Importance of networking in the music business

There are countless of articles on the internet about this topic and we all know how important networking is. No matter how knowledgable we are on the facts, things such as making personal introductions, initiating conversations, referrals etc.. are of extreme importance.

Every once in a while you see a talented artist with a big potential and you think of his music “wow this is really good for a bedroom producer”.  Somehow, many of them never leave the commodity of their own room, or maybe manage to present their work to a very limited local market.

Social media as a promotion tool

Approximately two decades ago situation was different – providing good songs was enough. However, the music scene has changed. Visibility is very important and social networks are among the most precious tools.  Facebook is quite interesting  medium and you can find out a lot about people by just reading the feed, also there is a possibility to see how some artist promotes his work.

The more you think about it, the more it is fascinating to see DJs trying to promote themselves just by posting their stuff over and over through the same social networks.

Today’s technology enabled Dj mixes to be recorded by using software, and with zero technical knowledge about mixing the songs together. There are more and more dj sets uploaded on the internet with the description indication: “I am not a dj, but here is my dj mix, so enjoy”.

So, what are you as a DJ actually doing by posting your mixes on Facebook?

It is different if you are already established producer with a solid base of followers – in this case your content will actually reach the people interested in what you do. However, starting as a bedroom producer with a vision to make your way throughout the scene, you better be creative in all aspects of your work and especially the promotion side of it. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are countless posts on the net regarding the topic, but it is never enough to explore the ways you can promote your work.

What I have found especially important is to always be prepared to promote your music – you will get the most unbelievable information in the weirdest situations. This is something most of the people don’t do, but on the other hand offers huge potential. Having your stuff handy and ready provides you the power to present your work in the right time and to the right people.

Production of you own tracks

Back in the days, works from a producer and a DJ were more divided, but around the year 2000 things started to change rapidly. Just by owning an average computer you could make your own music. Having your own production is a huge potential and gives you a chance to actually leave something behind. If you are smart enough to collaborate with other artists, this is one of the best ways to network with like-minded people. Successful releases will bring you to the point where other artist will play your music and this is probably the best appreciation of your talent you can get.

Making events as a promoter

We have all been there, and this is what I would say the second best thing next to having you own releases. Networking possibilities while being a dj and a promotor are on the top of the list. There is no better example than Sven Vaeth who happens to be one of the most popular Djs on the planet. During his over 30 years long career, Sven was next to DJ-ing, the owner of some of the most popular clubs in Germany. Frankfurt’s Clubs Omen and Cocoon together with labels and agencies gathered around those projects exposed Sven to the world and enabled the cult status. The role of a promotor opens doors to the every aspects of the music scene, from the artist to the club owners, labels, agencies and much more..

In general, promotion and visibility is becoming more an more important, but the tools you have are more accessible than before. Artist as a one man band can handle almost everything what is enough to kick start the career, from the bedroom to the stage. It is a constant work and your job is to experiment, learn and in the end enjoy in the music you make. If this seems to much, you can just continue playing gigs in your city and post mixes on Facebook.

networking

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The Phenomenon called Jeff Mills

Derrick May once described Jeff Mills: “He is always one step ahead and two on the left” – and that is probably true. Mills is one of the best examples how a musician can be on the top for years, but at the same time staying true to a vision, opposite to following the trends. When it comes to Dj-ing, not even changing the sound much within decades. If we know how important character of a sound is in electronic music, how can someone evolve without changing that core element?  The way Mills is approaching music has enabled him exactly what Derrick May said when describing his colleague’s inventiveness. Electronic music is relatively young and still an evolving thing, however some artists recognised potential of this art form and the way that it can be developed.

Taking electronic music into the cinema

Mills’ very well established presence in the typical forms of DJing and producing have not limited him to explore and connect electronic music to other forms of art; More like an alter ego that is opening different doors to creativity.

Two years ago, French director Jacqueline Caux made a documentary about Jeff Mills,  “Man From Tomorrow”.  The 45-minute film was set to premiere at the Louvre in Paris, and screenings where set for New York, and then Berlin, where both the director and Mills were attending. As I reside in Berlin it was quite a treat to attend the screening and to see Mills outside of the party context. It was more than obvious that people expected something different, or did not expect anything but still found themselves surprised after the screening. After the film ended, everyone still just remained seated, waiting for something… Reaction came couple of moments later as it seems exploration of Mills’ music and conceptual ideas demanded some thinking time. This is exactly what should be expected when an artist like Mills is involved. Jeff Mills consistently pushes the boundaries of Electronic Music we know today and probably tomorrow. What happens to be more and more interesting is taking electronic music away from the club. In the below video Detroit techno legend and Axis label boss, Jeff Mills, explains his processes and intentions in taking electronic music into the cinema with Cinemix.