If you’re just starting out, you probably aren’t familiar with working with a producer. Today the role has shifted. Its core value has been replaced with DIY notions and cheap gimmicks. But regardless of this, producers still matter. They still hold an invaluable position in a musician’s career.
Having said that, here are some reasons why having a producer is beneficial to your music career.
First let’s define what a producer does. A producer makes the best possible outcome of a creative process. He provides direction and offers criticism. Being a producer comes with many roles. Some include; engineering, songwriting, and arrangement. Both the musician and producer should have a collaborative effort to create a project or record.
As stated earlier, many musicians have taken up several DIY methods. This, to a degree, brings down production costs. Instead of paying for studio time, the musician now has a home studio and engineers himself. Although it is great to be self-sufficient, something begins to lack. If you write your music, arrange it, record and mix it, how do you find the time to focus on the main goal? The quote “Jack of all trades, master of none,” comes into play here.
In this case the producer could become the engineer. This would allow you to spend more time writing songs. Sometimes creativity can be blocked when you have to spend time setting up equipment or creating marketing plans. Having the producer focus on these external things would benefit you as a writer.
One critical piece missing today is criticism before release of a song. Your friends aren’t always the best audience to receive feedback. Why? Well they aren’t your target audience. Of course they may enjoy your music. Sometimes even buy it, but that isn’t the response your particularly need. Producers have trained ears to provide an unbiased response. In an interview with hip-hop artist Macklemore he stated, “I also have a producer that is critical as shit, and picks apart everything I write. That definitely helps.” http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/macklemore-ryan-lewis-the-heist/#/_
Another significant point is direction. Sometimes in the midst of several recordings many ideas are tossed around. Excitement fills the room, but there isn’t a general consensus. Almost like a kid in candy store not sure which candy to start with. The producer will provide alternatives so that the work can get finished within a specified deadline. He will also point out that he needs music for live performances and radio play. This is very important. If the music isn’t marketable, then what is the purpose?
Here is a list of great producers and artists; Jay-Z and Yung Guru, Just Blaze and Rick Rubin. Berry Gordy and the many acts of Motown, P. Diddy and Notorious B.I.G, Faith Hill, Mary J. Blidge, Dr. Dre and Eminem and Tupac, Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift.
Having a producer is important to your musical career. Because he 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. Of course working alone has its benefits. But if you look at any of you favorite major bands or artists, they more than likely had a producer(s) developing them.