Recording Music 101 pt.1
I’d like to think that my experience in the “music industry” what little I’ve had anyway, is individual. However, the more musicians/creatives I talk to or confide in, unfortunately that is not the case. Which in an odd way makes me feel at ease. Like I am part of a community of dysfunction.
It all started last year, January 2016. I was sitting in my bed, reading through different pieces I’ve written. Filling the wholes to eventually form into song. I’d met a brilliantly trained guitar player from Berkley. My own little Slash if you will (I have a long standing obsession with Gun’s & Roses) I’ve always wanted to be in a rock band. Since I was 6 to be exact. After meeting this musical aficionado I felt I was well on my way to what would be some of the best music I have written to date. So I was doing my “market research” trying to figure out what it is people are wanting to hear. What is missing in the musical landscape. Off we went, writing, recording, playing out. Which can be a bit awkward with just a vocalist & lead guitar player. But we made it work.
Up until this point I had experimented with many different producers. Hip Hop, House, Electronic, Alternative; but my heart always brings me back to Rock. I’ve had my fair share of being involved in projects that are just getting off the ground, then one member of the crew isn’t as serious as the rest. So they get cold feet & decide to stay stuck in their post high school drama. Drugs, alcohol & a dead end part time job. I can honestly say I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time in pursuit of my musical passion while trying to pull people with me along the way. Its hard to tell which way to go after you’ve put so much effort into something for so long only to have it fall short of greatness. Its also equally as hard believing people when they say they got your back. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, which probably isn’t the best way to approach creative en devours.
I should also mention that my day job (or what pays the bills for the time being) Is as a Mobile Registered Massage Therapist. Yes, I go to my clients houses. That takes up a lot of my time, which has proven to be a point of tension with past band members. “Its all about you & your schedule.” “Your not considerate of anyone elses’ time, but everyone has to be considerate of your time” etc etc. When my job is 100% what is fueling & funding everything. Add into that being self employed, so if I don’t work, I don’t get paid and nothing moves forward. So needless to say its been an incredible feat of patience & a massive balancing act to have everything come together. Doing it independently with no help or funding from anyone else.
I am by no means writing this article in hopes of victimizing myself or getting people on my side. I’m hoping to be able to lend a realistic view on what it is actually like to be a recording artist. I feel there isn’t much perspective out there in regards to what its like to be on this side of the fence. When you tell people your a musician its always met with “Oh, I don’t envy you.” or “That’s a tough gig.” When I really don’t think it has to be. However, to my dismay I have of course had to deal with so many people on an ego trip its actually appalling. When really the most talented people I’ve come across are some of the most humble people you would ever have the pleasure of knowing. They let their work speak for themselves & at the end of the day want to serve the music as best as possible.
On top of collaborating with people who have issues with adult conversations & conflict, you also have to market & advertise yourself. Because after you’ve been in the studio for 6–10 songs ($6-$10,000) you now have to be as savvy as possible with whatever budget you have left to build your brand as an artist. An NO unfortunitley you can’t just be an artist anymore. People have to be able to attach an image to you. One that is relate-able, not too far fetched, something they can project their deepest desires on to without having to take any of the risk. This takes bravery, vulnerability, poise & proper execution. And we can’t do it by ourselves, artists need help……
See you in part 2.