4 mindsets that all successful electronic music producers have

Making a career as a music producer is not only about making good music, but also about other things that can help you both as an artist and as a music producer. Here are a few habits that you should make sure to have for a successful music career.

4 THOUGHTS FROM ME

1. Stop trying to protect your secrets and help others develop.

When you’re protective of your ideas and secrets, people will start being protective with their ideas and secrets, and that can prevent you from eventually listening to a really nice demo that could inspire you or get you into a collab. In addition, I’ve already been the protective type of producer, who didn’t share anything nor give feedback, and it simply takes you nowhere because people also stop sending stuff to you.

If you don’t want to help them, why would they want to help you? Instead, help everyone! You can start by:

  1. Giving feedback to others and sharing ways on how they can fix their problems. This helps you learn how to give constructive feedback, which is important for your life, work, and music;
  2. Sharing tips and ideas with your friends on streams to help them understand how you do what you do. I’ll never forget the time Daniel from Fatum got on a call with me for free and told me that their coolest bassline, from the song Mandala, was nothing but samples, which made me love the track even more;
  3. Don’t ask for anything in return as this avoids frustration on your side and prevents it from feeling fake to the other person, which can eventually build a deeper connection with that person.

The more that you help others, the more others will want to help you as well, so stop being so protective of what you’re doing.

2. Stop complaining about the industry/labels and take ownership of your actions.

  • “Labels only promote him because …”;
  • “I’m never sending a song to that label … again”;
  • “Why are they signing him and not me?”;
  • “If only I lived in the … where my genre is more popular and could tour…”;

Sounds familiar?

Recently I’ve gotten a song rejected by a label, and I was instantly drawn to be silently mad at the label, but after some thought, I noticed I was wrong. At the same time, I’ve had friends who directly complained to the A&R that they were unfair, but that’s a big mistake. Why?

  1. Never piss off or force the ‘gatekeepers’ of the industry block you or it’s one option less that you’ll have. “But I don’t care about Label X”… yes, but what if this A&R goes to your favorite label, as I’ve seen happening many times?
  2. Take responsibility for your rejections and, even though they can be subjective to the label, the amount of care and impact that it takes on you is 100% in your control, and having songs already scheduled to be released and other tracks in the making can soften the blow when/if it comes;
  3. All producers have some “unfair advantages” (unlimited money, previous music knowledge, location, etc), so use the ones that are you in your favor to help you get ahead instead of only complaining about what’s missing or wrong with the industry.

Remember, nobody wants to be around people who always complain or are just negative towards everything.

3. Constantly rethink how to deliver and implement your message as an artist in each song you make.

Recently, I was researching a video about Black Coffee and he said that his message is to “bring Africa to the mainstage”, which made his music so much easier to understand. Why is he using this kind of percussion and not that one; Or this vocal, and not that synth;

Basically, all that he was doing had to contribute to his message, so the sounds and rhythms he brought to his songs also had to contribute to his message. When you know what you want to say, it

1. Makes it easier to know what elements you can and can’t use, but…

2. most importantly, it limits your search to (2) find your signature sound since it has to be synced with your message.

“But, how do I find my message?”

  1. Do a mind map and type three things or feelings you want people to associate your art with;
  2. Write 3/4 things that trigger you to remind you of each thing/feeling that you wrote in step #1. Example: If you write Nature, then it reminds me of Organic, Soft, Waves, Animals;
  3. Incorporate that into your music and brand. For example, soft and organic songs will favor softer percussions and leads, instead of aggressive ones, possibly with Waves and Animals as ambiance. Now, for your brand, your socials could include pictures of you in nature, producing in nature… your logo could be an animal’s face and Green could be the predominant color of your brand. Cool, right?

Do this exercise and create all your songs with your message in mind!

4. Use your network to open doors to your music.

Even though most producers would rather stay producing than attend a show to meet other artists and music industry members, sometimes that can be more important than finishing another song. Why? Because if you don’t know anyone, you can still make it, but it will be a lot harder to achieve your goals and your music will need to stand out a lot more.

For example, to release at a top label (Label XXX), you have two routes you could take:

(1) You can always make a stellar song by yourself, but sometimes it’s not even listened to by the A&Rs, so….

(2) if you’re friends with someone that is already in Label XXX, you can do a collab with them, and your odds of your song being listened to are way higher.

Or this friend could invite you to his show, and then you meet the owner of the event and get a gig in the future. There are countless benefits of networking that I could mention, but the question now is… HOW? Well:

  1. Go to online forums and start chatting, giving feedback, and participating on the forum to meet producers from other parts of the world;
  2. If you live in a big city, become friends with the owner of the biggest club in town by constantly going there and looking for friends in common, or just by reaching out to him (that’s how I got 6 gigs in Chicago and New York);
  3. Attend big events like Miami Music Week or ADE since you’ll be able to meet a lot of artists and producers in these events. Make sure to do a schedule that involves meeting friends of friends who are producing.

1 QUESTION FOR YOU

What have you struggled with in the past few months? Here’s how successful producers deal with struggles:
1. Stop overthinking writer’s block… just sit down and write something.
It’s hard to write good music after a long period without writing anything new, so make it a habit to constantly write new ideas, even if you’re not going to finish them. The focus is to practice composition, and that’s it;

2. Focus on doing what you do best and outsource what you don’t like or don’t know yet how to do.
If you don’t like mixing and mastering for example, pay someone to do it, or if you’re just not good at it yet, pay someone to teach you or hire an engineer while you’re still developing;

3. Face the dragon:
Don’t let fear keep you away from making progress with your music. If something is bothering you, find a way to fix it and tackle it. If you let it grow on you now, it will be harder to deal with it in the future.

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Leo Lauretti

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Leo Lauretti has been producing since 2013. With releases on SONY Music, Armada, Enhanced Music, Leo Lauretti accumulates multiple supports from artists like Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate, Nicky Romero, and many others all over the world.

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