#2 How’re you enjoying the Music Gateway platform, have you noticed any recurring benefits so far?
By recurring benefits, I imagine you mean reasons as to why MG is beneficial to the aspiring songwriter, producer, lyricists and all artists and technicians in general? Then, yes, I have noticed many recurring benefits.
Still, I can only say what has been beneficial to me in relation to my experience at MG. The biggest asset for me at MG is that the platform allows me to totally work remotely – despite being based in Northern France. I am probably the classic example of “A Hermit Songwriter”. Gathering songs for years and unable to collaborate because I lived abroad. Then a pal introduced me to MG and Voila!
So, if it wasn’t for MG and its successful interactive music platform, I would not be able to function as an active songwriter. Not here in France, anyway. With my wife being a respected professor over here – and with being a “Stay-at-home-Dad” and looking after our children – I wouldn’t have been able to involve myself with projects, which almost certainly would have required my presence back in mainland Britain or the States. Now I am poised with two publishing deals which in part relate to musicians I hooked up with at MG. Right now, I want to say something really corny or cliché…but I won’t.
#3 You wear many hats in the industry, including being a songwriter, Dj and concert promoter. From your experience and in your opinion, what areas in the industry do you feel are striving more than others? Where do you think the industry is headed?
Old hat, you probably mean, lol! Yeah, but I do feel with the advent of new music technologies in recent years – specifically DAW technology – coinciding with the rise of the internet and the “demise” of the traditional record industry, wannabe musicians and songwriters now have the power at their fingertips to create their own music.
This is the single greatest and most exciting thing to have happened (music related) in the 21st century. Just look and see how far we’ve come. It’s unprecedented. The evolution of music is incredible, look at some of the great artists who have emerged since the millennium. Yet unfortunately in my opinion, these developments and the use of modern music production practices do come at a price, and many might suffer failure in the long run because one might lack the skillset required to make it in the industry. There is just so much competition out there, so much talent.
Despite this, these days there is the danger that a lot of pie-in-the-sky individuals (who dream of forging musical careers for themselves) will become too reliant on said revolutionary music technologies, and thus be deterred from putting the work in to learn a “real” instrument; which is really important depending on the type of musician you want to become, and the level of success that you want to accomplish. I’m a rubbish performer, that’s why I don’t do it – but I can resolve a chord on the piano and understand a chord progression; which is an essential part in the process of my songwriting. Ultimately that’s all I am, a traditional songwriter. However, some people prefer to use nothing but sequencers and beat makers and come up with really amazing and innovative results. So, what do I know! So what does the future hold for musicians? Well, because getting your music “out there” is so much more achievable, plus the budget technology available and desire – and not forgetting the ability to collaborate online – the future is looking awesome. For the music industry – I guess it better watch out!
#4 What advice would you give to people who are looking to expand themselves as artists?
For the pro’s…just keep on pitching, what harm can it do? Eventually you will win a pitch. Think about it. How much does it cost you? How much does it cost each month to pitch on any project you want? The price of a bunch of flowers for Mum! Unlike other online service (who for obvious reasons I can’t mention) that claims – for a fluctuating price – that it can potentially get your song placed, but expects you to “pay for every song submission”. I think “potentially” is the optimum word here.
Moreover, for anyone just starting out…never, ever, lose your love, desire and inspiration for music. Never feel daunted when it comes to creating music, whether that is in the form of singing, songwriting or composing. If you can try to learn an instrument - do it! Guitar, piano, even a recorder. You don’t have to become a virtuoso. With the right Youtube tutorial, you can learn four essential chords on the guitar or piano – in just one day! It’s all free. It all depends on your work ethic. You won’t believe how quickly you will gain confidence. Try to familiarize yourself with song arrangements and simple chord progressions. It’s all there at your feet on Youtube. Once you have the basic skillsets, that’s when the fun begins. Now you are equipped to but your heart and soul into your music. For me - this is where it all begins. Now, if by singing a song, composing the music, or by writing a song you begin to feel empowered – then you’re already a musician. Go for it!
#5 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the Music Gateway platform as opposed to working with existing connections?
I think finding a suitable candidate to work with, for sure. That’s the main criteria for me when running a project. Simple. Like I said before, living abroad in France, has put me at a massive disadvantage because I write songs in English. Although I speak enough French daily to function – I have no desire to write in it. I am a Brit, and that can’t change, nor the language that I write and sing in. My existing connections would probably (and understandably) expect me to be present from the outset of a project. At MG I can respond to and run my own projects remotely without ever having to leave my house.
#6 You've done quite a few projects, are any of the results being released any time soon for people to check out?
That will depend entirely on the publisher’s. That’s their job, because I am not an active performing artist with a following or record deal. I am just a non performing songwriter and my job has been in writing the songs and demonstrating those songs. Hopefully, I will hear of various placements in the not too distant future. I know at some point my songs may be pitched to artists, but I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. Tim Smith (who partnered up with me at MG) has become the main producer I have been working with in order to finish a reasonably “mastered” product, in order to present to my prospective publishers. Fortunately, our collaboration has proved very successful, and I hope it continues to do so. Tim is really great to work with and has a great love of all things music; plus he has amazing turnaround speed. I have also been working with great artists from the UK, Italy, Germany, USA. It’s all good.
#7 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career/ stay proactive?
Music Gateway is a “must have “service for music makers everywhere. I mean, where else in 2016 can you find an online site dedicated to bringing like-minded musicians together, to collaborate on projects that might remain otherwise unfulfilled? Evidently, the forward thinking MG platform is setting a new standard in its online user-interaction objective; and continues to successfully and innovatively bring together a plethora of musicians, technicians, singers and artist who just might be only one step away from fulfilling all their professional goals!