Follow me on social media

Facebook is my main news hub where I share upcoming releases, gigs, photos, videos, and blogs. Typically, I post 3–5 times a week.

Telegram and Twitter duplicate what I post on Facebook, with occasional extra content.

On Vkontakte, I write in the Russian language for my fans out of from Russia and CIS.

I also upload vlogs and gigs videos on YouTube and share travel photos, selfies, and studio routine on Instagram.

6 posts tagged

Quotes

Cubixx on marketing

Matthias Sperlich, also known as Dj Cubixx and the head of Iono Music, gave an interview to Mushroom Magazine talking about his love of the Psychedelic trance and about the music industry.

I’d like to highlight one particular part:

“Reality is that people who work in the music industry need to be paid the work they do. Whether it’s as artists, promoters, label owners. Nobody can survive on fresh air. Marketing is a necessary tool to spread the word in this global scene – to keep people engaged and attract a new generation.

Of course we do it for the love and the passion, and sacrifice a regular salary with the benefits of holiday, sick pays and unions – we do it for the love and because we believe in the power of music so much. But if everyone rips our music for free, and people don’t pay for tickets to parties, then the reality is we can’t afford to eat and pay bills, let alone maintain our studios, so we’d eventually be forced to quit.”

Marketing is a necessary tool to spread the word in this global scene – to keep people engaged and attract a new generation.

This is essential to understand for all nowadays producers. I know many think that music speaks for itself and marketing is a bullshit for commercial music only, but the reality is you as a producer have to do some efforts — quite a lot actually — if you want to be heard and pay bills for the work you do.

2018   Marketing   Music industry   Quotes

Live Q&A with John 00 Fleming and Tim Penner

Livestream highlights

The live stream’s banner

Two of my favourite artists, John 00 Fleming and Tim Penner, hosted a fantastic Q&A live stream yesterday that was full of insightful information and motivational speeches that every producer (myself included) should know. Seriously, go watch that video if you missed it live. It’s 2-hours long, but it’s worth it.

For those who don’t have two spare hours, I’ve written a quick summary to highlight some of the most important quotes from these two masters. And in such way, it’s also easier to come and read this again at any time.

On social media

I feel sorry for the next generation. Running a specialist label you definitely get to work with super talented producers and DJs, but they can’t make a career because they don’t know how to handle social media or they not doing it whatsoever. And it pains me because that person should be on main stages on the festivals and have a fruitful career, but they haven’t because they don’t understand social media and not doing what they should be doing.

Ace Ventura on social media

Music is used to be first, and if you were a good DJ, you’re good to go. Now it’s the other way around. If you good at social media, your career will take off regardless of what you got behind you, the music comes afterwards. Nail the social media, and then worry about the music afterwards. It pains me to say, but that seems to be the way it is today.

Nail the social media, and then worry about the music afterwards

On organising music

I can only answer from me personally. I organise playlists as the tools that I need in hand. I never pre-plans set at all, I woke up to every single gig whether I playing an hour set or a 10-hour set, I never know what I’m going to play until I step up to the stage. But the way I’ve got my playlists it’s the musical tools that I know, let’s say ‘Progressive’ which is deep and melodic, you got ‘Progressive’ which is dark and driving, you got ‘Trance’ which is driving, ‘Psychedelic’ which is deep. 

Organising music library

I must have to have about thirty different playlists, but the key to me is learning the tracks. It’s identifying by looking at the track exactly what it’s gonna do as soon as you start playing it.

Sometimes I secretly spy on other DJ’s playlists, when they come along playing before or after me and they got the USB connected to the players. It just pains me that some DJs will have just twelve tracks and nothing else on the USB. I couldn’t play like that!

When you first get tracks you don’t really know how good is gonna be until you play it in a live situation. It might sound quite driving at home but when you play it a club it’s not driving, so when I get back from the gig the first thing I do is spend an hour just going through memorising what I played and adding the extra notes.

What makes a good warm-up set

John 00 Fleming: The short and sweet answer is basically what you [Tim Penner] do. You got a respect the person that you warming-up for, you got to do your homework. And this is a big moment. What a lot of newbies think is their head is “Wow, this is my gig, this is my moment to shine, this is the moment my career going to take off!”, and they just want to play a headline set in that warm-up set. But it does the opposite, you just really upset the DJ you suppose to be opening for.

The importance of proper opening DJs

The point is you’ve got to get people in the room, you got to keep your levels down. You don’t want to walk in a club when everything is just screaming at you and you can’t go to the bar, get a drink and hang out with your mates.

You want to warm-up slowly, but then when everybody standing around the dancefloor that’s the magic moment — it’s knowing exactly when to drop a track that has a bit more energy or familiar track, and that’s when your levels come into play.

You got a respect the person that you warming-up for, you got to do your homework

Tim Penner: It is a really important job to be the most humble artist in that room: you’re setting the mood and you’re setting the vibe for the night. And the thing is that people are too smart now. They may not know that you are the best DJ in the world but they know that fit that motive perfectly for the night, and you set what that whole night is supposed to be about, people know this.

On productions skills

When new artists come into it, there is something that cool and hot at the time and that’s what they wanna make. So it takes time to become a skilled producer, and they’ll start to make that genre. So what you see now is all those artists starting to get better, they started to sound like that generic sound from four years ago. And when I listen to such music, I’m like “it’s not current anymore, it would’ve been four years ago”.

So the best turning point that also was for me is the hardest, is staying true to yourself but also looking ahead of the curve and seeing where the trends are going.

Keeping close to what you wanna make and expressing yourself through music while becoming more skilled as a producer, but not going by trends and trying to cut them off. Those artists that are cutting edge and trying different things, they are the one that stands out now.

On balancing production and life

This balancing production is a battle that every artist faces whether you touring or not, balancing life, in general, can be really hard. That could be one of the biggest hurdles for an artist to get over. You know, you have a family, a spouse, you have emergencies, and other things you want to do to fill your time with.

And wheater it’s touring or Game Of Thrones, there’s a balance between life and work. And you need to find that balance. Everybody faces this battle, and I think it’s a number one reason why people give up.

You need to find a balance, it’s a number one reason why people give up

On the mixdown

There are certain misconceptions about what makes a good track in the end. Mixdown and mastering, I think there are misconceptions about what that is, you know, a lot of artists will put sounds together and try to make a track and be like “well, we’ll fix it in the end”. But mixdown and mastering start at the very first sound that you put down, it’s very important to understand the physics of the sound and what you are trying to accomplish.

What is sound

One of the tricks with figuring out how to make music is how to make sounds sound full. A lot of people will just load their Ableton with a lot of sounds to make it sound full, when in fact the whole goal of making good-flowing music is to give each sound it’s own space to move.

So that is actually a backward concept where you make a sound and you need to let that sound work its magic in its own space. It’s not fighting with other sounds, and that’s the key.

On sharing the knowledge

A lot of people keep things in secret, and if anybody knows me that followed me over the years, I’m an open book. And I think being an open book, sharing your knowledge and helping people is the best way to strengthen our industry, as opposed to keeping it sheltered behind your own wall. 

Advice series

We want to be around for as long as possible, that genre and our feeling, and the way to that is to embrace young artists, help them to get over the hurdles so they gonna be there decades down the road.

sharing your knowledge is the best way to strengthen our industry

Read also: Futurephonic live with Chris Williams and Regan Tacon

On easy money

Jiz Lee

I’m going to put here some quotes, and try to guess what I’m talking about:

“There are performers, there are lighting people, there’s a PA, there’s a manager, there are all of that people and that’s the production day. And then there’s post and editing. Even beyond just the set, the industry is so much more of a business than people realise. Like every company has a sales team and an accounting department. [...] There are so many people behind the scenes.

Just like any other job, there are some days that are like the most fantastic days ever and it’s ‘I like my job!’ and there are some days where it’s like you’re working. Not everyone in the industry makes a lot of money, but it costs a lot of money up front for sure. I put more hours into being a porn stat then I think the average person puts into their nine-to-five job.

People might know me for being up from the camera but I do marketing and I set at a desk most of my day. If you do it as a career, you end up wearing so many hats: some performers learn how to do a makeup, some learn how to edit [...] Creating your own content, creating your own mini-vids or clips for sale, learning how to edit and upload. All of these things are learning curve that you have to have in order to be a... I don’t even say successful, that steady working performer.”

All of these things are learning curve that you have to have in order to be a... I don’t even say successful, that steady working performer.

That’s must’ve been about the music industry for sure, right? Well, you’re wrong: these are the quotes of the porn stars interview for Iris.

It’s amazing how similar the expectations of newcomers to the porn business and the music industry: both seem to think that being a performer is an easy money and pure pleasure.

Many think that once you’ve learned how to mix two tracks, you’re a DJ. Or just make some music and the gigs will come along, automatically. Or act in a porn and just get some free sex and fun (and even get paid for that). Sounds easy!

Well, in reality, there’s a ton of hard work behind the scenes and not every performance gives you satisfaction. I think everyone who wants to make a porn music career should know about it.

2018   Behind the scenes   Career   Marketing   Quotes

Laidback Luke on music sales

Laidback Luke

This is brilliant. Today, Laidback Luke uploaded a new vlog episode where he is telling about ripping of tracks on SoundCloud. And by the end of the video, here is what he said about the music sales (watch at 11:55):

“So I started this vlog by telling you that I run my own record label, I even run my publishing company, so why would I promote this type of stuff [ripping off tracks on SoundCloud]? I need you to realise right now is that music is mainly promotion. The amount of money that is earned by selling your tracks is way less than back in the days. The most important thing is that your name gets spread, and because the money is in performing mostly, it’s always good to get your name out there.”

Music is mainly promotion. The most important thing is that your name gets spread.

This is exactly what I was written about in my The truth about music sales advice, and I’m happy that such a credible artist like Laidback Luke confirms it from his experience as well. By the way, all of his vlogs are amazing, make sure to check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

Read also: Ace Ventura on social media

2018   Marketing   Music industry   Quotes

Ace Ventura on social media

Yoni Oshrat aka Ace Ventura

Ace Ventura gave an interview to a South African-based Psytrance portal Psymedia.co.za, and here’s what he said about social media:

Psymedia: You’re incredibly active on your social media channels. Is it an important role?
Ace Ventura: It’s not just important, its a must. With the overflow of so many new producers around, combined with the short attention span of this generation, making music, as good as it is – isn’t enough. If you want to actually be heard you must get yourself out there and let the public know about it.

Being active on social media is not just important, it’s a must.

It’s nice to see a confirmation of what I’ve been written before by such an experienced artist, it makes me think I’m on the right way. And it’s a lesson for upcoming producers around as well.

Read and watch also:

2017   Marketing   Music industry   Quotes   Social media

Futurephonic live with Chris Williams and Regan Tacon

Video summary and highlights

A few weeks ago, Futurephonic hosted a live Facebook video featuring two awesome guests: Chris Williams (Iboga Records, Noisily Festival) and Regan Tacon (Nano Records, Origin Festival).

That was a very insightful talk on career strategies for emerging artists. You probably know my commitment to education and learning, so I wish more people “behind the scenes” could give a talk like that.

The audio quality of the video wasn’t that great though, sometimes made it really difficult to watch. I’ve decided to write down some key points so I could get back to them at any time, perhaps some of you will find it useful too.

There we go.

On changes in the industry

  1. The Internet is the biggest game changer for the music industry, for the better. The distribution is much easier now, you can get music anywhere in a matter of minutes and anyone can access to it.
  2. Psytrance scene has also changed in the last decade, it spread out to more places across the globe. New sub genres come in and out, it’s ever-changing process. Psytrance is a culture, so it will stay here for quite a while.
  3. In the pre-Internet days, the music industry was labels-driven, they have a control over everything. Despite such limitation, it was a higher threshold for quality of music that has been released. Social media now liberated records labels ability to put music out, but the question is whether the quality of music across the board has risen? From the artist’s perspective, entrepreneurs and marketers now have amazing platforms to be creative.
  4. We see now many artists experimenting with marketing, ads, formats of communication. We’re still learning, and there is no right or wrong way. This experimentation itself is what special about this time, it’s fantastic time to live from the artist’s perspective, basically.

It’s fantastic time to be an artist now.

On getting music out

  1. Perfectionists find it really difficult to let it go. They keep polishing, and polishing, and sometimes they polish it so much so they polish away the bits of what was good in the first place. Don’t sit on it for too long.
  2. Finishing tracks is a part of the producer’s talent.
  3. So many people doing the same thing, so much noise is out there. You have to come up with quality. Quality takes a lot longer, much longer than most people realise.
  4. Most tracks out there is nowhere good enough quality as it should be. Artists need to be realistic about what they send to labels. Patience comes along the way.

On getting noticed

  1. Spotify and YouTube channels are new platforms for discovering new artists.
  2. From the new artist’s perspective who’s trying to get noticed, it’s all about presentation. If you have a Facebook page, make sure you have a high-quality design, branding of your product. Even if you put a Facebook video with your branding behind it, it’s very important that this branding is good—if not better—as the music itself. It’s vital.
  3. The first impression matters even before anyone heard your music. It was the same even when the demos were on CDs — it’s like receiving a demo with a marker handwriting vs. CD with an artwork, well-written letter, logo. Same applies to SoundCloud now.
  4. Oldschool way of approaching by shaking people hand at the the backstage still works the best.

Branding is vital. First Impressions last.

On being signed on a label vs. go independent

  1. Labels work as a filter, taking care of the releases, artwork, promotion etc, allowing artists to focus more on music.
  2. Ultimately, all successful artists need a support, and labels are a massive help in that.

On albums and singles

  1. Releasing singles is a great things—it gives a stable flow of music from artists to fans, no need to wait a year or two.
  2. Each single is typically supposed to be a yet another dancefloor-killer which creates a lack of experiments, the cool B-sides. Back in the days, sometimes those B-sides become hits.
  3. Albums give more freedom on that matter, you can have dancefloor-killers whilst also including a couple of out-of-the-box tracks.
  4. Albums certainly add some extra weights, an extra level of value for the artists who are capable of creating those albums.

On commitment

  1. Artists need to be committed to working hard. I don’t think people realise how hard some of those artists work. The guys who work the hardest are the one who gets the gigs, gets the money etc. because they push it all the time.
  2. It’s a lifestyle, you have to be ready for this. And music is just one part of it, with social medias it’s 50–50 these days.

I don’t think people realise how hard it is.

On festivals bookings

  1. There are always some acts promoters keep in mind for the next-year festival lineup.
  2. Once headliners are booked, promoters go over recommendations first and only then to submissions. Don’t send a festival submission in three days prior to the festival, it’s won’t work that way.
  3. There are definitely some promoters who check and evaluate how many “likes” an artist has in order to make a booking decision.

On marketing

  1. If you want to pay to promote your page, do it the right way using legit Facebook mechanisms, not via external “likes’ farms.
  2. Always keep in mind country demographics when starting an ad campaign. For example, for sales-driven campaign always include countries like USA, Australia, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Denmark. However, for a streaming campaign, it’s worth also including Brazil, Mexico, and other countries that don’t usually purchase music, but stream a lot.
  3. Men typically buy more than women, so don’t split demographic targeting 50–50, push it more towards men.
  4. Upload Facebook videos.

We spend a fortune on Facebook marketing, to be honest.

On streaming and sales

  1. Streaming isn’t brining any money, let’s be real about it. It’s interaction with people, this is how people connect with the music.
  2. Anyone who really buying music is DJs. You not gonna get money selling music as a Psytrance artist, although it’s true for other genres as well. There is just not enough people buying music across the world.
  3. Beatport gives 60–70% of sales, another major amount is iTunes, and all the rest stores altogether are basically nothing. That’s how it is.
  4. Linkfire.com is a good way of putting all the streaming and stores links at once and then get statistics of clicks.

On investment

  1. A well-thought advertisement campaign could be a solid investment, eventually giving more gigs in return.
  2. Rather than relying on a photographer that can or cannot shoot while you are playing, you can hire one to be sure you’ll get high-quality photos.
  3. Some artists spend their entire fee hiring photo- and video artists to make a proper aftervideo from the event. Do it at least once in six months.

Invest in your branding.

2017   Career   Marketing   Music industry   Psy scene   Quotes