How to Create Your Own Work as a Musician

João Silas — Brazil (

A few years ago, when I wanted to spend my days in a recording studio just creating music, I didn’t notice many of the steps that I had to follow before I could get there. There was only speculating alongside a friend about how much we could record a day that by some chance of destiny someone invited us to their studio. Fortunately, those things were only an idea that took shape into reality as we began to act in sync with what we thought and said.

Think about it, no one will ever know what's on your mind. No law of attraction or something like that will give you something similar. If you do not move and generate your own situations, it would be very hard for someone to turn and look at you, either to speak against or in favor, but the important thing is that after all they’ll be paying attention to you.

The music industry has been mutating for about 20 years. It is no longer as it was before, so you do not have to adjust to the story of your favorite bands, as they broke into a particular moment with game rules that are much different as they are now.

It doesn’t matter how good your music is, nobody will listen to you if you do not literally put yourself in front of them. Audiences today value other things. Mainly, art today is valued by the strong emotional ties that you can build with your fans and artwork draws on collaborative processes to achieve similar goals in community. Many of these things will be explained in several next articles.

Be yourself

Just as you read it. If as an artist you have not done a work of introspection, being yourself will hard for you.

Take off the shirt of your favorite bands, idols and do the same with your psychological processes. When you talk, assess whether what you say comes from your own conclusions or if you just repeat what someone else said. This doesn’t mean you should to cast inspiration into the pit, I agree, sometimes we feel cool if we repeat vehemently some things we read and inspired us, but you look more authentic when you talk about that with property without wanting to endorse it in your speech as something of your own. As we speak to others is as we talk ourselves, if we lie, the blossoming of what you are stays on standby until you've done the homework.

John Hult — Gothenburg, Sweden (

Accommodating these things help much because as you know, work does not reside in the mind or artist's head. Our consciousness is not in our body, we connect to it. At the moment we create music we are giving it direction and attention to the conscious in its connection process. Making music is like sculpting time and even if your first creations are not something admirable, you’ve begun. When you do it gradually it becomes easy and not doing it, by the same lack of certainty of experience, it will generate fears and the feeling of difficulty.

Embrace technology and make your audience

Come on, you don’t have to be outdated. We are in a fantastic era where the structures are crumbling and we are dealing with the essence of things.

The music industry was built around the album in a physical format, but with arrival of the mp3 format, it presented a big break in the industry. A few years later Apple came and launched the iPod with its flagship ad: now you can have 1000 songs in your pocket. It sounded a bit unreal at the time, but gradually everything moved towards that. Now music is open to anyone, so it makes no sense for everything to revolve around a disc. The fact of the massive and free digital access to music poses a new challenge in a world saturated by it: create your own audience, those who do not care if you're famous or not, because once they have connected with you and have an exchange of affection, your story will begin to change.

The web is an incredible window to start to show yourself. The first thing you do doesn’t necessarily have to be of the highest quality. What we should have is that, as I said above, contains the essence of what we sincerely want to project, what makes you different from the others. Beethoven said that playing a wrong note is forgivable, but to play without passion is unpresentable. More or less this phrase fits that. It doesn’t matter if you start recording on your smartphone or computer in the simplest way, but if you do it with enough passion, the people who you come to show these first things to will notice "that" thing that makes you different from the rest before they realize it is not of very good quality. Gradually, if you stay and are persistent, better tools will come, as any evolutionary process.

Establish a project

It is more serious, you prove yourself the commitment and it's a great way to spend life.

There are many people with incredible talent but lack of organization and commitment to themselves, they don’t do lasting things with their time and therefore never create an audience itself, but rather are projected as the "one" who makes music or something artistic and occasionally publishes only for immediate satisfaction or emotional purposes.

Us as artists are quite emotional and most of the time this works against us, because we urge to do things when we are fully connected to something emotionally and when that feeling goes away, we get discouraged and we don’t continue. Controlling your emotions and establishing a work plan framed in a project will give real results.

I have a friend who is very good at drawing, he has done it for years, sells his work occasionally, but at a time when they wanted to interview him on a local radio show to talk about his work, they ignored him at the last minute when he was asked for a project and he very naively said he had none, despite showing dozens of drawings. "Those are just sketches, notes," they replied.

Start with the resources that you have in hand

How many have not begun to make the record of their dreams because they have no money or equipment? So many. If you do not appreciate what you have at hand, you hardly deserve better equipment and tools.

To get them as instantly as you imagine, it will only create more confusion and you will not fully accomplish to do something from the heart. As I said above, begin to do it and everything else will come easier. If you exploit the most of the DIY culture, when you receive the equipment and tools you dream about, you really appreciate it and you’ll do amazing things. Four tracks of our first EP were recorded in a week using just a laptop, a sound interface and a microphone. We decided to start as we could, to create our stuff and that’s where we discovered an inexhaustible source of energy that allowed us to face without any technical expertise the recording of these tracks.

Learn to communicate and look for people who resonate with what you want

It’s very unlikely that you’ll find those who will want to work with you if you don’t leave your house or at least don’t forge one on one relationships. If you still don’t find them, start alone and publish weekly what you're doing, make covers of your favorite bands and upload them to YouTube. Start using some DAW and let curiosity take you to finish something to show. Get trained, constantly study the instrument you play. I assure you someone will that an interest you.

Go to shows and concerts, introduce yourself to people. If you think you look like a rocker watching some local band in your city with crossed arms, you're lost. You really look like a rock star being in first row and head banging.

On the other hand, if you already have time playing an instrument, always seek to do public service. In your neighborhood, at your university, look for someone to teach without expecting anything in return. Many of the most unexpected turns in life come through doors that were opened when you apparently work for free.

Think about it, it is better if you take seriously what you do. An artist can create a small audience and monetize from it they just keep creating. Once someone has been engaged in what you do, it is very difficult for them to go away unless the inconstancy takes over you and you disappear from the map for an indefinite period. You must keep creating and gradually the results begin to arrive.

Generate your own situations, live what you make happen otherwise you’ll live of what someone else made happen.

Written by Ánfer Chávez / Translated by María Pernía

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