Music Artists: Production Is Give And Take
By Richard “RJ” Johnson
Alright, let’s talk about the relationship between the artist and the producer. This can be a great relationship if they both have respect for one another. This can be a strained relationship if they struggle for control and one is not willing to listen to the other. I’ve been in both of those situations with artists. I understand both sides of this because I was once an artist myself and I know artists don’t want anyone messing with their vision. Now being on the production side of things, I understand how important it is for an artist and producer to work together on the artist’s vision. It is important for producers to get the artists to where they want to go and to actually exceed the artist’s expectations.
The producer needs to take the production to places the artist never dreamed. What I’ve found most artists do is they hear a song they like and they will have the producer write a song similar to it. What I do as a producer is challenge the artist to find their own sound. There is nothing wrong with being tuned into what’s going on in today’s music, but you don’t have to copy it.
Now to truly find your own voice you need to listen to different types of music. Don’t be that guy who only listens to hip hop, pop or country because your music will be one dimensional. Here is a suggestion, you like movies don’t you. I personally like listening to movie scores because they put you in a certain mood. Think about that for a minute. When you write songs you are trying to capture a mood or a certain flavor. If you are angry you want your music to be angry too. If you are sad you want your music to reflect that. If you are happy, what do you want from your music? That’s right, you want your music to be happy. That’s what I get from movies scores. If both the artist and producer listen to different types of music imagine what they have to work with. There would be no limit.
Artists, I can’t say this enough, make sure you find a producer that can take you to the next level. Don’t work with someone just because they have ProTools or an MPC. It doesn’t matter if they have a million dollar studio, they need to know what they are doing in order to make your production sound like the big boys. Find a producer you can totally trust with your vision.