Now that you have a good idea of what a producer does and how important one is for every artist, let’s start the journey of looking for the one that fits you. Here are a few important things to look for:
1. Attitude: Do they have anything to prove? You never want to have the feeling that the producer has another agenda other than making your project the best for you. A producer is a partner. They should never want to outshine you. You’re in it together.
2. Demo Reel: For those of you that don’t know what this is, it is a compilation of songs that a producer has worked on it. Sometimes this is a CD of 10 to 12 songs from beginning to end, but most of the time its 10 to 12 songs, edited to 60 seconds each song and blended together. This gives you a good idea of what the producer has done. It helps you know if you’re going to be a match. What’s a good match? On to the next one:
3. Style: This is not always important. I believe the best producers are able to cross genres. Although, I know I am able to produce many styles, I’m also honest with myself and the artist if I feel like it’s not a good fit. The producer you choose will need to be this honest as well. Another way to find a good match is:
4. Belief: Does the producer believe in the artist and/or “dig” the music. If he doesn’t “dig” the music, you want him to be honest about that too. It’s always good to ask this question. Some producers will take on anything for the work. When I first started, I took on many things I wasn’t completely digging. Although, it was a great learning experience for me, it wasn’t fair for the artist. Two things could happen: The producer won’t care about the project or the producer will try to change you into something he actually likes. It’s always best for the producer to like the project from the beginning.
Now, remember you are the artist, you write songs the way that your heart leads you. You express your emotion through music. Whether the emotion is happy, angry, sad, etc, you want the listener to cry and smile with you. The right producer will help you achieve this goal. Together you can creatively exceed what you would have done alone.
Next I will talk about the hardest part of being an artist: Letting Go. The next blog will be, “Let go and let the producer do their job.”