Why You Need a Good Producer to Succeed in the Music Industry

A youngster who is trying to venture into the music industry recently asked me whether he really needs to get a producer. I asked him what he thinks. And he told me that if it were up to him, he would have preferred to do without a producer. I asked him why. He replied that in his opinion, “producers are leeches, who seek to benefit from musicians, without adding much value.”

While I tend to agree with the young man on the part about some producers being leeches who seek to benefit from musicians without adding much value, I nonetheless advised the upcoming musician to get one! In supporting my advice, I told the young man what I believe is the truth: that beneath the surface, the music industry is controlled by certain powerful cartels, and it is very hard (actually it is pretty much impossible) to break through without the support of those cartels. These cartels determine, mostly arbitrarily, who becomes a star and who becomes a flop. Once the cartels decide to make you a star, they will promote your music aggressively, and people will come to like it due to constant exposure to that music (even if it isn’t necessarily good music). This is how songs that are mediocre end up ‘hitting’ while songs that are superb ‘flop’.

So you need to find ways of getting the support of these cartels, to get anywhere music-wise. And pretty much the only way to get the support of those cartels who control the industry, is by linking up with the right producer. In this context, you should view the producers as your fixer, and appreciate his usefulness in that regard.

While at it, a good producer may also suggest ways to make your music better (and more appealing to the market) based on his experience. You, as a single artist, can’t assume that you know what will appeal to the market. But a producer who has dealt with numerous artists over the years, and who has had the opportunity to observe market trends, can give you meaningful advice on how to improve your music, so as to make it appealing to the mass market. For these reasons, I think it is advisable to get a good producer, if at all you wish to succeed in the music industry.

How to Ensure That a Debate Doesn’t Turn Into an Argument

I love debating issues. I have, however, come to learn that is very easy for a debate that was initially very pleasant to turn into a very nasty argument. And following this realization, I have been trying to figure out ways of keeping the debates I take part in from turning into arguments. This is out of appreciation for the fact that a debate is, by definition, an enjoyable thing; a positive thing. On the other hand, an argument, as per my definition, is a nasty thing; a negative thing. So the challenge is in figuring out how to ensure that a debate doesn’t turn into an argument.

In my experience, the best way to keep a debate from turning into an argument is by trying to genuinely understand the other person’s point of view, even if (and especially when) you don’t agree with it. This requires some degree of humility: where you have to go past the idea that you are the one who is in the right, and the other person is wrong. It could very well be that the other person is right, and you are wrong. If you truly internalize this way of thinking, you will find yourself making an effort to understand the other person’s point of view always, and the debates you take part in will therefore be less prone to turning into arguments.

Another way to keep a debate from turning into an argument is by trying to understand where the other person is coming from, and where the other person is, in terms of knowledge. You need to appreciate that the other person doesn’t necessarily know what you know. And you also need to appreciate that the other person possibly has some knowledge that you don’t have.

Yet another way to keep a debate from turning into an argument is by viewing it as a learning experience, rather than a competitive experience. If you view it as a competitive experience, you will end up being inclined ‘to win at all costs’. The other person may also be inclined to win at all costs. The end result will be an argument, possibly a nasty argument, where you and the other person try to outdo each other.