Interview with Ohmygodd and Eric Laurent on Mastering, Marketing, and More.

This was a super fun concept and I appreciate Ohmygodd and Eric for helping me out with this! you'd be able to find their links below! This was a short and sweet interview with some of the questions or concerns the two artists had that they thought I could help with!

BLUE is Ohmygodd

RED is Coleman

GREEN is Eric Laurent 

Personally, for me, the biggest issues are marketing and mastering. I can make songs all day. My brain is full of trauma to pull from. It’s about making that song go from something you made for fun to something people have fun listening to. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes people don’t know about. I can make a song 90% done but the public lives for songs at 100% that’s where outside help comes in handy. I’m a musician, not a sound engineer. I envy the people that have gotten to the point where they can do both but we’re talking bout the 1% of the 1%.

Personally, I'm not a sound engineer. So take this advice with a grain of salt. I have had a few of the artists that I have worked with in the past form small groups with other artists somewhat within their area, and even not within their area at all. The great thing about music is that it can be created digitally, and now it is as simple as sending an email with an attached mp3 and your song can go across the country, or even across the world to someone you'd want to work with.

But back to the group concept, I have been able to sit in 3 of these groups, and just watch how they interact with each other, give feedback and grow off of each other recommendations with additional influences. Some people start out wanting to be an artist and realize that their calling is to be a sound engineer, some people do it because they realize there is money to be made in an industry where there are so many creative voices wanting to get the additional refinement of consulting with a sound engineer. I've turned away so many submissions because of poor production quality, or simple issues that could've been fixed from consulting with a professional or even a peer.

This leads to an issue of money, while yes, you may be able to out of the blue connect with someone who is an aspiring sound engineer who will work with you for a decent price, or even exchange work for referrals. But that isn't always the case. 

There are lots of platforms from this amazing thing called the internet, that allow you to take online classes/courses in topics like sound engineering. It more than likely isn't as good as going to a physical institution that specializes in it, but it is better than nothing. Learning off of YouTube videos, online courses, and education platforms would be something smart to invest in. Even a creative writing class might bring out some fine skills to your writing you may not be implementing right now that increase the quality of your music tenfold. 

I reached out to an Artist called Dev Gajan to get some input on it as I mentioned before I'm not a sound engineer, and as he simply put it "I will never master my own songs, bias plays into effect."

So in short, try and collaborate with your community of artists. If you are unable to access a community, there are tens if not hundreds of platforms dedicated to teaching. I'm also considering YouTube to be a part of it. So many people put their expertise out for the world to see, and seeing that additional perspective is a vital resource to growing your skills as an artist.

Just wanna add that there are so many good communities out there like you mentioned, where I've met some awesome people who have given me so much motivation! Colin is one of those people. That's the most blessed part of the transition from analog to digital, everyone can work with each other without there being a problem of traveling or whatever the struggles can be to be in the same room with someone

Now marketing. How do you get people to listen? That’s a huge issue. I have these good songs that people will love but if it never gets in front of them it might as well not exist. You have to kind of compromise. You have to make music for others as much as it is for you. Some people may disagree and they're welcome to. That’s the beauty of music. What I think is good may not be what you think is good but that means that there is a genre out there for EVERYONE. What I think will never go viral may do exactly that. My song that I hate may get huge cause once again music is subjective. Now that you’ve found your genre you have to get the music to the people’s ears. You could go about this so many ways. Ad campaigns, reposts, playlist placement, but my favorite way is to work with people in my genre that have a larger following. All of these strategies may or may not require payment but they usually do. Music is so wonderful cause there’s no set way to make it to the top. There’s no trail to follow. You have to make your own way. However that is.

Marketing is my thing, I do to school for it, it's my form of employment, you get the picture. Making music is just as much business as it is an art. Unless you have the funds to be able to pay someone to do all of the legwork- which a lot of people don't. You have to become a master of DIYing everything from being your own promoter to proofreading emails before they're sent out. When you run a business, you have a target customer base. As a musician, you have a target audience base. While people hate to hear it- you need to have a niche before you spread out too thin. And even when you change your genre or your niche, all hell can break loose. I like to mention Bring Me The Horizon as a large picture example of how changing your target audience, genre, or niche can cause a freakout. The fanbase of BMTH had already been weary with the release of 'That's The Spirit' because it wasn't as heavy as 'Suicide Season'. So when the announcement they were shifting to pop- everyone seemed to of lost their marbles.

Titles can get in the way of people properly enjoying the music they would like if it had a different title(genre), and the music community is ripe with that issue. Music is an art, ad art is subjective. When building a community there needs to be a solid enough foundation that your fanbase can stand on that they then can build off of. 

Within the Rap industry specifically, there seems to be thing misconception that if you arent paying hundreds of dollars for it, it must not be good. And a lot of the time the stuff you are paying for (playlist placements, specifically), could hurt you in the long run if A- you are penalized for doing something against the platforms TOA, or B- it's a scam. A lot of the time it is a scam, with metrics inflated with bot usage. To consider something 'organic' can mean a million different things. It's an unregulated market and someone can bot a playlist, advertise it as organic growth, and reap the benefits of their misleading actions.

A somewhat funny but consistent trend occurring within the inner circle or artists I stay in touch with is that the songs that they dislike are the songs they are the most well known for. The songs that blow up are the songs they personally don't like. It just further goes to show how music is subjective and something the producer could hate is what the masses would love to consume. 

One issue I'm dealing with is finding my sound. I go through so many phases in such little time that I'm never in the same headspace which makes every release completely different from one another. I know it shows off my versatility but it's killing the retention of listeners. Some people probably expected my most recent EP titled Kae to be a Trap Metal project yet it was Bedroom Pop and I totally understand how that could lead to disappointment and them not wanting to come back. 

Experimentation is normal, but you can't be surprised when communities don't carry over to the new sound you are producing. Artists who have a constantly changing sound have a chaotic turnover of their community, it's always changing, always losing members, and gaining new ones depending on how the change is perceived by the public. 

I deal with general anxiety/complex PTSD and a panic disorder and that shit holds me back so much. I've been mixing and mastering for roughly 6 years, so I've been in the background of the music industry, but I was always working on my own stuff. It wasn't till about a year ago that I released my first project due to my mental health. It's not even the worry of what people will think, just finding the will still to this day to finish a song is almost impossible. One little thing can literally trigger me to the point where I just go to bed. Sometimes I'm so triggered it lasts a couple days. And this has been so frequent lately that I haven't been able to put something out since October. Luckily I've been able to pump out some features which should be coming out soon!

Artists, in general, are great at starting projects, and never finishing them. And I speak that as a blanket across the board. And I think a lot of people would agree with me. A lot of people struggle with finishing what they start, especially if the current focus they were working with for the past song has shifted to something new, and it wouldn't make sense to carry on that topic or theme with the current project.

This kind of feeds into the project management and time management realm. Being able to keep on something and finish it is a great way to look back at what worked and what didn't work. Creating boundaries for yourself as a creator has been a great way for me to personally keep consistent with the projects I start. Something as simple as "I won't work on music on Wednesdays." can give you time to refresh, and really process what is working with your methods and what is dragging you down in the long run.

Creating a song is a project, and that's that. Maybe even watching a video on a Project Management specialist could help you in ways you wouldn't think of. Taking your process seriously and treating it personally can leave you room to flake out on it and let it flop. Adding a bit of the informal structure to mimic how a business operates might give you the inspiration or something to lean on structure-wise to maintain consistency in a way that won't leave you burned out.


Eric Laurent:


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