About 91 percent of artists trying to become successful in the music industry are categorized as undiscovered, according to Next Big Sound’s Year in Rewind industry report.
Personally, I know a number of young people who are currently trying to make it in the EDM industry. They’re in the throes of finding their unique sound, practicing their skill, getting people to listen, gaining enough recognition to play in front of a crowd and networking in order to meet the right people.
Whether they’re into mixing for fun or interested in producing professionally, it’s a lot of work and takes a huge amount of time.
It requires about 10,00 hours behind a computer actively producing before you can be considered a professional, according to Michael Montaperto (also known as Disconnect). That’s just practicing skill and finding your sound. Promoting yourself, gaining recognition and networking is a whole other ball game.
Networking is so important, but it’s not only done on the internet. Artists have to go out to clubs and meet other producers. It’s also a case of being at the right place at the right time sometimes, said Sacha Melki, Artist and Repertoire at Monstercat Records.
Monstercat Records is a record label that signs artists by individual songs as opposed to those who sign by artist. Because of this, Melki’s job is to filter through the label’s demo box looking for songs that are top quality.
“Ninety-eight percent of demos are from people who want to be good at producing but still need years of practice before actually submitting,” said Melki. “I’ve been here a year and three months and haven’t signed anyone from the demo box.”
Most of the songs Melki has signed have come from him reaching out to artists after finding and liking their work. This is usually done through mediums such as Twitter’s direct messaging, Facebook messenger or his official Monstercat email.
This just emphasizes the fact that it’s really all about who you know.
Although, if you have the skills and you make good music, people will find you, said Melki.
Becoming successful in the music industry requires a lot of sacrifice and forces artists to face a lot of challenges as well.
For some, the challenge was that their dream has to be put on hold in order to do something like complete academic schooling before proceeding forward with music production education.
This case explains Alexander Vasquez’s situation. Currently he is a 21-year-old environmental science student at University of California Santa Barbara. He produces trance music under the name Velum.
Vasquez has been toying around with production for about 6 years now and is totally self-taught up to this point.
“I still feel like there’s a ton of things in the realm of music production that I don’t know, so I’m constantly learning,” said Vasquez. “That’s part of the reason I want to eventually go to music production school so I can perfect any things I’d like to know.”
He chose to finish school first so that he can have a degree that would support him while he pursues his passion for music. He wants to be sure he’d be financially stable.
Other artists had to make tough moves when it came to their family and loved ones. Eddie Gold is a bass music producer in Atlanta, GA. Gold has previously worked with huge artists such as Diplo, Bassnectar and Datsik.
Gold moved away from his family in Florida in order to pursue his career in music. Although his mother 100 percent supports him and his dream, he still considers it a huge sacrifice.
“It keeps me awake at night,” said Gold. “It’s like should I spend more time with them or should I chase this passion of mine?”
Another challenge Gold faces is not having finances to receive lots of studio time for production, so, he taught himself to just use his laptop and headphones so he can make his music anywhere. His latest release is called Illegal.
“It’s a lot of work but it doesn’t feel like it because I love it and it’s fun to me,” said Gold.
I think most DJ/ producers would agree with this. If you’re gonna try in make it in the music industry you have to have a real passion for it that will drive you through the entire process.
“If you want it, you have to go get it,” said Gold. “No one is going to hand it to you. Put in the work, reap the results, also spread love and help one another rise.”