Working with the Pros

How to work with famous music people?

You’ve been making beats for years, spent more money than you’d like to admit on production equipment and your bedroom looks like anything BUT a bedroom. Problem is… now you’ve got killer beats, but no killer artists!

When asking yourself the question “who would sound great on my productions?” you pretty much think of artists that you’re a fan of, that are famous and that are out of your reach. That’s exactly what I’d like to talk about today in this not-so-quick tip: Meeting and working with established artists, songwriters and producers.

As anybody that has ever received an email from me after downloading my free drum package already knows, I’m not hesitant to pitch my products or myself. Sometimes it can be annoying (sorry!), but you can be sure that it’s effective.

The music industry is definitely the same concept. Nowadays everyone is making music so you need to do what others are NOT doing to get yourself heard by the right people and advance your career. The answer to this is finding creative ways to approach these people and scream louder than others without holding back.

Keep in mind A-list artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z are surely out of your reach but there is a whole level of B-list artists and A-list producers, engineers and songwriters (with incredible credits) that are still reachable. Those are exactly the ones you should be targeting and who could be bringing you, after due diligence, to the A-level.

DISCLAIMER: This is not permission to spam successful music insiders. If you suck at making music, please recognize this fact. If you are the next big thing though, it was always my personal opinion to ‘burn everything to the ground’ until somebody great recognizes my own greatness (< meaning go hard or go home).

The following is my initial 3-step process to meet people I’d like to meet.

Step 1:

Find out the birth names (non-artist names) of the people behind the records you love and look them up online. Often times there will be so many names on a credit list and you can simply add them on Facebook and talk. An easy way to find out credits, besides checking the backside of CDs, are Wikipedia pages. Just start sending out friend requests and you’ll be surprised as to how many accept you. This is mostly because of the ‘networking’ attitude that successful music people have. You never know whom you are going to meet.

Find out the birth names of music people you love and look them up online.

– You can also try out the producer names on Facebook (besides the obvious fake Dr. Luke and Timbaland accounts) I have met dozens of big-time producers by simply looking up their producer names on Facebook.

Note. Even though you can also send messages to fan pages, you’ll get a response back much less often.

Step 2:

Don’t be a groupie! When you have been accepted as a friend and are about to send your first message to them remember this: You need to stand out and this is a business. They do not want another ass-kisser (even if you’re a genuine fan). Professionals don’t work with fans. Professionals work with other professionals. Position yourself as such. What value can YOU bring THEM? This is really important. Don’t come looking for handouts, you’ll get treated as such (meaning ignored mostly).

Professionals don’t work with fans. Professionals work with other professionals.

Note: Be careful of putting links into your first message (your SoundCloud page etc.) because these people usually receive so many messages and you’ll end up on the ‘looking for a handout’ messages pile / Think you are spam.

Step 3:

Remember the two most important things to meet established music insiders? Do what others are not doing and scream louder.

After you’ve managed to meet successful people do not be afraid to share those happenings on your own social media. Because you’ve added so many as friends you are appearing in their newsfeeds as well. It also makes you look more successful and sometimes you’ll get approached by them in the same way.

Do what others are not doing and scream louder.

– An example of what happened to me was, I had met a Grammy winning songwriter on Facebook and she picked one of my team’s beats to write on for a new Boyz II Men project. I shared that awesome news on my Facebook wall and one of Diddy’s close partners (whom I had send a friend request earlier) saw it and started liking my posts. Obviously I immediately jumped on the opportunity and got to showcase some songs to him too.

Let’s get this show on the road!

Continue to the next Quick Tip:
How to become more than a simple beat maker.