18 EP

So the EP is complete. Yesterday, I presented it to an industry panel, and I won a Music Production Award. They really liked the tracks, and how I spoke about my role in producing this product.

The EP will be going up on soundcloud, but also Spotify. This would be a good thing to do,  in order to get Molly noticed in the transgressive indie pop scene, which could happen if her tracks appear in playlists or get noticed by radio stations such as XFM, BBC 6, or Radio 1.

Today I handed over the tracks to her, and she is very pleased with how they have been finished. I feel that I have lived and breathed this product, and I have strived to make it to an industry standard. 18 EP Artwork.png

Here is a review from Molly on working with me:

“When I first met Bert, it was with the intention of starting a pop-rock band. I wanted nothing more than to sing catfish and the bottlemen on stage and feel like a proper rebel, a real musician. Bert saw the fliers I’d hung up looking for band members and reached out to me as a drummer. The first time we ever played together I knew I wanted her to be in the band and that I didn’t have to look any further. She was talented and easy to work with, she was hard working and patient. Needless to say, the band didn’t really kick off, we were all a bit busy with college work to make time for a band, but I was glad that it happened, otherwise I may not have found Bert or worked with her on this EP.

It was probably three months later when I was halfway through writing my album that I came into contact with Bert again. I didn’t know if she’d like the work I was making because it was very different from the heavier, band music we played before. But I knew she was a producer and wanted to see if she had any advice for my me. I wasn’t looking for a full time producer, I thought I might dabble in working with a couple of different collaborators, but we hit it off pretty quickly and naturally started building momentum and working on all my tracks together.

We casually arranged to meet in a booth for me to show her some tracks and I sat her down and played her ‘6/10’. Her reaction really inspired me, she was very excited and that got me very excited and for the first time, I felt like I was working on something really cool, something bigger than myself. 

Over the following months, I played Bert everything I wrote, and everything I was working on. And week by week, we began laying down our favourite tracks. During the process, Bert has shown me how to use reverb and compress vocals, and working with her I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about mixing, and making a track sound really polished and clean. 

I was a complete beginner on logic at the start of making the album, but through experimentation, and working with Bert, I’ve gained a lot of new skills.

This has been a learning curve but also a lot of fun. After countless hours in the studio, we’ve helped each other through personal problems and formed a friendship. I really hope we can work together again some day as it has been a real pleasure.” 

It will be interesting to see what happens with Molly’s music, and I look forward to working with her in the future.

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Social media/ Promotion techniques

I have put together a plan of the promotional work that I am doing with my client. This is a good way for me to keep track of what I have achieved with my client, and how this helps to promote myself as a producer.

So with Molly, we are creating an EP, and 4 tracks have been written so far. Two of the tracks are up on Molly’s soundcloud, so that’s how she is promoting her music. I have promoted her track ‘Feel Real Love’ on my producer Facebook, written about it on here, and done a video reviewing the session of it on my instagram. This technique is really working well so far, as I have had more likes and engagement on my Facebook, and Instagram. You can see from the graph below that Facebook and Instagram are the best currently for hits and engagement, compared to my blog and soundcloud. I’m basing this on the top post/ views/ per week. It will be interesting to see how the stats develop over the next few weeks.

The plan is to continue this technique, as it’s working really well. We will do this for all the tracks, and try to be consistent when posting to get constant engagement. It’s interesting, because normally people keep things quiet when they’re going to release new material to keep the suspense, whereas consistently updating and giving little previews still keeps the suspense, but also generates more exposure and keeps people interested.

So the idea at the moment is to release the EP on soundcloud, as this is for Molly’s FMP. I will discuss with her the idea of getting her music on to spotify if she wants to try this.

I’d like to explore other techniques such as doing a live stream of a studio session on Facebook and see how much engagement that generates. The videos are currently getting more engagement and views on Instagram than youtube, which makes sense as people are constantly on Instagram.

I have also just done a remix of ‘Feel Real Love’ and I will release this on soundcloud. I’m not sure whether to release it just yet, as I want ‘Feel Real Love’ to get exposure first, but sometimes simultaneously releasing can work well?

A couple of other things that I have thought of and we’ve discussed is to play a gig together, and I also would like to do a music video for one of the tracks if we have time. Playing a gig will help to boost exposure for both me and Molly. Also, by doing a music video it adds to my skills and experience, and will gain exposure for Molly. A preview/trailer for the video on Facebook first would help to get interest, and then release it on youtube.

I feel that these techniques will continue to be successful.

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I had a productive session with my main client on Tuesday. We have started work on a track that she wrote previously, but wants to do a new direction in the arrangement, making it more electronic, which is definitely the style that I enjoy arranging/composing. I’m starting to understand the relation between chords, melodies and lyrics now. It just makes more sense, how the chords trigger with timing of words, or the words map to a melody. This is helping me with writing my own lyrics.

While discussing ideas with Solvéig, she showed me songs that gave the vibe that she wants for her song. I realised how important it is to listen to other music, as it helps to create ideas, and discovering new artists allows new ideas to happen.

This week I have been listening to new inspiration that I’ve found through spotify.

Fred Falke’s  ‘It’s a memory’ Amtrak Remix has influenced the arrangement on my latest track. It’s very clubby/dancey with side chained synths, and the lyrics have inspired me to write on this track, when I originally didn’t think there would be any lyrics.

Air’s ‘Alone in Kyoto’ and ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ have subconsciously been seeping into my brain as I had them on in the background. (I discovered Air when I first watched Lost In Translation, which is an awesome film.) Their rhythms and melodies have been particularly inspiring.

Grand Pavilion’s Foreign Escape album is on repeat at the moment, and really helping with figuring out dynamics and including a range of percussion in half electronic beats.

So I’m figuring out the arrangement to my new track, and I’ve parked a track that I was working on last week for now, as I’ve hit a wall. I’m really pleased with my work so far, and I feel that I have definitely improved my songwriting skills.





First week back

So this week was the first week back after Christmas, and I have two weeks until the Production project deadline. (23rd Jan)

This week I have got a plan for my production project tracks and spoken with one of my clients about their track.

For each client, I have created two different versions of one of their tracks. One version is the original acoustic style, and the other is an added MIDI arrangement with instruments to fill out the track and determine the dynamics needed for the tracks.

I am going to complete these arrangements by Monday, check them with my teacher and see if there are any improvements to make before mixing and mastering.

Other tasks

-Finish MIDI arrangements for Hang Up.

-Mix & Master Summertime Sadness by 23rd Jan

-Arrange to meet with client and discuss their tracks

-Try to record parts if possible for Hang Up (bass, drums)

-Record new tracks with clients, and find the time to create my own new tracks.