It’s been an amazing five years. Now it’s time for a new chapter.
Read also: Back to Russia
Facebook is my main news hub where I share upcoming releases, gigs, photos, videos, and blogs. Typically, I post 3–5 times a week.
On Vkontakte, I write in the Russian language for my fans out of from Russia and CIS.
Personal opinion, strong principles, and more odd things about myself.
It’s been an amazing five years. Now it’s time for a new chapter.
Read also: Back to Russia
Studio packed, stuff sold. Looking forward to the move to start working hard again. I miss the proper sound.
Dear fans, friends, colleagues!
After living for the last five years in Israel, this July I’ll be moving back to Moscow, Russia, where I originally from.
I don’t usually share much of my personal life, but I thought to let you know since a music producer’s location is pretty important especially for the business side of things.
As you can imagine I have a hell of a lot of things to do with this move, hence why I wasn’t quite active on my blog and social media lately. Sorry. Please bear with me.
But changes are a good thing, and I have a few special messages.
To the Russian party promoters:
Starting this August, I’ll be available for bookings in Moscow. No more flight costs, no agency fees. If you wanted to book me for your event but these things stopped you, now it’s a great time to make this happen. Get in touch by email or Telegram.
To the foreign party promoters:
This move won’t affect my international bookings in any way, expect that flight tickets from Moscow are typically cheaper than from Tel Aviv. As I said, changes are a good thing! Nishan from Digital Om still will be handling my bookings worldwide.
To anyone in Israel who by any chance wanted to meet me for a cup of coffee, to make a collaboration, or for whatever else reason, keep in mind I’ll be here until July just like I said in the beginning.
Read also: Bye-bye, Israel!
I remembered an amusing incident. Gig, Greece, PLUR Festival. The hotel nearby was entirely rented for the artists of the festival, so everyone used their artists name for check-ins, not passports as usual. I return from the gig and want to get a key from the number. A dialogue with the girl at the reception:
— A key from room 105, please.
— Sure. Your artist name?
— It’s Daniel...
— No, I mean, your stage name?
— Yes, my artist name is Daniel L...
— No-no, — the girl interrupts me again — you are an artist, right?
— Yes, I am, and my stage name is Daniel Lesden. I make music and perform under this alias.
The girl thought for a moment, a few awkward seconds of silence. I turn my back pointing at my logo on the back of the T-shirt. The girl looks around, holds out the key and hastily apologizes:
— Oh, sorry, I heard many weird artists names this week, but it’s the first time I hear someone with such music using a real name as the alias! That’s so nice!
Yeah, it happens.
Read also: Bad stage name?
My achievements and failures of 2017
I have always been fascinated how some cool guys write their end of the year list of achievements. It’s like, you read and think: “Wow!”, and it makes you want to work harder. This time I’ll try to make such list by myself but also be adding failures to it. Failures are no less interesting than success and give even more experience.
Grab yourself a cup of tea.
This year I released my by far the most important release to this date — the second studio album, “2000 Years Ahead”. It’s not only cool thematically, but also production-wise: I feel that it sounds way better than my debut album, despite the fact I always criticise myself. It’s a good thing.
Frankly, I was slacking the first half of the year production-wise, but things get better when I gave a public promise to make more music. And in fact, I keep this promise: so far I released a new single on Digital Om Productions that spent a month in the Top-100 charts, just signed a new track on Iono Music that will be out in early 2018, and have some more in production.
This year I played in Switzerland for the second time, and the geography of my gigs expanded to Greece and the UK. I also gave a talk in Moscow, a completely new format to me. I feel I have a bit more confident in public speaking now.
I don’t have as many gigs as I would like to, but it’s okay. when I think about it that a regular bedroom producer gots recognition and invitation to perform in another part of the world, I feel lucky and grateful. Somehow I look positive on these things.
This year my advice series reached 100 articles. A hundred (a counting) useful articles on music production, sound design, management, marketing, and music industry. I mean, how cool is that? It may sound like a bragging, but I don’t know any acting music producer who would share so much useful information based on his own experience. If you know any — let me, I’d be glad to read it. Seriously.
Also, this year I started a video blog. No, it’s certainly a good thing, but making a video content quickly and regularly is a something I haven’t learned yet. The whole video production is a so new thing to do. Besides, speaking to the camera still is not easy for me, so there’s a lot of work to be done here as well.
Numbers-wise, my social media pages now have about 23.000 followers in total. It’s great to see that my audience grows, slowly but surely. I also launched Psytrance Guide, a project made purely out of enthusiasm which all of a sudden gave a huge audience boost. And the cool thing about that I’ve made it just three days and spent no money at all (well, just for the domain name) — the resources to the results ratio is just fantastic.
With all of that, I feel that I could do better promotion-wise: more Instagram stories, more mixes, more new interesting formats. Going to work on that.
This year I turned 30. Not quite something to brag about, but still. Achievement unlocked. I also started tracking my family budget and run more kilometres at a better pace than the previous year.
I may seem like a very organised person, but in fact, I’m quite a mess: one day I work on a schedule, complete my to-do’s and so on, and the other day I can spend an hour playing on some mobile game or watching YouTube. The balance between productivity and procrastination is a something that I still searching for.
Typically I don’t write in public about my personal stuff and focus only on professional music-related topics, but let me know if you’d like me to write about personal productivity and all that things, among the rest.
What’re your thoughts?
Happy New Year!
For the last five years, I’ve been performing using Ableton with a MIDI-controller and even recently made a vlog explaining this setup.
Now I’m thinking to get back to the classic Pioneer’s CDJ gear. I spent last week in Moscow practising on CDJs to get myself back in shape with traditional DJing (yes, no more sync). It seems I have to make a new video telling more about this switch? Let me know in the comments if it sounds interesting to you.
Here are a few photos from my DJing sessions:
P.S. Follow me on Instagram to see more lifestyle photos like this.
Promoters, bloggers, designers! Sometimes you use Daniel Lesden artist logo and pictures for flyers, posters, cover artworks, social media banners, and other promotional and press needs.
To make sure you have everything you need, I’ve made a small but handy website with all brand resources.
There you’ll find high-resolution lifestyle and press pictures, official logo in various formats, videos, and more assets for your graphic design and press needs. And I’m going to keep this site up to date, so you will always have all necessary files, at one place.
Sometimes people send me messages but I accidentally find them half a year later simply because I don’t use messaging on all social platforms. I want you to know that I don’t read direct messages on Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud. I also don’t use Skype or WhatsApp neither.
I do reply on Facebook, though, but it takes some time to get through tons of spam there and sometimes messages end up hidden in some folders without notifying me about it.
However, I would love to hear from you, so here I’ve written the best ways how you can get in touch to make sure that I will actually read your message:
Remixes, collaborations, press requests, promos, and all kind of general subjects please address to firstname.lastname@example.org or @dsokolovskiy in Telegram. Telegram is the only one fast and reliable instant messenger, I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t tried it yet.
If you would like to book me with a Live or a DJ set to your festival or a club event, please send a booking request to my manager at Digital Om Productions, Nishan: email@example.com. He’ll provide you with all necessary information and guide you through the process.
If you would like to send a question for the advice series, please submit the form at daniellesden.com/advice/ask. Sorry for bureaucracy, but this way I won’t miss it for sure.
If you would like to submit a demo for JOOF Recordings, please send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I used to upload my recorded live sets and some people ask a pretty fair question: why I no longer do this? Well, there are two reasons behind this decision: unreleased music and experiencing the moment.
Being a music producer and a DJ, I always have quite many unreleased tracks in stock both from myself and the fellow producers that send me their promos. And despite the fact it’s much safer to play favourites and well-tested tracks, I love to play unreleases as it gives a unique musical experience for the people on the dance floor.
But these perks come with a cost and responsibility.
Since I get these tracks before the actual release date, I feel the importance of keeping them safe. This is especially true for the albums which take much longer to produce and release. For example, the tracks that have been released as a part of my second album “2000 Years Ahead” in January 2017 was actually made in early 2016, almost a year before the official date. If I’d upload a set full of such tracks a year before the release, it would be no point to actually releasing it.
Every time I play on a gig, I’m trying to create a special musical journey for that particular event, a special moment that works right here, right now. For example, last time in London I kicked things off with a Techno groove and finished the set with a 145 BPM Psychedelic, both are quite beyond what you’d normally call a ‘Daniel Lesden style’ but it worked magically on that event.
The problem is when you listen to such sets at home, instead of getting goosebumps you basically just sit confused and ask why the hell it’s a Techno track now playing? Or why there were no breakdowns for the last ten minutes? Or why he’s made a mashup of this track? From the home listening perspective, it’s just a yet another set, not much different from a monthly radio show episode.
So, this is why I don’t upload my sets anymore. I keep recording them, though, so I could listen back and analyse it: see where the mixing wasn’t perfect, where the effects probably weren’t necessary, etcetera. And it’s a great way to improve your skills, by the way, I’d suggest to give it a try even if you consider yourself an experienced DJ.
Let me know what do you think about it?
I haven’t released any new track since my second album is out and I feel shame for that.
Partly because I felt emotionally drained after working on the album for the entire year, partly because of some very unpleasant events happened to me earlier this year (which I won’t talk about here), and partly because I was too busy and overwhelmed with my job and other projects.
With all of that, I seem to forget about the most important thing to do as a music producer — to actually make music. I’m still trying to find a balance between career and life. Sometimes it works, sometimes... well, not really. Yes, I’m not perfect.
So, I write this for two reasons.
First, I want to make a public promise: you’ll hear more music from me and I won’t let such a big gap between releases happen again.
And second, I want this to be a reminder for myself: stop infinitely tweak sounds, stop starting new projects whilst have some unfinished ones, stop spreading your time and energy on something that isn’t so important.
Or let me simplify it with this shorter sentence:
Get your shit together and just make a new track!