Fri Nov 29, 2019

Back to explaining things from the industry again. I seem to come across this quite often, Today it's the urge to work with a producer. In every artist's career, they suddenly start to think that a producer is key to their success. Often with no knowledge what a producer the role really means.

To have a producer means that you hand all your material over to another person.

To have a producer is not that a genius comes into the studio and praises all your musical ideas. No, this person is here to take that stuff to another level. And in many cases, you will not agree on the things they actually change. Yes, they will take off that long nice drum solo that you like. Literally, they will come in and just change the look of your baby.

The artist thinks they need to spend a lot of money on a hotshot producer. This is also a cliché that you get really often. The more money or things they have done is better! In so many cases it's not.

Yes, in many ways a producer can create wonderful things with your material. The artist can learn from their creative process and discover new dimensions. But that is if the artist is open to new ideas and also have a balance to know what can be changed what cannot. If they are not open, then you can spend as much money you like around it.

If the artist clicks with the producer, they also stay with the same producer. In the end, the producer becomes like a member of the band. But then also that means everything stays the same. In the majority of the cases, the artist goes back and starts to produce themselves. And it can be a costly adventure to learn that lesson. 

The problem is that the artist just thinks the producer adds some small things to the sound. A bit of echo here and some reverb there. In reality, if they do their job they take everything down and grind it and build it up again. A reason why artists just hate different producers or even how successful the producer made them. A good example is Bob Rock with Metallica and AC/DC. Still, they have not got close to the albums Bob did in sales. Still, they will not work with him again.

It is the reason I don't bring in a producer until the artist knows what they really want. I have spent too many hours with artists throwing out stupid ideas and not letting the producer doing their job and, in the end,coming out with something mediocre just to please all members.

More or less, if you hire a creative person for your project you need to let them do their work. You hired them for their knowledge. If you try to press their things into a box fitting your idea it won't be perfect. 

Also, don't hire a person that is doing things exactly as you would do it. If the dynamic is gone you have just surrounded yourself with people that say and do the same. Then you just hired a bunch of friends to hang out in the studio.

Editor's Note:  Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and SuperBowl.