Finding your road as a producer of soundscapes in 2021
Danish musician and producer Njordlyd creates mellow musical landscapes and organic compositions with experimental rhythms and micro-sounds
“When creating music, I let the sounds, ideas, mood, and current inspiration control me until a certain point, where it all turns, and I naturally take over the control.”
Finding your road as a music producer and songwriter can be challenging. Without guidance, where do you start, and how do you figure everything out and overcome all those hurdles?
In this songwriting series, I asked a few of my favorite creators to answer some questions on their process in hopes of discovering how musicians are connecting the dots today in the challenging world of music.
Interview with Njordlyd
1. Finding your road as a songwriter can be challenging. Without guidance, where do you start, and how are you figuring that out for yourself?
Creating music is quite the “Amorphous” process. I have been working as a project manager for many years. I am using basic project management techniques (Agile Scrum) in my songwriting process and in general. I do also approach each song and release as a project. This allows me to make music in a way that fits me, without losing the end goal (completing a track). It guides me towards completing and releasing music.
Another vital part of my songwriting and music creation process is to get regular feedback. I have a few friends with a broad selection of skills related to music, which are giving me feedback (everything from the track itself, build, progression, dynamics, etc., and through the end). Honestly, without them, I am not sure I would be able to complete my tracks. They are the ones highlighting my “blind spots.”
If you are doing it all by yourself, I believe there will always be some “blind spots,” something that you overlook, do not hear, or somehow lose.
2. You have been striving to create music that doesn’t fit into today’s trends but fits you and seems very fulfilling. How would you define what you have created?
I always say that it is up to the listener to interpret what I have created. For this track specifically, you could say that I have created an experience of the senses, without really knowing why I have a strong and powerful connection with the track.
‘Subconsciously’ has a very peaceful and imaginative appeal, which allows for the listener’s interpretation.
3.Where does your music fit in todays industry?
That is something I need to work on and take further. I believe my music from this year is fit for focusing, concentration, relaxing, mediation, partly yoga, and that sort of direction. I am currently working on a new release for later this year, which will be in line with both the single from April (Circles) and this one (Subconsciously- listen above), and I believe that future releases will follow that line. As my working process is quite “Amorphous”, this could change, though I do not think it will change significantly. Nevertheless, I need more time to figure out how my music could fit into today’s industry.
4. What has been the reaction thus far?
Honestly, I was not sure what to expect, but I cannot complain. So far, I have received a lot of really nice feedback, reviews, and comments on the track itself (production, quality, sounds, arrangement, creativity, etc.). Furthermore, I have also achieved a decent amount of Spotify playlist placements and more followers.
Follow Njordlyd on Spotify <here>
5. Have there been any hurdles in creating something different from the norm?
I do not feel that there have been any major hurdles creating something different from the norm. However, I do feel that I have to be careful with my music in terms of completing and mastering the track. My music consists of different dynamics, e.g., quiet periods, busy periods, transitions, etc. Those dynamics are very important for the track and can be compromised when e.g. mastering, hence that is something I have to be very careful with.
6. How important is the internet to a musician today? What apps do you feel as necessities to be using (spotify, facebook, YouTube, twitter, instagram, Tiktok, other) and how are you adjusting to this new music landscape?
I am still in the process of figuring out what would work the best for me, what would be the best fit. Having said that, there is no doubt to me that the internet is an essential part of being a musician. But you need to know what you want to achieve, your direction, and where you fit to get the most out of the possibilities available. You also need to be very careful with how to use the opportunities and “services” available. There are many good people out there trying to support and help all the independent artists, but as with any other “branch,” there will always be someone trying to take advantage of you; that is just how it is.
My current focus is Spotify, as that is currently the platform where I can get the most “attention” in terms of streaming. A lot of the other platforms are challenging to get streams on, though I am confident that this will improve or change over time. When it comes to social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) I am in the process of deciding which ones to focus on, as I believe it is better and more beneficial to use only a few really good ones, rather than using all of them “badly”. The more you use, the more time and focus you need to spend on it, and they all have a slightly different purpose.
7. What is the top struggle you face today in the music business?
The whole process of making music requires a certain amount of time and peace. I have a partner and two kids, and I am working more or less full-time (not music related). That means all time spent on this is outside my standard work (spare time, holidays, evenings, etc.) and in between daily life. That is definitely my top struggle, as the music business does require a lot of time, attention, effort, thinking, output, etc.
8. What is your plan to overcome that struggle?
My plan to overcome this struggle currently consists of 3 “pillars”:
- Plan time-slots for creating music and all the things related to the music itself
- Make a 3-year plan with clear goals + evaluate once a year and learn from the previous year
- Find the best possible balance between music, work, and family
Planning time-slots and the 3-year plan is already in progress and more or less implemented in my daily life. My three-year plan started with the release of “Circles” earlier this year. Finding the best balance requires a lot of research, reading, and training. I have got some excellent tips from a sort of “mentor”, so that is something for me to work on in the coming month, in parallel with working on music and music-related stuff.
Interview written by Jacqueline Jax
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More feature stories on this artist:
- Njordlyd ‘Circles’ is a magnificent mellow yet dark ride https://www.avaliveradio.info/featured/njordlyd-circles
- Njordlyd ‘Subconsciously’ is an experience of the senses https://www.avaliveradio.info/featured/njordlyd-subconsciously-soundscape
- Danish musician and producer Njordlyd Shares Songwriting Secrets by Jacqueline Jax https://link.medium.com/xeAccd6Ssjb