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Here at Monsoon Season we focus on the rising talents in the dance music industry. That means we encounter artists and individuals that cover the whole spectrum of experience and knowledge. Some being on one end with little to no experience and contrarily, some on the opposing side with more knowledge and know-how abilities. That is typically normal in ALL industries. What is not normal is sharing these tips freely. This Season, we plan to change that.
LovelyBones (Mrs. Bones) [Bass Music Producer]
Topic: Career Development / Being A Mom
Being a producer is hard enough as it is, can you imagine being a mom on top of that? I’ve been in the EDM scene since 2009 as a solo DJ and have always found it time-consuming to get everything done. I used to play shows, host shows, and put music together. Now more than 10 years later I find myself being a married woman who also has two boys with the other half of LovelyBones, Craig. We have also started producing almost two years ago. When you add kids into the mix boy do things get messy. How do I find the time to work, produce music, be a mother and be a wife? Trust me when I say that this is the hardest role I have ever had to play in my entire life. I have created a support system to help us with watching our kids when we have shows which makes life easier. I find myself always tired because of all the things I hold on my plate. There have been times when Craig will stay home with the kids and I will go play alone or vice versa. We have to refuse shows sometimes because we don’t have a sitter and it gets frustrating. But as I see LovelyBones grow and have people know it makes everything worth it. Even our sons will dance to our music and sing the lyrics. Our sons may be young but they are super supportive of what we do. Our oldest Dakota looks up to us and wishes he could DJ and make music just like we do. As LovelyBones continues to grow we hope to have the support we have from family and friends to be able to play shows and make music. This is a wild but amazing journey but having kids does make it harder but we continue to make it work and move forward with our dreams.
I believe that keeping your word is one of the most important things you can do not only in business but in life. When you give your word to do something, you have committed to that action and it is crucial that you follow through. Are there times that it is easy to give up, and do not do what you said you were going to do? Yes, absolutely. However, those are the times that it is imperative that you do the right thing and keep your word to the best of your ability; while being transparent with the parties involved. Those are the moments when you show people your character and integrity. If you take the easy way out and just do what benefits you, chances are you will lose the respect of the people you promised something to. There have been so many instances where I hear company owners, artists, promoters, etc complain about another person promising to do something and not following through or keep their word; which quite frankly is unprofessional and causes a loss of trust and respect. Carrying around the reputation of a person who doesn’t follow through on their commitments can have a detrimental effect on one’s career and the relationships they have with other individuals as well as other companies. It’s always sad to me hearing how often people try to take advantage of others and fail to uphold their end of a deal, however I am proud of the positive, trusting relationships I have built with other companies, artists, promoters, labels and other people in our community who know that I will keep my word and openly communicate with them- regardless of the circumstances
My main takeaway and advice here are always doing the right thing, keep your word, and openly communicate with people- no matter how hard that is. You build your own legacy and personally, I think it is more meaningful to build a reputation of being honest, transparent, committed, supportive, and caring than make decisions that hurt others to benefit myself or my company.
Artist: HECC [Bass Music Artist/Owner of PYRE Records ]
Topic: Sound Design
1.) First tip from the depths of HECC! KEEP IT SIMPLE!! For producing less is more! Make the actual sound design do the heavy lifting!
2.) Second tip from the depths of HECC! ACTUALLY PUT IN WORK! Most producers spend an average of at least 2 hours minimum per day, like it’s honestly a lot of time you must spend to create something I would consider industry standard.
3) Final tip from the depths of hecc! REFERENCE TRACKS! With ever changing sound design and constant fight to have the latest and greatest sounding tracks, always be current with music and reference the stuff you hear, not to copy, but to merely listen for what your music is missing. Check for the same amount of bass, where the kick drum sits, all the panning. Pay attention to the actual engineering of the music that you enjoy! It could help a lot!
Appreciate Monsoon Season for their support, this is HECC!
Mentor: Nikki Copenhaver [Artist Relations Manager of Mad Mountain Music Festival]
Topic: Festival/Event Organization
Planning any festival or live event comes down to one main focus: the experience. It is essential to put yourself in the shoes of your attendees every step of the way while curating an event, and it is important to know your audience inside out. Who are they? What aspects of an event are most important to them? Comfortable access to amenities? Impeccable production and sound design? A rockstar lineup of major headliners, or familiar local talent? Great food vendors and merch booths to shop, or fun activities to join? What other events will your audience be attending and paying attention to, and what makes them stand out? Gather input from your audience and find out what they want to see.
Define your brand. What makes your event unique and different? Defining your brand is key to developing your event’s image and atmosphere, and in turn driving promotion and attendance. What special aspects make your show unique? Is it an overall theme? Focus on one genre or many? Large talent or local names? Finding out what the focus of your brand is will reveal key details to the planning process. Think about other shows and festivals you’ve attended, what did other events do well and how could things be improved upon for your show?
Collaborate. Planning an event is not a one-man operation, and you’ll need a great team of committed individuals all on the same page through every stage of planning and working the event. Communication amongst your team is essential, and keeping everyone’s actions in line with a shared vision. Network with anyone and everyone who can lend some expertise. Reach out to those you know with experience in event planning and any special skill sets that can help out, such as production, marketing, artist relations, promotion, graphic design, vendor relations, merchandising, photography, performers, security, and more.
Do your homework. Cover all your bases, prepare for anything and everything that could possibly go wrong, and have a plan B in place. Get to know your venue and the surrounding areas, available amenities, travel conditions, and local regulations. Be sure to obtain all necessary licenses and permits, and have safety measures up to code with all local authorities. Everything won’t always go perfectly, but as long as your artists are taken care of, your guests have a safe, fun, and smooth experience, and you have a great team on your side to troubleshoot as you go, your event will be a success.
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