Saw a hilarious picture that said “Every time a DJ calls himself a musician, a real musician laughs.” I thought that was pretty funny, and it made me think of what my answer would be if someone asks me how I can call myself a musician. This post is that answer, and I’ll also answer this- what makes me the authority of who is or isn’t a “producer?” (https://mikldeitrick.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/oh-youre-a-producer-cute/) It’s pretty simple- I’m not claiming to be a producer. If you’ve read my rant about producers, you’ll very clearly get my opinion on it. Yes, I’m a dj. Yes, I’m a musician, reasons listed below. No, I don’t call myself a producer. When I have my own studio and am actually doing all the things it takes to be a real producer, then I will be proud to take the title. By the way soundcloud users, real producers don’t add their producer credit to the end of the song title, and they definitely don’t write “Prod. by,” or some ridiculous equivalent.
Now, what is it that makes me a “musician?” Honestly, lately, not much. My soundcloud profile is full of remixes of pop and electronic, with only a few originals, in none of which I used real instruments to make. The only song on there that is original and could absolutely have a producer credit is [song link coming soon]. The song is called Nightmare, recorded for a rock opera written by Cyrus Hicks. Links to all associated soundcloud profiles are in the description of that song and below.
So once again, what have I done to call myself a musician? Well let’s start at the beginning. I took up drums in 9th grade and have been drumming ever since (when I can; I don’t have my own set currently). In 11th grade I learned trumpet in Jazz Band. Since then I haven’t played the trumpet almost at all, and can’t read music (I learned then, but it’s been so long). I helped write and record songs for Carnival Gothic starting in 2009 and learned Bass guitar for a metal band (Final Uprising) in 2011. Since 2006 I’ve been playing with and slowly learning mixing/recording software (Acid Pro, Sound Forge, etc.) and music programs like Fruity Loops, Finale, DubTurbo, etc. As you can see, I’ve moved around a lot and haven’t really done anything consistent lately, but I’ve been connecting with bands and friends the whole time for future collaborations. I’ve jammed at open mic nights, band practices with friend’s bands, etc. Right now, if someone had a drumset or a bass amp, I could show up and we could play/write something. That ability is why I continue to call myself a musician. And anyone who knows musicians well will tell you that it’s pretty common for the music thing to be irregular (just hopefully not as sparse as mine’s been lately, but I’m working on changing that fairly soon).
For anyone interested, below are the soundcloud links for 1. Cyrus, 2. Aaron Butler, drummer for Final Uprising, co-producer of Nightmare (he recorded and mixed this demo), and overall a self-taught musician really into metal, 3. Ponzi, who has sung for Aaron and who I’ve collaborated with in the past, and 4. the reverbnation page for Final Uprising (demos, and the page is a bit out of date).