I know many of you reading this probably have your recording and mixing skills down and can turn out great sounding mixes, however, you might be struggling to find new artists or bands for which you can actually utilise these skills for.
Therefore, in this article we will look at a few simple steps that you can take to build new, lasting relationships with artists or bands.
One thing I did when I started out was that I went to a lot of gigs and talked to bands, either if it was bands I knew through friends, or bands I found online. I have had a lot of opportunities coming my way by building relationships this way, for example, by consistently hanging out with a group of musicians led me to working for Jon Moon (Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson).
This relationship then led to other work with legendary soul band, Loose Ends.
One thing to remember is that these opportunities didn’t come straight away, they happened after a few years and after having built those relationships over time.
Building a relationship that will turn into a gig later on doesn’t happen over night, you got to stay present in their minds, however, don’t harass them, instead, grab a coffee or a drink every few months, catch up see what the other person is up to.
The same goes with building relationships with artists and bands.
One of my most important relationships, which now is also a very dear friend of mine, was initially done by consistently going to their gigs, talking and finding out what they were doing. We now have worked together on multiple projects and have another album scheduled in January.
You can do this too, and it’s fairly simple if you think about it, it’s low cost, you don’t have to spend money on ads, perhaps just concert tickets and a few beers.
The only “downside” is that it takes time, but in the end, it’s worth it.
So, if you don’t have any artists or bands to work with or want to find more bands, do this:
Find an artist/band in your town that you like, or at least can tolerate.
Go up to them after the show, introduce yourself, offer them a drink and learn more about them.
Go to their next gig
Mention that you have a studio or that you are looking to mix some new music. Make them an offer, perhaps one free mix and if they like it, take it from there.
Now, can you do this online through social media, too?
I will reference what Herb Trawick said on this in last weeks interview:
“Today, networking has become automated and technology has made everybody network, but they don’t network in the same way. For example, if you and I got in touch through social media, it’s not the same as you and I sitting down, getting to know each other, being able to customise a project, get your philosophy, etc. It’s not that you can’t do it online but most people have shorter and briefer interactions there”
So, yes, it’s possible but I don’t forget to take the connection you make online and perhaps arrange a Skype meeting or, if possible, and you live in the same town, sit down with the person, get to know them.
The main thing with being able to record or mix artists for a living is that it takes time, but the more you do it the more people you will form connections and relationships with and the more work will come your way.
I hope you can take away some of these ideas and please let me know in the comments what you think or if you have any other suggestions.