The world of music is a strange crossover of creative soul and fulfilling a large variety of different requirements such as financial well-being and so on.
These days it's about the money, according to some. These people also like to over-emphasize the fact that all is worse than ever. It's not. By looking at the history of music there was no era when there weren't any interests crossing the path of musicians. In the Middle Ages music had to serve the Church, later on it was serving / obeying the system, or it just simply had to meet the expectations of a given era. Today's western musicians are free of the grasp of these forces, but they have a new element to deal with. By the 21st century money became the most powerful unifying force for mankind and music alike.
Money gives one the tools to make a living and the amount of income is a very powerful feedback. Yet money is only a mere tool which aids an artistic industry that experiences freedom like never before. Some of this artistic freedom comes from scientific discoveries and advancements that are constantly demolishing outadted governing principles. Money buys software, hardware and more importantly time that is needed for making jaw-dropping tunes. To cut single handed theories short, the question poses. What is in your focus when making music? Do you want to create a new experience or do you want to earn money? What is the right path between these two? Can we distinguish between producers like this? In order to get the best insight someone had to be asked. After stumbling upon "Overdrive" that very person was found. You can read his opinion below.
Lifelike: "I've started to play piano at a musical school as a kid, than I got interested into computers and synthesizers at school in the late 80's. It took me a couple of years to start producing in the mid 90's with a friend. Back then we were into techno. Later I've started working on my own and got interested in Daft Punk and other French-touch artists such as Motorbass. After seeing them for the first time I was on track. I've melted the 80's drum-machines sounds with the vibes of house and the energy of Detroit techno. I had my first contract with a big indie label called Undercover Music. The label went bankrupt at the dawn of the digital era. After that I released a few EP's under the pseudonym of Ferris Bueller, and met the guys from 20000ST, a very hype house label back in the days based in Paris. I wasn't satisfied with The Ferris Bueller EP's for being too 80's and cliché. So I began to dig into more interesting stuff using more sampling techniques, special ambiences and I started a new project under the name of Lifelike. I've found my inspiration in the works of Kraftwerk, Moroder and the late 70's early 80's discofunk like Chic, Midnight Star, Heaven 17 and The Human League. The 90's LFO was a big shock to me, the album Frequencies was the first so called techno album I bought...
I've always seen music like there's a significant difference between tracks produced only to be commercially successful, what I call the McDonald's of music, and the ones that got commercial success because it's just good music and a large audience got into it and made it successful. Music that is made just to be sold, and not because there is an interesting artist behind producing it has totally invaded todays charts worldwide. But I think it has always been like this in any decades. You always had a commercial product with fake artists behind trying to sell lots of records.
Producers like me and others never thought that one day electronic music will end up here. Originally techno was a D.I.Y. thing, you press play and you don't need to know who did that record, as long as the music is good. Unsurprisingly, successful producers, due to their musical talents and constant quality production got pushed upfront and the whole system has changed into what it is today. People don't remember it, but initially techno was a reaction to the commercial bullshit in the 80's released by major labels, constantly trying to be successful by selling millions of records.
I don't consider myself as a product or a brand. I'm an artist first, and nobody tells me what to do in my music, that's my first point. Although I recently signed with Capitol Music/Universal for my album, it was out of question for me to discuss the content of my music. The label respects me as an artist so while some are still making albums on an assembly line there are always others who respect the creative side of the artist.
Producers who are only focusing on making huge profits with calibrated songs for the masses are like junk-food to me. These people aren't artists! Guys like Avicii or David Guetta are just brands, nobody really cares about them as artists, because they aren't artists. Most of the time the products they offer is rubbish, the image is rubbish and ridiculous, it's all based on cliché and it will never last. They don't create culture, they create junk for the electronic culture. "
The M-Pill: One thing is for sure. The line between mass-produced "McDonald's" music and art driven music is clearly visible. The most important thing is to ask where the line is. Where is the path for a producer to create unique music and not to starve to death at the same time?
To find further answers, or even more questions (who knows) check out our interviews with KarlSav and Marten Horger.
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