Hey r/edmproduction, I wanted to share this email I wrote (I help run EDMProd) here because I thought some of you might find it helpful and inspire you to find some producers to surround yourself with. Enjoy!
I grew up in the city of Brisbane, here in Australia.
Nowadays I live in Melbourne – arguably the cultural capital of this country. We have a killer music scene, with heaps of genre-diversity and opportunities for people to make something for themselves.
These days, Brisbane also has a pretty thriving music scene of its own. I have a lot of friends who are still involved there. But it wasn’t always like this.
See, Brisbane isn’t massive. And growing up as a teenager, there weren’t many producers around.
While I’m very thankful I grew up in a great country, I also lived out in the far suburbs, where families lived and not many producers. Even if there were other budding, young producers out there, they were in a similar situation to me – wondering where all the others are out there.
It wasn’t uncommon to find another person at school who played the piano, sung well, or was a great drummer. But a music producer? No chance.
Back then I didn’t know this, but the lack of like-minded people that were pursuing music production in my life put me at a disadvantage.
This made learning music production from the age of 12 onwards quite a chore.
In 2009, even YouTube wasn’t anything like it is now. You have a handful of shitty tutorials to navigate through, manuals (you bet I never read them so young), and your own intuition (which was often very wrong).
Of course, this changed as I grew up, but even tutorials didn’t cut it when they started to pop up. I still thought pirating (do not condone this) a bunch of plugins I had no idea how to use was the only way to get better. I was wrong.
In fact, it wasn’t until late 2012 where I started to find other producers online through a website called plug.dj. Even then, these were people predominantly on the other side of the world.
Despite that, for the first time, I had people who: – I could bounce ideas off – showed their processes – shared helpful resources
…which was completely new to me.
Consequently, 2013 was the first year I actually put out music. It still sucked, but it was out there.
I was very proud and went on to make 9 other tunes that year (most of them still garbage).
And it all changed because of one thing – I had people around me.
Fast-forward to 2021, and I’ve had the incredible opportunity of meeting 100’s of producers in the last 9-10 years.
I’ve been a part of many producer crews both in Brisbane and Melbourne, and online. I’ve also had the opportunity to grow myself as well as help others grow.
As a result, I cannot honestly say I would be where I am today, writing this.
In fact, let me just list out the ways that having a crew of producers has helped: – guaranteed social shares, reposts, plays – bouncing production techniques off each other – sharing cool resources I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered – breaking down completed songs in detail – exposure to wider networks and opportunities (six degrees of separation is real, and it’s often less in the music industry) – people to encourage me when I’m unmotivated
And I could keep going on.
What I’m trying to say here is this:
You need to go out and find your producer crew.
Put yourself in situations where you’re likely to meet people, preferably in-person but if that’s not possible where you live, online.
Here are a few ideas: – Politely message a producer you look up to – who knows what could happen? – Go to a club night (COVID-pending) and rock up early when it’s quiet (so you can talk and meet people). – Participate in communities – Discord, Reddit, Facebook Groups, group chats etc. (we have a great Facebook group here). – Post in feedback communities – people can discover you. – Go to producer meetups in your city or virtual ones. If there isn’t one, start one.
Whatever you choose, do it well and commit to it. This is how you’ll find like-minded people with who you can grow.
Because the alternative is fumbling your way through on your own, adding unnecessary years of slow growth to your production journey. Take it from someone who’s experienced it.
A note: it helps to be realistic with your skill level. If you’re a new producer, unless you have elite networking skills, don’t expect to link up with Skrillex. Try someone closer to where you’re at.
TL;DR – find producers, build a crew, and grow together.
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