In Music does Hard Work Beat Talent?

Investing in your Craft: At Home Music Studio, Self-Taught Producers

3/17/20236 min read

Welcome back to Ciebel Jay News. This week weโ€™re continuing to see snippets of new music, including a preview into the new EazyKayy EP. From Phayell we're hearing new melodies, blends, and attitudes on songs released on his Instagram story. We know Phayell's singles are underway, and that the artist residency is being used to its potential. Read on for more about EazyKayy testing out a self-taught producer role in his music, Phayell singing and rapping love songs, and more below!

EazyKayy the self-taught Producer

We think EazyKayy is very talented vocally and musically. Heโ€™s able to output a complete record almost every recording session. He harmonizes with his own melodies, even producing his own choir in songs. He's able to blend well with unique instruments and sounds.

Ultimately, once we were able to get the types of beats he feels open to, he's been directing most of his production with only a few executive pointers on storytelling and execution. As the first listeners but also the biggest fans, we can assure EazyKayy is certified vibe. If you like calm yet emotional RnB; if you like jazz late at night with the lamps on; and if you like Afrobeats that yields your soul in a real still spiritual way, you're going to like the new EazyKayy EP.

Eazyโ€™s been testing himself with audio production. He produced this song.

But let's talk more about what music production looks like with EazyKayy later.

Phayell's Singles - His Loverboy Era

Originally Phayell has been developing singles with the help of the artist residency's music studio. We like all the experimentation with different sounds, his vocals, and the emotion rhythms. At first it didn't seem like there was a collection or a string of stories, until Phayell found starting opening up. Iconically, along with his country's politics being on his mind, he also has women on his mind, and his relationship with them.

Phayell's unreleased catalogue includes lots of iconic jams. But recently Phayell's been writing about love and relationships. One collaborative snippet spoke of inviting ladies to his party. But Phayell's solo music goes in-depth of his relations with women. Most snippets are shared to his Instagram stories. He also discusses certain songs on his Twitter!

Phayell's born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He only recently started making music in 2020. Although with tunes Bad Girls and GOMW (Get Out My Way) he seems like a natural music maker. His voice is iconic. Its raspiness is unique and affective. So when you combine these qualities with love songs, it seems a bit unfair. Some of his new songs could lull your heart to the effects of love: moodiness, uncertainty, yet a rewarding payoff - a mutual, growing connection.

the Magic of Vibing with your Producer: Tips for your 1st Studio Session

We invested in a full home music production studio for our artists so they could have more fluidity and consistency in their recording process. It reduces the back and forth process of travelling to studio sessions or working with specific producers, which we supplement by inviting some engineers and producers to the residency. Practice makes perfect, right?

Part of the magic of music is how well words, sentiments, and rhythms fit together well into something familiar, that induces emotions, and dance moves. So when we're making music, we need to think about each of these elements coming together flawlessly. While the challenge can be that we're trying to tell a story or direct focus in some way.

Most artists start with the beat. Usually the producer provides the beat or they'll make one for you during the session. You can bring them inspiration or just speak of specific genres, and similar artists with the vibe. So the beat sets the tone of the session. Usually, lyrics come to mind. Or you can consult your notes of songs written before, add a few new lines or write an entirely new song. You know how much time it takes.

Once the artist speaks, sings, or spits on the beat, the producer or audio engineer starts mixing those sounds. Then they layer effects, ad-libs, harmonies to fill the sound. The rest is experimentation and how well the artists communicates with their engineer. Depending on how your management works, you may need a split sheet to decide song rights. Ultimately the more comfortable you are recording, the more precision can be placed in the music's composition.

Note: You can definitely produce yourself, from beginning to the end, it just takes more time. But if you love the process, I implore you to try researching how to record well with your microphone(s). Test the volumes or levels of your recordings to beats or add them later. Use metronomes and other tools to keep the rhythm and build on it to make a full sound.

What does it look like: EazyKayy the Artist & the Producer?

Disclaimer: EazyKayy is predominantly an artist. We're just using this example to show the diversity of music artists these days, as many artists are full-out producers, and even self-produce most if not all their music work. We also wanted to highlight the different elements that go into recording music, to give some insight to those itching to do so, but not knowing where to start.

Timing is the important element in music making. This is where the beats, the rhythms, the vibes, everything stems from. This is also how DAW (music editing software) discusses arrangement, instrumentation, sound editing, and more. In other words, many DAWs like Logic Pro, Ableton, Cubase use numbers to refer to the volume, or gain of the master recording (the entire arrangement). Numbers are also used in graphs to denote EQ settings, how much amplitude or effect is being given to a track or line of sound. And MIDI sets communicate similarly in numbers to demonstrate how the instrument will be used in the recording.

An affinity for graphs, numbers, or simply rhythm makes music composition easier for some people. But also analog methods exist, and a rich experience in any band work, stage performances with AV, even acapella and orchestra experience translates well. It's obvious but understanding your own voice or sounds to the point of bending tunes, stringing notes together, all while telling a story or breathing an environment is an important part of making music infectious. At the end of the day music is a spiritual experience for most artists. They're able to tap into their core or another part of them (aka alter egos) to make musical and ultimately theatrical experiences that we all enjoy.

Being Self-Taught ok or is Expertise Required?

Ultimately understanding music as a language, as a form of expression and communication is the most important element of your craft as a producer. Regardless if you started out from a college course, online course, or a self taught project, a lot of work experience in this industry comes from projects with specific artists. Also showing expertise in a genre, meaning your sounds and beats are unique yet identify with the core audience of a genre, goes a long way with attracting new and unique artists to work with you.

Also how you market yourself should align with your larger career goals, and milestones. Ideation and experimentation are also useful elements of being a producer. Often times your work can be simple mixing and mastering of records, so that's also where your experience with a genre or different sounds comes in handy. Lastly, I'll say having patience when working with new software and clients, along with good listening and dependable communication skills goes a long way when relating and working with others.

For those starting a self-taught digital music journey, I'd suggest mapping out your full project and giving yourself lots of time. Have daily goals, along with monthly and weekly milestones so you keep on top of your progress. But ultimately you'll need extra time for hiccups, like future issues (software, hardware, learning), or creative blocks. Avoid creative blocks by always writing down or ideating the full idea onto "paper" (or a screen). This can be done separately from actively executing the project. That can be two tandem processes.

Overall your learning style is the most important element of learning any creative software and executing your ideas. You can supplement your knowledge to help you complete the project with free tutorials on YouTube and TikTok. Also be open to using asset packages to speed up your work. Check the copyright license use before publishing the assets.

Lastly, there's also the option of purchasing an accredited course, that can potentially give you prestige. I'd suggest you enrol somewhere that has ideal professors or teaching methods so you get the most out of your enrolment.