The Footnotes

Being able to break into the music industry and make a name for yourself is one thing, trying to do it in the US can be a completely other ball game.

Amid the release of her latest track Like That, Music Producer Venessa Michaels spoke with us on the industry and the questions you need to ask yourself.

All the music advice you need is right here:

Question 1: Knowing what you want and how to get started.

VM: Never in my life have I wanted anything else.

At a time I thought I wanted to make music videos and film/edit footage and stills. I’m still into that and designing digital media, but I spend most of my energy in music. I believe they go hand in hand anyway.

It’s important to know that you don’t need the most expensive gear to learn the basics. You can grab a controller and learn how to beat match and mix for a hundred bucks. I’d recommend anything Pioneer and at the very least the Pioneer DDJ-SB2. If you can splurge and find a good deal on craigslist, check out the DDJ-SX2. This is my favourite portable controller and is a bit closer to the standard DJ equipment you’ll run into in a professional club setting. Just make sure not to use the sync button, so you can actually learn how to beat match by ear.

“You don’t need the most expensive gear to learn the basics.”

Question 2: Promoting yourself and networking.

VM: When it comes to getting discovered and building an audience it’s important to work with as many talented people you can, learn from everyone and share together. It’s vital to support one another, make genuine connections and have fun, get online and be social. You can meet all kinds of people and get opinions that way. Engaging in other people’s work is also great because you can become inspired and also share ideas. Utilise the power of the Internet friend!

Networking and meeting people in the music scene is also incredible for landing shows, and improving your skills.

Question 3: Building your vision/brand.

In general, having a support system and people who believe in one specific movement is crucial to building anything. Having the right management is so important; because when it’s right… it’s vital. My current manager has a big vision like me but keeps me centred and focused on specific goals. It’s great being signed and part of a team as everyone is working towards one goal to create the broader vision.

That being said, when looking for a team, don’t just hop on to any opportunity. Don’t sell yourself short. Make sure whoever you go with, you trust completely and know they are willing to work as hard as you are.

“It’s vital to support one another.”

It doesn’t have to be intricate but branding and having a visual/audio vision that collaborate makes everything easier for people to understand. It’s important to be unique and allow your art to stand out too.

Question 4: Growing and reflecting.

There’s misconceptions in every industry. It’s a big community of people who want the same thing so there’s a lot of competition but there’s also a lot of support. When you find your group of friends you stick with them and help each other grow. It’s difficult to work for yourself and create your own path but there are challenges in everything.

I never gave up and hope no one else gives up on their dreams. If you believe in what you do and it’s for a greater good of spreading good energy and music, then just keep going. All you can really do is learn from your mistakes, and aim to learn in every way you can.

Keen to get started? Check out our course finder.

 

Questions you need to ask yourself if you want to make it in the music world
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