MANY musicians have taken up several DIY (Do it yourself) methods when recording their own music. Meaning you can pretty much have a home studio, which cut costs, but if you do not have a professional producer you may be wasting your time.
But why do you need one?
Well, producers are the people who decide how best to artistically and creatively represent the artist when they are releasing music. In popular music there are around four different kinds of artist-producer relationships: the personality, the singer-songwriter, the multi-instrumentalist, and the lyricist.
Sometimes producers are songwriters and, in these cases, often the producer will select songs either from their own repertoire or, if more appropriate, from the repertoire of other writers. This used to be the norm in the music industry all over the world.
Perhaps the most important effect that producers make on the career of an artist takes place when artists have not yet thoroughly developed a mature ‘sound’ and have not yet found a core audience.
One evident example is when local group Maszanga joined one of the most sought-after music producers in the country Arrafath Muhure.
Arrafath Muhure developed their traditional and afro-pop skills and basically made Maszanga’s debut album go viral.
After that the group and the producer had a fall out, resulting in Maszanga producing a slightly weaker sophomore album last year.
So how do you go about getting or paying a producer?
Generally during the negotiation process a producer will come up with an estimated cost for producing the project, which includes an itemized budget for things like studio time, paying session players, any royalties or licensing fees, renting equipment and buying kapana.
If that budget is approved by whoever is funding the project (which can be the producer, the artist, or a label), then any costs that go over the budget are usually the producer’s responsibility. If the project comes in under budget, then usually the producer can pocket the difference.
That’s the conventional and straight forward way of working with a producer.
My point is, having a producer is important to one’s musical career. Because he or she is a second set of ears for you and keeps you on track with your goals. Together you have the potential to create great music.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015