For all those struggling musicians out there, tap what you know, the Internet, for success.
By Alexandra Stewart, Community Team Coordinator, Indaba Music.
A musician’s career is a long and arduous journey and capitalizing on those few open doors will make or break their career. As the adage goes, “Don’t close any doors until you see what’s behind them.” DJ Reidiculous, a New Jersey-based 22 year-old producer, started out like any other aspiring DJ who posted his remixes on the Internet last year. But in just one year, DJ Reidiculous’s profile has skyrocketed from unknown producer to sought-after DJ. In this age where you have unlimited free resources to capture the eyes and ears of the masses, talent is not only relative to the music alone, but includes the musician’s aggressiveness and marketing prowess.
There’s a plethora of noise with never ending Tweets and Facebook notifications. But curating opportunities – sifting through the noise and uncovering the best opportunity for one’s career – in itself is a talent. For DJ Reidiculous it was all thanks to his attentiveness when he noticed a career-changing Tweet from a follower of his about Kris Allen, who was hosting a contest on Indaba Music. With his newfound disk jockeying aspirations in tote, he decided on a whim to remix Kris Allen’s “The Vision of Love.”
His effort however didn’t just end at the submission process. Inspired by Dutch house music, Reid made the right move when he invested his time into the opportunity by reaching outside of his circle of friends for support and votes. He took to Twitter, Facebook, Indaba Music and YouTube to share his work and collect feedback after submitting his remix for the contest. What he hadn’t expected was the overwhelming support that would eventually result in garnering the win.
“I know nowadays it seems impossible to have your music heard because [of] how much music there is out there for people to listen to but the beauty of the [Indaba Music] remix contest is that everybody gets heard,” Reid said.
Like Reid’s opportunity, you might recall Chris James’ on-the-whim submission of his synth vocals during DeadMau5’s creation of his track, “The Veldt.” While streaming the production process, Chris James Tweeted his vocals to DeadMau5 and at the behest of DeadMau5’s fans, the DJ gave James’ vocals a listen. Impressed by the outcome the track is now known as “The Veldt” by DeadMau5 ft. Chris James. Not bad for an obscure artist.
There’s a sense of support from the music community that enjoys watching the underdog rise to the top in an industry that’s primarily dominated by the head of the long-tail. For example we’ve seen Fun., Carly Rae Jepsen and Gotye (once little known names) break out and surpass the consistent chart toppers like Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Kanye. There’s also a plethora of support and constructive criticism on the social sphere, where world-class engineers and musicians itching to promote and help out the next generation of artists hang out.
For example, one producer who’s an avid and unparalleled supporter of the music community is Illmind of Smokey Robotic. You’ll notice his interaction with fans and aspiring producers on Twitter, and his willingness to answer questions using Formspring.
Today in the Internet age, the playing field for musicians has been leveled and the barrier to entry lowered. While the industry may be built upon relationships, you no longer need to know the right people as channels like YouTube and contests on Indaba Music can help you rise above the “noise.” Hate them or love them, YouTubers like Beiber and Karmen are the posterboys and girls of this reality.
As long as you create quality music and are able to get your work in front of your peers, you’re ahead of the curve. “It’s about who has the ideas…not the gear,” Reid explained. DJ Reidiculous now has 4,000 more Facebook fans to boot and at spot at Z100 making “The Friday Mix” as its superstar intern.
Watch the video below to learn more about DJ Reidiculous