San Franciso producer, Lucas Johnson is onto something! I’ve enjoyed many of his posts on G+, and we’ve talked about a few… This will be part I in a two-parter… so hold on tight, as we journey through some of Lucas’s thoughts about promoting and creating music on-line.
Here, in Part I, we will look at some thoughts on using new media (think Facebook, G+, Twitter). I’ll share one of Mr. Jonhson’s posts and a couple comments added to it. In Part II, we’ll see how Lucas and his team are using Ableton Live and G+. So, let’s get to it.
Lucas Johnson on New Media and Music:
How social media can create and kill inspiration
So before google+ the idea of “social media” was totally foreign to me to a large degree and played next to zero role in my career in the music industry. Ofcourse since, that’s changed quite dramatically and that’s allowed me to observe the effect that’s had on my creative output.First off, writing / producing / recording / mixing is about 60-70 % of my job so being in a creative headspace is incredibly valuable in pretty much every situation I’m in. So, i’ll go ahead and break down the positive and negative sides of being more engaged in the “social media” sphere from my perspective.
-Collaborations : This is probably the biggest benefit of being globally connected and makes a lot of the crap online worth wading through. I’ve run into artists i would have met in real life that have had a profound impact on my development. Being influenced by a global community of radically different backgrounds, sense of melody and arrangement is in itself one of the most inspiring things you can take part of.
-Education: I can’t even begin to describe how deep my gratitude for this one goes, a big part of my musical education came from the combination of myspace / youtube. Let alone siting watching Victor Wooten tutorials and catapulting my learning. Beyond that, even being able to further my education and general knowledge in the sciences thanks to places like Khan Academy, TED and iTunes U.
-Networking: Well, I wouldn’t be where I am now without the benefits of social media networking, I’ve gotten close to half of my current contracts through this type of online networking as well. So if you can keep yourself busy that’s half the battle for staying creative in my opinion.
-Too many yes men, not enough real : I think this is worse on G+ than most other places but I have observed it on other platforms. People on social media platforms have a hard time using their real name and being critical of artists.
MUSICIANS / SONGWRITERS NEED TO BE TOLD THEY SUCK SOMETIMES!
This is one of the most detrimental things to art, the idea that people have to be nice and lie to the artist because they like the person’s character or they’re emotionally connected to them in some form.
-More time spent talking to fans than writing music :
I’ve been noticing this more and more that independent artists that are successful online and spend a lot time catering to that online “fanbase” doesn’t write much music. Or even spend time talking about writing songs or writing songs in general. It’s just secondary to the focus of listening to your fans. I’m all for that in moderation, but we wouldn’t have Sgt Peppers, Electric Ladyland if those guys spent as much time as our generation does listening to their fans online.
The fans are great if you have a fragile ego, need to bounce ideas off of, setup tours but they won’t help you write great songs, at least not in the way that we’re interacting right now. For instance, i have a a group of people i always send new ideas to hear some real perspective from.
The last thing i wanna hear when sending out my stuff, is good job! Sounds awesome! I need to hear people tell me this sucks, you should get rid of that guitar part! Or asking me what the hell I was thinking trying to mesh dubstep with country haha
That gives me nothing. The goal of my creations is not to boost my own ego, it’s to create the best possible piece of art that forms an emotional attachment, whatever that may be.
Some additional comments:
Kim Bülow Bonfils May 1, 2012
Therese Catherine Ellis May 2, 2012
Absolutely! Art is not created in a vacuum (R.B. Kitaj) and neither are market commodities! p.s. it really sucks to have to refer to a project as a “product” or “commodity”, but it helps to distance when wearing the pr, marketing, branding, and managing hats.
Be sure to watch Lucas’s video on recording via G+ Hangout in Part II, here: http://www.midtnmusic.com/lucas-johnson-on-media-and-recording-part-ii/
Connect with Lucas: