How to turn your bedroom productions into a career
We’ve teamed up with JMC Academy to strategise ways that as a bedroom producer, you can turn your music into a sustainable career. We’ve also reached out to some of our favourite producers from around town to give advice andshare their experiences of taking their sounds out into the world.
Share your music, play some shows and see what works
Constructive criticism can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the best way to grow as an artist. By exposing your music to as many different crowds and kinds of people as you can, you’re opening yourself up to seeing what it is that the public may respond to.
Sydney producer Robustt made a great point about exposing your work to people who may not necessarily be in the industry. He said “It’s pretty crucial getting feedback on your music from as many people as possible and not just other producers/DJ’s that you know – while they can often give great technical feedback, I like to show my music to people who just like listening to music and going out. If it catches their ear for some reason without knowing the technical ins and outs, there is usually gold in there.”
Closer to home, sharing your music with trusted friends, mentors and other producers to get an outside perspective is always helpful too. Seeking criticism from those you trust may be a more comfortable way for you to navigate feedback.
Another great way to navigate feedback is to put on a show! By booking as many gigs as you can, you’re opening yourself up to an entirely new demographic of people with each show. This is essential in not only establishing yourself as an artist, but also finding what works and doesn’t work for you creatively.
It can be tough knowing where to start, navigating bookings and learning how to secure gigs regularly. JMC’s Music, Audio and Entertainment Business courses will all give you astrong understanding of the importance of getting out there and gigging and how to find suitable gigs near you. They can also provide you with a number of fellow producers and other musicians to work on music and gig with, along with being taught by lecturers that are already professionals in the industry who you can bounce ideas off while working on new sounds.
Network as much as you possibly can
There’s huge importance in meeting as many people in the industry as you can. This isn’t limited to just other musicians; by getting to know film producers, those in management, PR, bookings, you’re opening yourself up to a new network of professionals who can help further your career in many different ways. By surrounding yourself with as many different creatives as possible, you’ll be opening yourself up to new opportunities and relationships.
We asked Sydney producer Maxy Cozy how he feels networking is important and advice on meeting other creatives. He said:
“Networking for me is definitely a key part of the process, especially as someone trying to take their music to the next level. Meeting and knowing these people of common interests can really help you get your foot in the door and create that stepping stone as a bedroom producer.”
JMC’s campus is a great place to expand your network. With a community of like-minded, multidiscipline creatives all in the one place, there’s a creative hub that exists at each of their campuses, making it the perfect place for you to begin your network. By using the network that you have around you, you’re opening yourself up to better gigs, fruitful collaborations and allowing you to organically build hype around you and the music that you create.
Maxy Cozy shared some great advice on networking outside of your day-to-day, saying “The online community is one great way to meet other creatives. For me it meant joining like-minded music groups on Facebook, interacting and sharing my music. This way you become part of a global community and are open to so much more opportunity.”
There are many ways to build your network and get involved in the various communities around you, like heading out to shows and getting involved in online communities. Places like JMC’s various campuses serve as a great, tangible place to keep that network growing.
Understand the Business
A vital step in pursuing your artistry is understanding the economic framework of which you’ll be operating. The music business is exactly that, a business, and it can be tough knowing when you might be in a situation where you’re being taken advantage of.
JMC have integrated a component in all of their music basedcourses that gives you the resources to understand what a contract is and how they work. They also give you strategies to handle your money, the processes behind getting paid and how to navigate your royalty rights as an artist both as a solo producer and a collaborator.
Sydney producer, Flower Boy, has been part of this business for a while now, honing her skills as both a musician and a promoter, so she’s seen both sides of the coin. She gave some great advice in navigating the music business, saying that “there’s two main skills you need – first, you have to have good time management skills, and secondly, you have to really believe in and be able to sell yourself (which is something I still struggle with). Without either, it’s really easy to feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But also keep in mind that even with both, you can still feel like you’re not getting anywhere – we often get fed that narrative of ‘overnight success’, but realistically the majority of people have worked for years and years and sacrificed a lot to get to where they are.”
There’s definitely a confidence that you’ll need to hone in on that will help you in handling business negotiations. Prior to having a manager on board, it helps to understand the process and your worth as an artist and even when looking for a manager, it helps to know what to look for.
Flower Boy talks about how making mistakes helps you to learn and grow as an artist. “Celebrate any and all victories, no matter how small, because that’s the stuff that keeps you going! And remember, success is great, but you have to put yourself and your health first, whether that be mental or physical – the burnout is real, and extremely unsustainable!”
Making different types of music
It’s very rare for an artist to immediately hone in on their own sound. Artists sometimes take years of playing around with various sounds and genre styles before becoming comfortable and excited by a certain kind of sound. A great way to discover what suits you best is to play around with other sounds and genres that you may not regularly interact with to better understand music as a whole and how important it is to be adaptable and versatile.
Sydney producer, SPORTS, released her debut single around six months ago now. Although she may be at the early stages of her producing career, everything that she’s currently working on is the result of experimenting with various genres. For new producers, she’s offered some great advice: “If you can consciously or subconsciously tap into a few different aspects I think that’s when you are true to your art, your own sound and ideally a niche of sorts. The only way I write music is being inspired by something I’ve heard. I just start from there and my other influences leak in, although my current struggle is how to package all these different sounds and how to find the right labels, but for now I’m enjoying the process.”
She also talked about the benefits of trying something new, saying “If I try something new and somehow I manage to whip up a really strong idea for a track – that’s exciting to just roll with and see where it goes. I find music production so wonderful because the more you get your head around the software, the more you surprise yourself with your creative abilities.”
Experimentation is key to working outside of your comfort zone to find what does and doesn’t work. This is something that’s really focused on at JMC. Producers have the opportunity and freedom to not only try out new genres, but to also collaborate with others who may be making sounds on the complete opposite side of the spectrum to you. This will allow you to become a well-rounded musician and create a sound that is uniquely yours.
Learn to promote your work
The music industry as a whole has been undergoing a massive creative and economic shift these past few years that means artists don’t need to be signed to a major label to do things like run strong marketing campaigns. In this digital age, content and where to put it are two of the most important things to understand when wanting to take the next step in promoting your work.
Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify are great tools for artists to pick up on and use, but as technology advances, so too do these platforms. Algorithms change regularly and each day there are more and more ways for artists to use these platforms to their benefit.
During JMC’s music courses, you receive in depth training on using your social media channels and how to most effectively gain traction with your sound. Proper marketing techniques and developing your brand are two key components focused on throughout JMC’s courses, and will help you in understanding how to get as many eyes on your work as possible.
Find out more via the JMC Academy site here.