Recently, Venus Theory posted a video titled ‘Why do you make music when nobody cares’, and that has puzzled me for a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched it, but here are my reasons for why you should continue making music, or start making it, even if nobody cares…
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Make music because you have fun while doing it. Why do you [insert hobby] if nobody cares about it? As musicians, we start making music because it’s fun, but we soon convert this into ‘making music to release it’ or ‘making music to achieve success’, and that changes the way we approach our songs. Consequently, we start introducing elements in our songs that are mainly there because we heard them in songs from bigger artists, so we essentially copy them because, again, we want to make something that works. In essence, we want to make what labels want to sign, but the problem starts when labels don’t sign your song. This can not only demotivate you, but this also neglects the main point of music, which is making it because it’s so fun. Recently, I’ve changed my approach towards music, and I make it with the purpose of having fun and learning more about it, and that completely changed everything for me. Now, it’s not a chore, but a leisure activity. It’s as fun and/or even more liberating than playing video games, and I also feel super productive in the end because I made something that I can later say: “I made that”. Therefore, don’t forget the main reason why you start any hobby and, especially, music… because it’s something that makes you happy and that you have fun with. Don’t let the ‘release addiction’ take over, and make your process as fun as it can be. But, how? Collaborating with other people; Experimenting; Learning new genres; Meeting new people in forums that can later become friends (read more about how to make music production fun in this post); All these can make your experience with music a lot more fun, which is what is all about!
2. Take advantage of the fact that nobody cares about your music and explore what you like. If nobody cares about your music, nobody cares about your mistakes as well, and, therefore, nobody cares if you’re still developing and if your mix is not sounding perfect yet. While reviewing ARTBAT’s music, I noticed that most of their plays came from songs after their big hit, and not before, which has many advantages. In a way, as long as you keep trying to make one song better than the other, when the hit comes, it makes your future even better, but people won’t judge you for what you’ve released in the past. To be honest, sometimes it’s a lot more refreshing to see that big artists also made bad music when they were beginning because it makes it more achievable to us. Therefore, in the same way that it can be hard to market your music if nobody cares about it, it can be creatively liberating because you can try and experiment as much as you can, and since nobody cares, nobody will judge you, which liberates the ‘fear of rejection’ and/or ‘fear of not being liked by others’. Consequently, that’s when your motivation will shine through, and when Writer’s block will fade away, which can be the path for good ideas to come through. Therefore, use that to your advantage. If no one is expecting things from you, take time away to develop your skill set, take risks, and this can trigger making music that people will eventually care for.
3. Make music as a way to challenge and develop yourself. Making music is a really hard task to do, and honestly, if you can master music production, you can master anything in your life. I once read a book called ‘Obstacle is the Way’, and in it, there are a couple of things that I recommend you to apply in your life and music career: (1) If something is impeding you from making good music, then this is what you have to focus on and fix. In other words, if you’re having a hard time mixing your song, focus on learning how to mix properly. Or, if you always struggle when creating melodies, then focus on ways to study and develop your melody creation. In other words, (2) turn every obstacle you have into an opportunity to learn and grow yourself, and this will make you develop yourself and eventually start making good music. Over time, you’ll see that (3) obstacles are also opportunities to challenge and prove yourself, and overcoming these challenges will show that you’re capable of doing whatever you apply your effort to, and work hard and persevere. Therefore, make music to challenge yourself, which essentially will push you forward to become a better producer.
4. Make music as a way to develop your interpersonal and business skills. When I started to work 9-5, I never talked about my music side because I always thought people would value me less because of it as an employee. However, 5 years later, I proudly started to mention it because of all the benefits that it brought to my life. Here are a couple of things that you explore in your music career: (1) Learn how to deal with marketing, branding, and commitment to your project, which will make you a more well-rounded person and will open your mind to look at how things work in a different way; (2) Practice and get of rid of the fear of starting a new project from scratch anytime you finish a song, and that will give you motivation to always look for something new when you run out of projects at work, and also to not be afraid of starting something from scratch; (3) Becoming a more creative person and that can help your tremendously when figuring out ways to solve problems and also to come up with ideas since you’re always on the hunt for ‘the one song that will make you big’, so why not do the same at work?; (4) Network with other people and learn how to deal with projects / things that our out of control, as it happens constantly with labels, and that can help you to be a less anxious person by learning to focus on yourself and doing the best you can; (5) Learn how to persevere, solve your problems, and find solutions for the problems instead of complaining things are not working, and this will make you someone that people will always want to be around. All these tasks are things that can help you not only become a better musician, but also how to become a better person, which can help you if you apply them later in your day job..
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Why else do you make music even if nobody cares?
1. Make music as a way to get out of your 9-5 job: Making music and constantly developing yourself can eventually build you a job in the music world, and that might be all you wanted all along. It might not be ‘being a successful artist’, but becoming a highly skilled musician, as any highly skilled job, can eventually lead you to an amazing career doing something you love.
2. Make music to express yourself creatively: Make music to express your feelings and put your happiness, or sadness, into art. This can not only be an amazing emotional outlet, but also a way to build confidence in yourself
3. Make music to leave a legacy: Make music because you want to create something that can inspire someone in the future. You don’t essentially make music for that, but the moment someone tells you their music inspired them to start making music as well, that will put a BIG smile on your face.