Whenever you start putting your songs together, and you plan for these songs to be heard by the rest of the world, whatever your music “sounds” like will ultimately need to be the best way of representing yourself…as far as records go.  So ultimately, the main person responsible for how your music turns out, or sounds in the end - will be your producer. Now, some of you may be thinking that a mix engineer has that responsibility, but actually, the right producer will be accountable for getting a great mix engineer to “expand on” what the producer originally created.

Having a great producer on your team will make the difference in how your music is going to end up as a finished musical representation of your talent and songs.  For that reason, if you are an artist, and you are serious about making the best record or demo you can, know that getting the right producer working with you can many times make or break the outcome of your whole project.  So at some point, it will be very important that you get a producer with some skills …and a good track record, or project credibility doesn’t hurt either.

Recording Credits

 You also need to recognize that your producer’s past and present music credentials and successes may increase your own opportunity to get your finished production(s) into the right hands. A producer’s credibility may also get other industry insiders to take you a little more serious about what you’re doing as an artist.

For example: Imagine if you are able to put on your demo or your independent release, “Produced by Swizz Beatz”.  If nothing else, just the whole idea of you having that “piggybacked” credibility, will open up doors to you that were probably not there before. 

So do not take the idea of having the right producer(s) working with you lightly. Commit this to memory; much of the music business is built around credible business and personal relationships…and also associations. At the end of the day, the music industry circle in Rap, Hip-Hop, Pop and R&B is actually not as big as you might think.


Different Types

Ok, first of all, there are different types of producers. So if you’re going to hire a producer, you’ll first have to figure out what your particular needs are.  One of the things to consider when deciding on who to work with will greatly depend on your own style as an artist. Also, your skill level and budget will be things that have to be considered.

It is important for you as an artist to feel confident in your producer’s ability and know-how in the style of music you are doing.  His or her knowledge of your particular style will help in determining production chores, and how well they can create the best musical tone for the performances needed.  I mean, you may be asking for a headache if you are going for the Usher, or India.Arie market, but you go out and get with a producer who primarily has their only experience in the Underground Rap market…especially when it comes down to doing vocal overdubs and “comps”. This is mainly because this is not their normal area of expertise in music production.  But, on the flip-side of that idea, every now and then, when music productions are made that go away from the normal combination of producer and talent, and the process involved in the creation…it is possible to come up with a new unique sound or style.

For example: Just look at what producer Lil’ Jon, known for his “Crunk” & “Dirty South” style productions did with the smooth, soulful vocal style of Usher. The mixture of these normally different sounds; Lil’ Jon’s music, and Usher’s vocal style, created a whole new sound; “Crunk & B”.  Also check out the work of music producer Jazze Pha and his artist Ciara, “The First Lady of Crunk & B”.

So if you are a singer, a rapper or maybe even a great up-and-coming songwriter who needs a producer, please do not take the idea of getting the best you can find for granted. The bottom line is, producers are very important to have on your team and in your corner - to ensure that you give yourself the best shot of having a professional sounding demo or a well-produced presentation to potential music opportunities.

© 2009 RMP Magazine | www.rmpmagazine.com


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