Why Failure is AWESOME - EDM Production Motivation

Cover/ Thumbnail Photo Credit : Drew Ressler /Rukes www.rukes.com 

* Note this was written to be a motivational piece, not my normal how to. Dedicated to the dude who wrote me an email and wanted to " stop producing " due to failures and haters.

#makemusiceveryday ( can I start this trend ? Though I am sure its been done )


Music production is much like success in general, hard to attain and fleeting once you do.

Put simply, you have to work your ass off to get high quality tracks and then continue to put in the time.

What happens if you don't?

What happens to a LOT of artists, you will fall behind.

Modern EDM happens fast, trends come and go. Although they seem like they last awhile, the next trend will be here in a few months. 

Why does this matter to you though?

Especially if you only produce one genre, or like underground genres?

Because if you want high quality, modern sounding tracks of any genre, you must continue to push your skill level.

Nyonyxx, WTF are you talking about.

My point is simple, the level of mixing continues to rise. It's rising right now. People are getting better and better at it.

Let's use a sport, say snowboarding for a example.

Back in the day, circa 1995 what was the top trick being pulled off in snowboarding ? I am just 100% guessing, but let's say they could pull 720's not super high off the ground. ( someone feel free to clue me in ) 

Today? Triple Cork 1440's? Higher? I don't even know, but the tricks are large and INSANE. The level keeps going up and up and away.

What does this have to do with music production?

Well like snowboarding, along with pretty much any sport you can push. The level of mix quality keeps rising and rising. Better each and every year.

Now I know what your saying " Nyonyxx where are you going with this "

I was recently chatting with a " high level " producer, who has been producing music longer then I have been alive. We got to talking about " things he would have done differently " and other general tips about the world of production.

Although he came from a different world, more in the pop realm, these are great tips for modern producers as well.

I feel that the main reason most producers don't " reach their goals " is a rather simple one.

They don't embrace the 1000's of failures it takes to reach a high level.

Your going to have to make a bunch of bad songs - Sorry

Your going to get 5 views and no comments- Sorry

Your going to get no response, from hundreds of labels- Sorry 

Your going to have to learn 1000's of tiny things, each week, that make your mix 1% better and over time will add up- Sorry 

Point of all this? Most producers...

Give up. They stop. They blame their skill level ( which can be improved ) 

Most importantly though, they don't fail enough. They fail once or twice and done. No more music. No more hustle. Hop off the train I give up. 

Do I think this is their fault ?

Not really. 

In the realm of production you will fail over and over again.

Labels won't respond ( or will add you to their mailing list, then spam you with shit )

Fans are hard to come by. As are views/plays/subs etc.

And when you finally get some views ? No matter HOW good your songs are, you will have haters. People just won't like " you " 

Its a hard industry to be a part of, and in the long term most people simply stop making music.

I love music, it will always be a large part of my life. If your reading this, it is most likely a large part of your life as well.

I hope these quick few tips will help you push past whatever music demons stand in your way.

The next time your DAW crashes, Massive shuts down, Sound Cloud pulls your account,  or your girlfriend threatens to leave you due to " wasting time with music " just laugh, we've all been there and will be there again.

Number 1

I know 20 people right now, that where professional musicians ( engineers/ mixers etc ) that don’t even look at their gear anymore. They never needed to stop, they just let the pressures of other people bring them down and slowly stopped caring. They wanted to produce music and where good at it, but the opinions of others out weighed their desire and that was that
— R

Take away: Over your production journey, you will have bumps and fuck ups. People will put you down and people will lift you up. If you love what your doing, do it for yourself.  Don't let other people kill your dreams or stand in your way. I truly mean this, I've " lost " a lot of great friends that simply gave up after years of " failure ".

Number 2 

My biggest mistake was not progressing, not staying on the up and up. I stuck with what I knew and didn’t push my comfort zone. I got to a certain skill level and stopped.

Take Away : Keep pushing your skills as a producer, keep challenging yourself to do better each and every day. Once you reach a high level, push harder it will only help you. Try to innovate news sounds and methods of working this not only will keep it fun but will help you improve in the long haul. Remember the overall " quality " of production's around the world continue to rise, you must rise with them.

Number 3 

When I started I would hustle, I mailed tracks to labels and vocalists. Over the years, I lost that and stagnated. This not only halted my progress, but I slowly slide down hill as did my skill set

Take Away: They say failure isn't an option. Hell they teach us in school that we shouldn't fail. Well I can safely say that everything I've ever done is built on the bones of hundreds of thousands of failures. In order to attract the first vocalist I produced for, I sent 100's of emails. 99% of them didn't respond. This was all failure. But if you keep going, keep grinding good things will come to you.

Number 4

When I started, I made music daily. Over the years it was weekly, then monthly then nothing.

Take Away : Although it seems simple. #makemusiceveryday . You want to get better at mixing? Mix more. Better at sound design ? Start mucking around on massive. Keep practicing every single day of your life. This is fun anyways , right ?  I feel the biggest single factor to people not getting to their desired level of skill is simply lack of putting in the time. I know you have school, I know you have work. I know you have to watch TV and play video games. Or do you? Decide what you want and go for it.


Conclusion : I know this is a bit out there topic for this blog. However, It saddens me by the weekly emails of producers " giving up" . Most of them produce solid tracks and have been for awhile. However the lack of anyone backing ( or even worse, people hating on them ) seems to bring them down and threatens to kill their dreams.

Put in the time.

Make Music every day.

In a few years, maybe you will be the trend setter, and people will be racing to copy your sound's / style/ vibe, but whatever you do, don't give up , if you truly want this you have one chance.

Right now. This is your moment. 


Posted on November 25, 2014 and filed under Music Motivation.