fringes of house, techno and garage stuff.

It may always have been the case, or this may just be something cyclical that I’m hitting on, just like some other poor sod did years ago, but this set of posts have been brewing within me for a few weeks now, and I think it’s time to try and get them on paper. Well… The internet.

Take these as you wish, but I mean no personal offence to anybody with the following writing. I don’t want to name names, and I don’t want to point the finger. Call me non-confrontational if you like. You’d be right.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, I don’t know where to start, since everything feels intrinsically connected, but perhaps starting with producers will give me somewhere to rest my anchor for a minute. I’ll work it out from that point.

There are two main points to make about producers. Firstly, as we all know, the abundance of production kit, techniques, soft and hardware, tutorials and samples means that anybody and their granny can be a producer these days. You don’t need talent, you don’t need musical ability – you just need a computer, or heck – even just a phone, and some form of internet connection so you can get yourself out there.

This is good and bad. Like most things. Ultimately I’m all for the abundance of ways to be creative, I think that’s a good thing, but I worry that it’s led to a severe over-saturation of under-produced, unfinished, thrown-together-hastily production. Often by “producers” who have wild ideas about where their “tracks” are going to take them, and what sort of fame and fortune they’re entitled to.

The second point I’d make about producers is that I worry this abundance of eager, less-talented, or just less learned producers is smothering those less pushy producers and artists who have far greater merit within their work. Those who have tuned their craft, and perhaps just don’t have the means or confidence to shout about themselves. There are countless talented musicians out there who are struggling to be heard. This is pretty much a no-brainer really. I think we’re all aware of this situation. Perhaps aside from those contributing to the situation its self.

So we’re talking about quality of product first and foremost. There is a huge, incredibly vast abundance of bad music being made. Consideration, talent, and craft are being thrown out the window in favour of hype and instant gratification. Ahhh, hype. We all crave it, we want to find it before it exists, and we all somehow feed off it. it’s grim, but it’s true. I’m as guilty as anyone else.

Hype is a merciless and twisted beast. It seems to me that if you can get your badly produced half-tracks in to the hands of a few people who are considered influential by those who may be buying your music (or downloading illegally it as the case may be), then you’ve got yourself a hit. Forget whether or not it’s actually worthy of hype – if the latest big DJ, radio show or podcaster plays your track enough times, then people will assume that it’s worthy of attention, and lap it up.

Those producers who don’t want their track spunked all over the internet, who are reluctant to send it out because they are perfectionists, or just simply don’t have the means to get it to the right people are left wondering in bewilderment why the latest tracks sound as awful as they do. Surely everyone has some level of quality control? Not hype, my friend. Not hype. Hype does not care if your track is a train-wreck or a worthy achievement.

It seems to often boil down to either who you know, or who you pay. I have a mediocre track, but if I hand it to my mate who happens to be a big DJ or popular blogger – I can get people to enjoy it, whether they like it or not. Likewise, if I have a mediocre release but I pay a company to tell people that it’s good, then their audience will assume that it is, and once more, lap it up. Payola is one of the more well known instances of this.

It’s how marketing and public relations work, it would seem. The people consuming the music are clearly falling victim to blatant marketing.

Why is it, those who are popular and well known can churn out awful, ill-considered tracks and remain popular, while those people producing incredible music, but struggling to find an audience, have to toil and toil for nothing? Literally nothing. The big names have the hype. They can fart through a mic, loop it for 5 minutes and people will go wild for it. Hype knows no boundaries.

If you are a new producer doing it on your own – hype is not on your side. In fact, nobody is.

Most blogs won’t take a chance on you, because people won’t read about a name they don’t know. Bloggers don’t like to expose new talent, it doesn’t give them enough readers. They need to fill their headlines with names that will get people clicking.

Most DJs won’t play your tunes, because they need to be able to hype their sets by promising new material from names that people know. They need to be able to put exclusives from the big guns in their track lists in order to justify their over-engrossed pay-cheques.

Most labels won’t sign your stuff, because people won’t buy the releases if they don’t know the names. Label owners will tell you that you need to get a remix by a big name to shift copies. You need to gratuitously piggyback on the success of others to get anywhere it seems. Even then, labels will only put in half the effort to promote your music, because well, how can you be enthusiastic about a name nobody knows? Labels can’t get distributors to pick up the release unless it’ll sell. Distributors can’t get stores to take the release, unless it’ll sell. Nobody wants to actually listen to the music, they just want to see a known name on the sleeve or on the promo.

Most record stores won’t buy your label’s releases if they don’t know the name on the sleeve – because they won’t be able to shift copies. Digital stores won’t feature your releases or ask you for charts or special content, because it makes no sense to them to promote names that nobody is going to click on. Real-estate in stores, on shelves, or on front-pages of websites and interfaces is ultra-competitive. No hype, means nobody sees it.

Getting your stuff heard for the first time is probably the hardest thing you’ll have to do as an artist. It’s not an uphill struggle. It’s a vertical climb (with lots of overhangs, and no safety rope). You’re fucked basically.

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Reversed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:51 pm

"Passion". Isn't this what drives all us "bedroom producers"?
Isn't it a great thing? Something to draw motivation from. Something to reflect upon a certain emotion with.
Gotta love Fanu :)

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Sharmaji » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:52 pm

fanu's one of the greats when it comes to really, REALLY well put-together d&b.

i can't imagine the amount of hate mail DJ Hype is gonna get from folks misreading this ;)

good articles.
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by siperdellyeer » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:32 pm

Reversed wrote:"Passion". Isn't this what drives all us "bedroom producers"?
Isn't it a great thing? Something to draw motivation from. Something to reflect upon a certain emotion with.
Gotta love Fanu :)
no, my friend did wanted to do it for the money, when he gave up he noticed i was better than him. he wanted to work with me and become "big", and i refused.

there are many people who think becoming big is just a 1 2 3 step thing :?

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Hircine » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:36 pm

siperdellyeer wrote:
Reversed wrote:"Passion". Isn't this what drives all us "bedroom producers"?
Isn't it a great thing? Something to draw motivation from. Something to reflect upon a certain emotion with.
Gotta love Fanu :)
no, my friend did wanted to do it for the money, when he gave up he noticed i was better than him. he wanted to work with me and become "big", and i refused.

there are many people who think becoming big is just a 1 2 3 step thing :?
you actually lose more money than you make in music, I had 500 dollars cymbals stolen countless times lol
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Ficticious » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:07 pm

As long as you enjoy what you do, you’ll always be a winner, and the rest – who keep whining and bitching about not “making it”

Sooo truee ^^^^^^
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by siperdellyeer » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:10 pm

Hircine wrote:
siperdellyeer wrote:
Reversed wrote:"Passion". Isn't this what drives all us "bedroom producers"?
Isn't it a great thing? Something to draw motivation from. Something to reflect upon a certain emotion with.
Gotta love Fanu :)
no, my friend did wanted to do it for the money, when he gave up he noticed i was better than him. he wanted to work with me and become "big", and i refused.

there are many people who think becoming big is just a 1 2 3 step thing :?
you actually lose more money than you make in music, I had 500 dollars cymbals stolen countless times lol
lol, why would anyone steal cymbals?

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by narcissus » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:24 pm

one of my friends wants to start out selling music .... because he hates his day job and he wants to not work. he thinks that you just start putting albums out, and people just start buying them, and all of a sudden you're big and you don't have to work a 9-5 anymore... *sigh*.. it's kinda fucking stressful to me because it means that part of the responsibility for his pipe dream failing is mine.

BUT, i did convince him to put out our first releases for free, to gain a following and nail down a sound before trying to sell anything.
i used to think that was a cool dream too, until it curled up and died due to me growing up. dreams do that.
because ultimately... makin tunes doesn't put food in anyone's mouth or a roof over their head. you're not really doing anything useful on a tangible scale, so i didn't think it's fair to ask people to feed me for an imaginary service.
it's better this way, because music is sacred to me now. it is something that i just DO, like breathing and blinking, and i think that is far more beautiful than doing it because i need to pay bills

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by narcissus » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:25 pm

siperdellyeer wrote:
Hircine wrote:
siperdellyeer wrote:
Reversed wrote:"Passion". Isn't this what drives all us "bedroom producers"?
Isn't it a great thing? Something to draw motivation from. Something to reflect upon a certain emotion with.
Gotta love Fanu :)
no, my friend did wanted to do it for the money, when he gave up he noticed i was better than him. he wanted to work with me and become "big", and i refused.

there are many people who think becoming big is just a 1 2 3 step thing :?
you actually lose more money than you make in music, I had 500 dollars cymbals stolen countless times lol
lol, why would anyone steal cymbals?
..... why wouldn't they?

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Bassf4ce » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:29 pm

I read that last article and man I don't know how someone like me could make it in the music industry. Only thing I got is connects with the two biggest local dj's in my city(It is not the strongest connection though); if they even would play my song that doesn't really do much, cause people will not really know the song that is playing. I guess I should be more focused on my skills before I worry about getting out there. I am only 16 anyways, so what does it matter?
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by ehbes » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:37 pm

It doesn't... Unless your banking on dropping out of school and making music for a living
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Bassf4ce » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:55 pm

ehbrums1 wrote:It doesn't... Unless your banking on dropping out of school and making music for a living
I plan on being a computer programer, because lets be honest there are very few people that can pay the bills with just music(especially when it cost so much to make music). I also want to be a dj; probably one of the only somewhat reliable jobs in music.
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by chekov » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:58 pm

Bassf4ce wrote:I also want to be a dj; probably one of the only somewhat reliable jobs in music.
i wouldn't say it's very reliable at all(unless you're alright playing skrillex b2b katy perry all night)
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by ehbes » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:00 pm

chekov wrote:
Bassf4ce wrote:I also want to be a dj; probably one of the only somewhat reliable jobs in music.
i wouldn't say it's very reliable at all(unless you're alright playing skrillex b2b katy perry all night)
Nothing wrong with that..
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by chekov » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:20 pm

it'd drive me crazy :(

i'm like literally all about the music man... /pretentious music geek mode
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by twilitez » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:22 pm

narcissus wrote: i used to think that was a cool dream too, until it curled up and died due to me growing up. dreams do that.
because ultimately... makin tunes doesn't put food in anyone's mouth or a roof over their head. you're not really doing anything useful on a tangible scale, so i didn't think it's fair to ask people to feed me for an imaginary service.
What a load of crock. Imaginary? I guess were all psycho's here then. But by all means talk yourself down if you think its the right thing to do.

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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by Bassf4ce » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:28 pm

chekov wrote:
Bassf4ce wrote:I also want to be a dj; probably one of the only somewhat reliable jobs in music.
i wouldn't say it's very reliable at all(unless you're alright playing skrillex b2b katy perry all night)
If it is what I would have to do then maybe... I didn't call it very reliable. Somewhat meaning kinda if-y.
Last edited by Bassf4ce on Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On patience, hard work, and being an artist

Post by ehbes » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:28 pm

chekov wrote:it'd drive me crazy :(

i'm like literally all about the music man... /pretentious music geek mode
I'm pretty laid back about music... Except when people say chillstep
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