Everyday producers, engineers, songwriters and artists all around the world engage with each other in studios, rehearsal rooms and online in the pursuit of the creation of music.
For many people, the performance of music is for the self and not necessarily for the purposes of earning an income. Their music is more of an innocent exploration of the creative arts, and a chance to do something different for a period of time. However, for a smaller number of songwriters, composers and artists the pursuit of a viable career in music is the ultimate career goal and a full time commitment.
Artists that endeavor to succeed in the music industry inevitably come across the figure of a music producer during the process. Working with a producer generally signals an important escalation of both the artist and the producer’s commitment to creating a viable level of success for the artist. Whether the goal is to independently establish themselves with their own label, create a portfolio of professional works or attempt to be signed to a major label group, an artist expects a significant improvement in their music when a music producer becomes involved.
This expectation has huge implications for modern producers, mainly with the level of involvement they are now expected to have with an artists affairs. Since the illegal downloading debacle, the music industry as a whole has majorly tightened its production budget. It has limited the number of acts it signs to reflect the decrease in the viability of recording and releasing songs as an income source. We can’t really blame them for picking and choosing artists when after all, record labels are businesses and any business with its head on straight is not going to invest heavily in a high-risk portfolio unless there is something special about that investment.
So if making an excellent record isn’t always enough in the modern music industry, then how is an artist supposed to get the attention of the right people? More importantly, what is the point of an artist working with a producer if the producer’s commitment to the artist’s success expires after the final mix has gone to tape?
Simple research would suggest that historically, the majority of important producers that succeeded did so by committing time and effort above and beyond the mixing desk to making their clients as viable and appealing to the right people as possible. The simple logic behind this is that the credits carry for both parties and the notoriety and competency of both depends on the success of the production. An artist gets signed and the producer gets a step up the production ladder and is exposed to an array of contacts and opportunities.
Part 2 to come.
Denis Kilty is an Irish music producer, songwriter and mixing engineer based in Dublin. – www.deniskilty.com