Let’s start from the beginning, when I got into music you had to physically go out and get the tracks you wanted whether that was a trip to the local HMV (RIP), Woolworths (WHO?) or indeed a local independent record shop. In the queue with Greg, the weird lad from Argos, waiting for that latest release on Positiva or a White Label there was a rumour they only had two of.
Tape, CD or Vinyl, the buzz you would get from knowing you were among a select few who had a certain record for a least a few days was incomparable and made the freezing wait with the weird lad from Argos and the painful small talk well worth it.
Now it’s access all areas, as soon as tracks are considered ready they can be uploaded in a couple of clicks onto multiple platforms, including social networks- which these days seem to matter as much as the music itself. I’d argue that this has perhaps taken some of the spice out of the consumption of music. However, it does mean that it is far easier for young producers out there to get themselves heard by the masses- no longer do people have to lug huge keyboards and samplers around instead a whole studio can be found on a laptop.
I know it’s not as simple as uploading a record then 6 months down the line you are headlining festivals, but stranger things have happened.
When it comes to DJing the same applies really- before you’d have to traipse around with a huge record bag / cd wallet, now even the top DJs just travel with USB sticks or memory cards. It makes practical sense, but are DJs still showcasing that raw link with the music? That’s another blog post entirely.
My advise to producers and DJs new to the game- be prepared to take criticism. As easy as it is for you to upload a mix or an edit or even an entire track it is as easy for people to leave their feedback- positive or negative. Obviously if it’s constructive, take it on the chin but do not listen to those who are commenting negatively for the sake of it. Remember to critique your own work and take advise from those with more experience, perhaps even ask to be mentored by someone in the industry. Build a good fan base with friends who will regularly like and share your work and it will stand you in good stead.
In short, embrace what you have got- this is a great time to be sharing musical ideas with a wider audience and be thankful that you aren’t standing in the freezing cold with Greg from Argos.
Charlie is a friend and supporter of Living Paintings
Borrow our Touch to See and audio book Music NOW! for blind and partially sighted teenagers