Inside The Mix | Music Production and Mixing Tips for Music Producers and Artists

#51: How to Navigate the Music Business and be a Successful Musician | Drew Knight

November 01, 2022 Drew Knight Season 2 Episode 28
#51: How to Navigate the Music Business and be a Successful Musician | Drew Knight
Inside The Mix | Music Production and Mixing Tips for Music Producers and Artists
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Inside The Mix | Music Production and Mixing Tips for Music Producers and Artists
#51: How to Navigate the Music Business and be a Successful Musician | Drew Knight
Nov 01, 2022 Season 2 Episode 28
Drew Knight

Drew Knight is a Retrowave/Pop Artist from Tampa Fl.

To follow Drew Knight, click here: https://linktr.ee/DrewKnight

Want to join a community of artists and music enthusiasts and gain access to exclusive Inside The Mix Podcast content? Join the podcast Facebook community group here: Inside The Mix Podcast Community

Are you thinking about starting a podcast or need help growing your audience? Check out the Podcast Business School: https://www.podcastingbusiness.school/a/2147490930/Hw6eEPeg

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Drew Knight is a Retrowave/Pop Artist from Tampa Fl.

To follow Drew Knight, click here: https://linktr.ee/DrewKnight

Want to join a community of artists and music enthusiasts and gain access to exclusive Inside The Mix Podcast content? Join the podcast Facebook community group here: Inside The Mix Podcast Community

Are you thinking about starting a podcast or need help growing your audience? Check out the Podcast Business School: https://www.podcastingbusiness.school/a/2147490930/Hw6eEPeg

Start recording your own podcast today using Riverside FM here: Riverside FM

Send me a Message

Support the Show.


► ► ► WAYS TO CONNECT ► ► ►

Grab your FREE Producer Growth Scorecard TODAY!
✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸
Are you READY to take on the 28-day challenge and release more music?
Bag your FREE Producer Growth Scorecard at Synth Music Mastering: https://www.synthmusicmastering.com/scorecard

Send a DM via IG @insidethemicpodcast
Email me at marc@synthmusicmastering.com

Marc Matthews:

You're listening to the Inside The Mix podcast with your host, Mark Matthews. Hello and welcome to the Inside the Mix podcast. I'm Mark Matthews, your host, musician, producer, and mix and mastering engineer. You've come to the right place if you wanna know more about your favorite synth music artists, music, engineering and production, songwriting and the music industry. I've been writing, producing, mixing, and mastering music for over 15 years, and I wanna share what I've learnt with you. Hey folks, and welcome back to another episode of the Inside the Mix podcast. And in this episode, I'm very excited to welcome our desk today. Uh, Drew Knight. Uh, he is a retro wave pop artist from Tampa Flora, and he's gonna share with us his music background, thoughts on the music business, songwriting and music production and processes, and also a little bit on what it's like to work with a Grammy nominated producer, which is exciting stuff. Hello Drew. How are you? And thanks for joining. Hey, how are you? I'm very well, thanks. So for the audience listening at the moment, I'm actually recording this in my spare room, so there might be a slight reduction in quality compared to the usual episodes on my end, uh, purely because I'm in the process of, uh, sorting out the new studio. But rest assured the podcast will go ahead as always. Um, so Drew, what I'd like to start off with is, um, actually you're in Tampa. Are you in Tampa at the moment? I am, yeah. Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but at the point of, um, just, um, this podcast, isn't there a hurricane or tornado ripping through Tampa or hasn't there recently?

Drew Knight:

It, um, it came last week and we got really lucky. It ended up staying south of us and uh, there was a lot of devastation in Southern Florida, but, We got off really easy. Originally it was coming right for us and uh, you know, we were all panicking a little bit as much as Floridians panic, right? It happens every year. But, um, no, fortunately no damage, lost power for, for about a day. And, and that was it. Back to normal. Oh, that's good

Marc Matthews:

to hear. It's good to hear. I did, I did wonder there, cause I remember when I was going through and creating the notes for this episode and I saw act, Oh, actually Drew's in, uh, in Tampa. Um, so that's good to hear. I'm glad that everything's okay. Your end. Oh,

Drew Knight:

we dodged the bullet for sure.. Marc Matthews: Yeah, I can, I think you have, What I'd like to start off with then is your, is a bit about your life, um, before, well your musical life really, and sort of where did it all begin? So up until the point where we're at now, where did it all start? How did you fall in love with music? So it, it started really young. Um, you know, my dad when I was a kid, uh, played in cover bands, right? He played in like country cover bands and, and things like that. And he was a drummer. Um, and, you know, he did it for extra money. He wasn't, you know, he, he wasn't trying to climb billboard charts or anything, but, um, when I was like 10 or 11, you know, he had kind of stopped doing that and gave me his drum set. So I actually started on drums and I was about as good as Animal from the Muppets, Right. So they got me a guitar the next year. Right. They got me an acoustic and then they got me an amp that I could turn down. So, um, you know, and then piano lessons, voice lessons, all of that stuff. So I've, I've been at it for a while. And, um, I, I guess in high school I started playing in like punk bands and post hardcore bands, Right. All through the nineties and, Um, and then, uh, I, you know, I've, I've been in, in really great studios. Always enjoyed it. But, um, you know, I, I would say around the time of the pandemic, right? I had all this time on my hands, you know, we were working from home and, you know, that was all good. So I, I wanted to get back into, uh, making music and I wanted to do something that I could just rely on myself for, right? It was, uh, very difficult playing in bands, right? You're counting on four or five other people. Um, it was hard to line schedules up. So it was like, you know what? I, I want to take a shot at electronic music, and, uh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna really dive into learning how to produce. Like, I've always had Garage Band and logic, and like I said, I've, I've had a lot of experience in studios, but I've never been the one behind the console. So, um, this is kind of a new world for me. It's something I'm familiar with, but, uh, I, I'm still learning. So, you know, that's how I got into synth wave. I, I really started falling in love with the genre. Um, you know, and, and I was like, I, I can figure this out, right? So I was watching, uh, online mixing and mastering tutorials. That's actually how I met Bradley. I, I signed up for his classes and, uh, him and I started working together and, you know, here we are three years later, you know, we, uh, finally releasing music, which is, which is really awesome.

Marc Matthews:

No, that's, that's great. Um, so growing up your, that, that was a drum as you say. So you played drums and then you sort of moved into the, as it's a common theme now with regards to the pandemic. So during the pandemic, you found that extra time to then start producing and, and writing music. And it's interesting that you've, you mentioned there about how moving to electronic music, and I've experienced this, is where you then become self-reliant so you can, you're not at the mercy of somebody else's schedule, and you can sort of write and, and produce at your, at your own leisure, as it were. Obviously time permitting. Um, so did you start producing then, During the pandemic. So you weren't actually producing as an electronic artist prior to the pandemic?

Drew Knight:

No, not at all. I, um, my experience was really mixing demos, right. And logic for bands. Like I, I would do a lot of the songwriting. Um, you know, so I, I knew my way around the, the doll, right? So I could, I could navigate it and I generally knew what everything did, but as you know, right, mixings an art. There's a lot to learn. There's, there's a huge difference between, uh, you know, putting songs together for demos and then polishing a, a record and making it sound great. So, um, for me, right now, what I do, you know, I do a lot of the pre-production at home. Like even the stuff we do at Bradley, um, you know, I'll do all the writing, everything in my room. And, uh, he'll typically take that last 25% of the song and, and put that polish on it and put that level of refinement that, you know, I don't have the experience to do and, and he's great at it. So I, you know, my philosophy is hire people for the things that you can't do yourself. Right. Do as much as you can, but you can't be everything. You know, you, you've gotta be, um, you've gotta be kind of the architect, right? Um, so you've gotta hire workers, you've gotta hire people to help you out and hire professionals. Yeah,

Marc Matthews:

I, I totally agree with that. Um, and it's great. I like, I like the idea that you say that Bradley, so Bradley being the pro, the, the audio engineer, the producer takes it to that extra 25% and percent and comes and hope you create that final product cause you are right. And I do agree in the sense. You, you can't be everything. You can't a jack of all trades really. Just, I mean there is that saying, and it doesn't, I dunno if it necessarily works in the music industry and you need to know when actually this is beyond my skill set. I need to get help and I need to get somebody else involved in the project. Um, and what we're gonna do is, cuz uh, we're, we're gonna talk through your experience in your relationship with Bradley a bit later on because I'm really interested to know about that, um, a bit more and I'm sure the audience will as well. But before we move on to that, what I wanna know from you is when, when you were growing up, so you mentioned about being in a punk and a post hardcore band. Was there a sort of an album or a song or an artist that had a really indelible mark on you? It sort of kickstarted the musical journey. Oh,

Drew Knight:

wow. There were a lot. I, I wouldn't even know where to start digging into that, to be honest with you. Um, you know, for me, like high school was, was all about like old pop punk, right? Like, I love, like, um, like things like Lag Wagon. I don't know if you're familiar with any of those bands, Right? But it was, it was all the like late nineties like lookout record stuff and um, you know, old Epi Tap stuff. Like I loved all of that. Uh, the refused, I think that was, uh, a great album. The Shape of Punk to Come. So, um, you know, and then moving into like the two thousands, I think the Rice was always an amazing band. I think they always had a big influence on me. I think. Dustin Kinzer's lyrics were, were unbelievable. And you know, I think that, uh, just the musicianship in in that band was amazing. And, uh, they wrote really good songs, you know. But I also love pop music too. I mean, and, and I think that's what we're, we're trying to find right now. Right? And that's, that's kind of what Bradley's helping me navigate because, you know, synth wave, I, I'm gonna get kicked out of the genre for saying this, but you know, to a point, it, it's getting used up. You know what I mean? It's a lot of, it's starting to just sound the same. It's hard to distinguish the artist and, uh, you know, I love it still. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's, it's, you know, it's something that's heavily in rotation for me, but I just, you know, I want to do something that, that's a bit more of that like alternative pop. Right. And has that, that feel of synth wave, right. Just elements of it. You know, I think as artists you have to be, um, A, a combination of all of your influences, right? That's what makes artists unique, right? We all have different things that we listen to and, and different musical backgrounds. And, uh, you know, what makes an artist interesting is, is all of that influence being put into something new? Um, it's gotta be familiar though, right? As a new artist, you can't just go off the rails and create a new genre, right? Who are you gonna sell that to? Who are you gonna market it to? Who's gonna listen to it? So you've gotta start somewhere. You've gotta build a base, and then you've gotta find your own sound. And, and then eventually as an artist, you have to lead, right? You can't follow what everybody else is doing, or you're gonna get lost in the.

Marc Matthews:

Yep, I would agree with that. And um, what you've mentioned there, so just going back to what you said about punk and pop. So you've got that punk and pop influence and you say Bradley's there helping you sort of fuse that sound and what you said there about being, it's almost like a sum of the parts, you know, sum of your parts echoes. What a conversation I had with Brandon who's, uh, a producer called One Equals Two on a few episodes back where he said the exact same thing you. His music and your music is, is sort of like a showcase of all your influences. And you should, you should embrace that. And I do agree with the, with the synth wave side of things. Now, I love synth wave and I know I share a similar viewpoint to yourself in that you could almost do synth wave by numbers. Um, and that's kind of not the route you want to go down. And I can hear that in your music, in that you're trying, you're, you're doing something different. I mean, I love listening synth wave, but I think it's great and to keep the genre fresh and just synth music fresh is good to come at it from a different, different angle with these different influences. And you see it now there, uh, this is what the 30th interview I've done and you've come from a sort of a, a post hardcore punk background. I've, I've, I've spoken to Herman of the future kids who's hiphop, and then you've got metal and you've got rock and you've got alternative and you've, you've got all these, these different influences, which is, which is amazing. But once again, yeah, I totally echo that with the sum of your parts. So that what you've said then what you've discussed sort of leads me on nicely to the next question, which is, um, about your audience to, if you could tell our audience, so about your experience in your journey and some of the struggles you've had along the way. So you've mentioned there about showcasing your music. Have you experienced any struggles along the way in terms of your journey as a producer?

Drew Knight:

Oh, plenty. Right. So a few years ago, I, um, a actually, I think it was about three years ago, I released my first, uh, Retro Wave vp and I was doing it under the moniker Jupiter Race. Right. And it was such a mess. I mean, I, I hired an engineer to help me out with it, but, You know, I was new to the genre. I had no idea what I was doing, right? I was piecing this stuff together and, um, you know, I, I'd spent a good amount of money putting this stuff together and, and put it out into the world, and it did nothing right? And I didn't understand it. I'm like, I, you know, what, what's going on? It, it really wasn't until, you know, more recently, uh, working with, with radio and, and understanding what actually goes into a song release, right? Like a lot of other people, I got it completely wrong. And, um, I didn't know, you know, what, what I was doing. Right? And it all makes sense now. You know, I was trying to release music without marketing the music, without doing any kind of pre-release stuff. I was just, you know, I, I wasn't putting out quality music either. I mean, I, I like the songs. I wasn't, you know, I wasn't just throwing hot trash out into the universe. But, you know, your music will go a lot further if you, you put the, the investment of the time or money or whatever it is. Into making sure the, the product is quality. It's like any business you open up, right? You wouldn't open up a flooring business and, and just do trash work at somebody's house and then wonder why nobody's hiring you. You know? So there's gotta be a level of, of professionalism to it. Um, you know, and, and people don't really, not everyone understands production, right? They don't all know that. But what they do know is when they hear a song, right, how it makes 'em feel, right? Are they getting a vibe from it? Um, is it, is it easy on the ears, right? Is it, does it sound harsh or there are there things in the mix? And, uh, I think that's all really important. You know, you've, you've gotta have a good sounding product first. I think that's where it starts. And then obviously, you know, what I learned is there is as much, uh, money and investment that goes into the release of a song is actually creating the song sometimes more. Because once it's out there, you can, you know, you've gotta do that initial push. But you've also gotta maintain it, right? You've gotta continue to try to keep that song on playlist or it's just gonna die on your Spotify feed, you know? Mm-hmm.. Marc Matthews: Yeah. So what, what you're saying there is you, you basically learn the, that marketing for one of a better way of putting it with music is key. As you say. You could, you could write a song and you could release it, but it's the, it is the, uh, the analogy of a, of a tree collapsing in a forest. If no one's there, no one, no one can hear it. Exactly. So you've gotta invest that. Yeah. You've gotta invest that time and that effort into the marketing side of things, and it is time consuming. Granted. So you mentioned that radium. Can you just explain, is that a company, is that an organization that you were working with? So that's, that's actually, uh, Bradley's Media Company record label. And that's where all the tutorials came from. Right? So I signed up with them. I, I want to say it was, uh, a little over a year ago. And uh, that was when I got to the point where, I wasn't improving on my own with, with mixing and mastering. And, uh, I had been kind of following his videos that he was posting on Instagram, watching like the plugin of the day stuff. And, um, he had just started the song creation challenge and posted, uh, you know, some works in progress and, and he released a song called the After All that, I mean, to me sounded like a synth wave track, you know? So I was like, uh, let me, let me reach out to this guy and, and just say hello, you know, um, tell him I appreciate this song. And I've been watching the tutorials. I had no idea that he had all these master classes for mixing and mastering and, uh, that's kind of how I got involved. We were messaging back and forth and he said, Oh, you know, you should, uh, you should join my radio group, right? They do. Um, they, they basically go through all the master classes. There's opportunities to, uh, pitch your music for sync licensing and things like that. So I was like, All right, cool. Yearly subscription. I'm in, you know, let's do it. And, uh, it was when I got into the song Creation Challenges that, that it was extremely hands on. Like, you know, he would give us these like 24 to 48 hour deadlines and he would go live on Instagram and give us feedback on the songs as we were writing 'em. And then you go all the way through to the, the mixing and mastering process. And, uh, Stars was actually the first song I wrote in my first song Creation Challenge. And it started off as a bit of a mess. And, um, you know, he, he gave me some feedback along the way. I ended up completely changing the song and, uh, the, the song Stars is actually about the, the song creation challenge in a sense. Right. It was what I was going through at the time. Um, I was kind of, uh, I was going through that, that, you know, that kinda self doubt that, that every artist goes through. Right. I think that's pretty common, you know? Mm-hmm., we, we constantly compare our music to everybody else's and. You know, you're listening to, to fully mix and mastered tracks on Spotify, right? And you've got this, um, this rough track on your computer. You're like, there's no way it's that good. Right? Uh, you know, so, um, you know, as, as we got into it, I, I, you know, the night before I was, I was actually about to drop out of the challenge because I'm like, I'm never gonna get lyrics done for this song. And, um, you know, I I kind of had this realization like, you know, if you want to do music and you can't finish the song in, in, in a week, right? You, you've gotta, uh, you gotta find something else to do. And I, I really wasn't ready to give it up. Um, you know, and it was kind of, um, understanding the level of commitment that you had to do. So that night, it, you know, it was due the next day I started writing it like almost midnight, right? For the lyrics. I had the instrumental done and I just decided to write about exactly what I was feeling in the moment, right? It was late and I was gonna be tired, but. You know, you, you've gotta push through and you've gotta do it. And, and you know, we ended up writing a song and, and I sent it into him and Bradley was like, Hey man, this is dope. He's like, I'd like to be on this track. So, you know, we started working on it and he told me, just cut the vocals out of the second verse, send him the track. And, and, you know, a couple months later he had some, uh, lyrics written for the second verse and, and we ended up tracking it all in a studio. And, you know, I, I love it. It's, it came out great. You know, I love the production on it. So him and I are, are gonna be releasing a quite a bit more records together. Maybe not as a, a CoLab, He's certainly gonna be executive producer on all my projects for the foreseeable future. Right.

Marc Matthews:

Yeah. That, that's amazing what you've done There is one of my questions later on was about stars and the songwriting process. So you Yeah, you sort of preempted my question. Sorry, Jumped ahead. I apologize. No, that's fine ma. Cause what you said there is amazing. And, um, I think the great thing about this particular episode, which is probably something that I haven't, or we haven't covered on previous episodes, is the idea of outsourcing, um, collaborating and actually paying someone and getting that additional help to take your music to the next level. Um, so we can dive into that relationship a bit more because as I say, it's not something that I've thinking off the top of my head that I've really covered on this episode, which is I've spoken to audio engineers who do it for others, but never the other way around. So it's, it's an amazing thing to hear. But before we move on to that, one of the things you mentioned before, sort of in the run up to this, this podcast was about etiquette in the music business, which is a really, really interesting topic and one that I think is very important. So maybe if we can just start off with sort of what is your experience with mu, with the, with the etiquette in the music business? So what is most important.

Drew Knight:

So I, I think for me, what what's important for, for artists to understand, right? Because I've, I've known a lot of artists that, that just get completely heartbroken because they'll reach out to their favorite artists and they're like, Hey, let's do a collaboration, Right? No, like general conversation first, just straight into it, right? They're just, Hey, collab bro. Right? And, uh, the problem with that is when, when you get into, uh, you know, creating music, that, that is gonna have some legs and, and have some potential, right? There's, there's a lot that can happen, right? You can do publishing deals, you know, you can, uh, you can get this music sync license, right? There's money to be made. And, and every song essentially is an asset, right? So when you reach out to somebody for a collaboration, you're saying, Hey, let's, let's partner up and create this asset that we're, we're hopefully gonna monetize on, or, or, you know, we're gonna push it out into the world. And the thing to remember, you know, you've gotta bring something to the. Um, you're not gonna hit up your favorite artist and, and, you know, you've got, you know, 200 followers on Instagram and, uh, you know, you've got 18 monthly listeners on Spotify, right? Why would they take that, that chance on you? Right? What are you bringing to the table? That's, that's to me, the musical equivalent of standing outside a gas station asking somebody to bu a cigarette, right? You're, you're just asking for something at that point. So, um, to me it's, if you don't have the followers, you don't have the, the crowd and you know all of that, then what's left, right? You bring money to the table or, or, you know, you bring a good deal to the table, you have to say, All right, so for, for me, for instance, right? I don't have a huge following. Um, you know, Stars was, was a successful release, but it's the only one we've put out so far. So if I'm looking to, to collaborate with a bigger artist, what do I have to offer right now? Right? I've got, um, You know, I've paid for some releases and, and some production for Bradley. So now I have that to entice people. I can say, Look, I'll pay for your, your writing. You know, if it's a vocalist that, that I want on the track, you know, I'll take care of all the pre-production expenses. It's all paid. Um, we've got a, a Grammy nominated producer that's gonna be working on the track, and here's my marketing budget, right? And, and you kind of lay it all out because at the end of the day, it is a business deal. So I think that's, that's number one, right? What can you, what can you contribute to the project, right? Why are you getting in touch with these bigger artists asking them for a favor, right? You don't know them. I'm sure they have plenty of friends that are in music that if they were just looking to, to kinda give a handout or help somebody out, right? They, why would they not help somebody they know? Um, so I think that's an important part. And I like to talk about this because, um, I don't like to see people get frustrated, right? And then they get mad at, at these artists and they say, Oh, you know, I'm never listening to them again. Well, why, you know, put yourself in that position, right? You, you've got, um, you've got a ton of followers and, and you've got, you know, somebody that's not going to invest in making sure the song sounds good, or you as the artist are gonna have to front all that money. You know? It, it's just, it's a business, you know, It, it's not always, um, like charity work or, or friendship. Unfortunately, you know, you might get lucky. Um, you might be super talented. But again, there are so many talented people out there, right? I mean, there's, there's a million people that they could choose to work with. So it, it's really all about, you know, having a fair business relationship with anybody that you're getting into a, a project with. I think, I think that's why it's so important, Um, also the way you approach people. You know, again, if you're jumping into a, a message thread on, on Instagram or you know, Facebook or whatever, and you're, you're just asking somebody, you've never said hello to. You've never really supported'em as an artist, right? You haven't bought any of their merch, you haven't done any of this. But you know, you just jump in and say, Hey, you know, would, would you like, I'd love to be on one of your tracks. Of course you would. Right? So I, you know, I think that's, um, that's why it's so important to, to understand the business side of it and, and I think that will number one, save a lot of frustration. And number two, you know, it'll help you get a lot further with people.

Marc Matthews:

Yeah. I really like those two ideas. The first one being like, what can you contribute? Um, I think that's highly important, and being able to showcase what you could contribute. And then I think also what you said there about number two being how to approach people in the proper way. And I've said this before and I think I did it, I think I did one podcast where it was just me talking about my experience and it was about the approach and how cold Instagram messages, where you've got that, where you haven't got that prior, Not necessarily just Instagram actually, but any emails or any platform where you haven't got that prior relationship and just saying, Hey, Can I jump on your record or Hey, can you check this out? You know, do I, You gotta build some form of relationship and in doing so, you can then showcase what you have to contribute rather than just going in there cold. Exactly. One thing I wanna mention there, so this is interesting, you said that your music is an asset and I was just scrolling through Instagram prior to this, uh, interview. And uh, I follow a, a chat called Mark Eer and I was looking at one of his posts and he does a lot of sync. He's got sync business and he said the exact same thing. And I'm just wondering, have you ever heard of Mark Eer? Do you follow him on Instagram?

Drew Knight:

That sounds familiar. I, I probably do to be honest with you. Mm.

Marc Matthews:

I just wonder cuz you said that, and that is pretty much bang on exactly what he said in terms of like, I think his, uh, the, the post surrounded, if you've. A hard drive full of unfinished songs. All those songs are assets that you can use and you absolutely can use them for sync, which is exactly what you said. So as soon as you said that, I was like, Wow, this is, this is resonating with what I read just now. So it is great that obviously this experience you've had sort of marries up with, with other, I guess you'd call him engineers. I think he was a producer to begin with. I can't remember his backstory, but, but really, really good. I mean, if you don't follow him, do do go check him out. I'll definitely

Drew Knight:

check it out. But yeah, I think it's just a, a, a hard truth, right? It it is what it is. You know, you're if, again, if you look at it in terms of a business, right? And don't get me wrong, it, there's gotta be the artistic side, but that's, you know, that's completely separate, right? Once you get the creative piece out of the way, what you've created is an asset. You've created a product that, that you're gonna try to sell and, and market and, you know, there are a million different ways to monetize off of your music, but one of them is not Spotify streams, right? What are Spotify streams good for? You're not making money. It's a great platform. This is how most people listen to music. So you can have, you know, 40,000 streams on a song. What matters are that the right people are hearing that song, right? So when as you release, like this is how you kind of gain, um, recognition and, and you know, all of that, right? It, it's all about the right people listening to your music and then returning when you, you send it out. But the song being an asset, Um, you know, with good marketing on a song, again, you can push it out for, um, you know, sync, licensing, that kind of thing. You can make money that way. Um, you can get into commercials, film, tv, right there. There's a lot. Um, also just merch in general, right? You have a hit song. You can capitalize off the merch alone. If you've got enough people. I mean, I wouldn't recommend it if you, you know, you've got 10 people that might buy the shirt. You're gonna, you know, you're gonna spend more money than you're gonna. But you know, the thing is the, the success of the song on Spotify really drives everything else, you know? And, and I know Spotify's not the only platform, but let's be honest, it might as well be

Marc Matthews:

Well, yeah, I agree. Um, and I suppose you've got Bang Camp as well, but I think most people, if you look at that, if you look at their promotion, it is specify, isn't it? It is, it is huge. It is huge. I would say

Drew Knight:

the, the general listener isn't going to band camp to, to download and buy your music. I think mostly musicians, right? You're on band camp, you're, you're practically selling to other artists because who else has a band camp account? You know what I mean? I, I don't know a single person that's not a musician that, that has a band camp account for any reason. Um, you know, and I know that's not a hundred percent true there, you know, people do go on band camp and download stuff and, and I think it's a great platform because it supports the artist, right? Apple Music and Spotify, they're not really giving anything back to the artist. So band camp, if you're gonna buy music, I highly recommend people go into that platform to do it. But I mean, the truth is, it's just, it, it can't compete with, with Spotify and Apple, I mean this is the general public is listening through those platforms. Mm-hmm. and you know, rarely anything else from what I've

Marc Matthews:

seen. Yeah. I never thought of it that way. You know, with regards to bank out being artists only, and I think you're right, I can't if, if they give the discussions I've had with friends who consume music but aren't musicians and I don't think I've ever had a conversation with them with regards to, Hey, have you heard this? Or they've said to me, Have you heard this song on Bank app? You are right. Most it is consumed on Spotify. Um, Yeah, I suppose I was gonna dive into the, the production sides of Spotify and producing for Spotify then, but I think that's a whole nother ke fish in itself. For what . Um, what I'd like to move on to next is, uh, the actual music production and songwriting side of things. So you mentioned earlier Stars, which is a fantastic song by the way. Um, Thank you. Really, really good. And I think, I think I discovered that on the, our one of r nines, um, playlists. And it was, it just popped up there. I was like, Yeah, Yeah. And I was like, this song is insane. This song is so good. And I think I reached out to you then if I remember rightly. Um, but you mentioned briefly there Stars was created in under the guys of one of these challenges that Bradley and Radioman put together. Um, but if you are in the process of just writing a song in general, can you explain to our audience how that songwriting process starts?

Drew Knight:

Absolutely. And, uh, and, and I'll start this with, with a, another story, right? So one of the problems I was having, um, you know, again, when I I started doing these song challenges was I wasn't finishing work. I would go in and I had no process at all, right? It was just, let's open up a logic session, you know, start finding sounds and, and go at it, right? And, um, you know, what this did for me was really streamline that process. And I have such a formulaic process now from start to finish to, to create a song, not to take any of the artistry out of it, just the, the process of how things go, right? So when, uh, when I sit down, the first thing I do is create a sound palette, right? And this is all stuff that we've learned, you know, through working with Bradley, right? So first thing you do, figure out what genre you're gonna do, or, or at least ballpark, right? Or what type of vibe you're going for. So I'll go in and I'll, I'll get the drum kit set up, like electronic drum kit, obviously, Right? I'll go in and, and piecemeal that together, um, you know, and, and try to build somewhat of a groove and, and get an idea. Um, you know, and, and then just line up the instruments that I think are gonna fit well with it. And those may change out over time, but, you know, not doing a ton of mixing or production, the idea is to really just get the, the idea out of your head. Right. And typically we'll start with creating like a, you know, like an eight to 16 bar loop of something that's just undeniable. Like, I can listen to this over and over and over again. Right? And that becomes the basis of your song. That's typically, I like to start with the chorus because I think a good hook on a song is so important, right? And my background having, like, you know, coming from that, that late nineties, early two thousands punk, I mean, that was, that was the thing, right? It was these big hooks that were memorable and, you know, that resonates with people and it resonated with me. So I, I think, uh, you'll hear a lot of that in the influence of these, these choruses on my song, right? That I think that's where the retro piece comes in, because I like these big, like choruses with harmonies and all of that, right? I'm. I'm kind of a junkie for, for that hook, So I want that in the songs, but, you know, anyway, we'll, we'll get this, this loop done. Um, go in and, and then start messing with the sound design a little bit and then try to set up somewhat of an arrangement. Right. The last thing I, I typically will write will be the vocals and the lyrics. I'll know the melody by the time, you know, I, I I'll know exactly where I want to go, but then it's just a matter of getting on a microphone and really just kind of mumbling and saying things that, that fit that melody until something strikes me. And there, there's an idea there for a song. Um, the lyrics come so randomly to me. It's either, uh, I'll sit down and write an entire song in five minutes, or I'm working on it for two months. You know, it just, it, it varies song to song, but the process never changes. Right. Um, and then I'll get the production to the point where, It will translate well to a producer, whether I'm working with Bradley or I'm gonna send it to someone else. It, it doesn't matter. Right. Um, I think a big piece to this too, and we talked earlier about hiring people to do the stuff you can't, and I think there's a bit of shame with some musicians in, in doing that. And I, I don't agree with that because I think that, um, you know, if you've got this idea and, and you're gonna hire people and outsource it, the more you know about all of the jobs that need to be done and outsourced, the more control you're gonna have over the final product. Right. And that's what I mean about you've gotta be the architect. I don't have to be the best mix engineer in the world, but I have to know enough to be able to speak to a mix engineer and, and tell 'em what I think is wrong with the song. Right? Yeah. I'm sure you as a, as a producer, right, all the time, you'll get clients that don't really know much about production. Hey, can you make this bass sound a little more blue or round? Or they'll just throw these random terms out, right? And you don't know what they're talking about. So I, you know, I think, you know, I, I'll say two things. I, I think it's always important to, to service the song, right? Whatever's gonna be best. If there's another producer that's gonna make it sound better, then you're gonna make it sound, By all means, hire 'em. But you've also, you know, as an artist, you, the way to keep that artistic integrity is to know exactly what you want. You know, you've gotta give the producers some, some room to, to be an artist as well, because production is absolutely an art, right? The way these songs come out and the way they sound. But, you know, you've gotta be able to, uh, you've gotta be able to manage all of these jobs in a sense, if, if you're the artist and, and you're the driving force of this. So, I, I think that's important. But that's typically my process, right? It'll, it'll start off, create a, like a groove and a base groove. Make that, that eight to 16 bar loop, right? Try to find the hook in that somewhere. And then, Stretch that out into an arrangement. And then, you know, last thing would be to put the vocals on it, like scratch vocals and, um, and then I'll do my best with that. Right? I'll go in and I'll, I'll do any, any kind of mixing, tweaking, anything I can do to get the song sounding the way I think it should sound. And, uh, that's typically when, when it'll get sent off, we'll recut the vocals in a studio, Great mic, you know, great room, um, you know, and, and just have somebody polish that song off and, and get it sounding professional quality.

Marc Matthews:

Fantastic. I love that answer. So you mentioned in there, you, you've got a formulaic process of songwriting, so a sound palette. And that's something that I've mentioned a few times on a podcast and I, I think I use the term sketchpad, but I do, I do the exact same. So I just get the ideas down. Get hung up on, you know, what, is this gonna be the final kick? Is this gonna be the final snare? Is this gonna be the final synth? They're just, uh, a tool for me to get the ideas down, which is amazing. And also the six, sorry, the eight to 16 bar loop that you mentioned there. And you start with the chorus and it sort of echoes what I had, uh, the chat or discussion I had with sunglasses kid a few weeks back. In that he said very much the same thing in terms of he gets the idea down. Um, and he starts with the, with the, with the chords and making sure the chords and if the cord regression is right, he then builds on from that and, . The last thing being the vox of I got Vox, I, you looking at my shorthand here? That's the engineer talk coming at me there. Uh, get it . Yeah. And the last thing is the vocals and then the lyrics, you know, and it just like, just scouting for one of a better way of putting it over the top of what you have there. Exactly. Like dad that and all this sort of stuff. I'm not, I'm not singer. You could, you could probably tell what I just did. Um, but my question to you is off the back of having done all that, and you know, we've mentioned it a few times, you working with Bradley. How, what, what is key to choosing a producer? What do you think, what is the most fundamental aspect of the correct producer choice?

Drew Knight:

I think, uh, the most important thing is, you know, there are a few things, right? But more, most importantly, finding someone that actually likes your music because. With any art project, right? As a producer, if you're commissioned to do, you know, work or, or, or produce something that you're, maybe you're just not into, right? Maybe a grim core band sent you their, um, their song and you're just not into grim core, right? How much time are you gonna really sit there with, you know, your headphones on or in your room listening to that over and over and over? Like, I think you can, you can feel enthusiasm in a song, right? From the artist and from the producer. So I think that's one of the most important things to make sure that you know, number one, the producer you're working with. Really likes what you're doing, right? And number two, they're able to, to create the sound that, that you as an artist have in your mind. So you've gotta listen to their work. You know, you've gotta go in, see which artist they've worked with or, or listen to their own music. And, and, you know, not to say that a, a producer can't be a jack of all trades and, and do other things, but you know, if you, you know, producers have a, um, they have their own sound, right? No matter who the artist is, when they send them a song, that final product. There's, there's a touch of the, the producer in that song as well. So I, I think you've gotta kind of know what you're looking for. You know, you've gotta know exactly what you're going for. Hiring the right people is also an art form, you know, It, it's, you know, I wouldn't recommend just hiring any producer or hiring any, you know, art director or any of that for your project. You've gotta find people that understand what you're doing and what you're going for, or, or you're not going to, you know, you're not gonna be happy with the final product.

Marc Matthews:

Yeah, I would agree with that. I think it, the important thing there is not just with producers, but with everything is finding you need to have someone who's gonna buy into your vision. And like I say, I think, I think that's the first time I've had Grind Core mentioned on the podcast, which is amazing. It takes me back to my metal days. But yeah, if, if you're reaching out to someone or someone's reaching out to you and it doesn't quite fit, As a producer, you'd be doing them a disservice or, That's the way I see it. Kinda like if somebody reached out to me and said, Oh, can you, can you produce this? For example, grind core band? I'd be like, I, I, to be honest with you, I'd probably refer 'em on to, I, It's not something I can do, but I can refer you to someone else. But I think, yeah, you're right. Having someone or a group of people that buy into your vision is, is highly important. Uh, so you've got this song, you've worked what you've worked on, you've got a producer. So another question is the difference between a demo and the final product. What is the difference between the demo and the final product in your, in your opinion?

Drew Knight:

So to me, if, if we're looking at it in, in terms of art, right? The demo is like the pencil sketch, you know, the, the fully produced record that's, um, that's a painting. You know what I mean? That's, that's a fully finished product. You know what I mean? Like you're, when you're demoing music, you're, you're basically creating a blueprint for the song. You, you know, you're, you're getting the vibe down. Um, for the most part. You're, you're getting the lyrics done and, and you've got a general feel and direction for the song. The production, to me is where it gets really interesting, right? That's when things start to hit it in the right places. And this is when you polish it, you know, your, your music is a, a legacy. I, again, I made the mistake of, you know, posting and releasing music that, that I, you know, I did at home and didn't really know what I was doing. I didn't have the tools for the job at the time. Um, you know, and, and it just, it really is not going to get you anywhere. I mean, there, there are people that are far better at it than I am right at, at producing music. So maybe they can get by, but my thing is, this stuff will be there forever. So when you make a record and you put it online and you put it out there into the universe, I mean, you don't get a, another chance to make a first impression with people. So if the quality's not there, generally, you know, people will listen for a few seconds and go, Eh, okay, you know, that's it. I'm, I'm done. And, and they're not gonna care about what you're doing. But I think that's why it's so important to have that level of refinement on, on the products that you're putting out. Right? Make 'em sound good. Make 'em as good as possible. Any business in the world wants to showcase their best product. And, you know, when you post your songs on Spotify, think of it as a, as an advertisement, right? That's an advertisement for you as an artist. That's, that's exactly what it is, right? I mean, you wouldn't, you wouldn't run a, a commercial ad of, of your, your worst work, you know what I mean? Or, or you know, just spotty quality or, or any of that. You know, you wanna showcase your best. And I, I think that's why it's so important.

Marc Matthews:

Yeah. Um, I would agree with that. And I think it is highly important what you said there about, about showcasing your best work. And, uh, it kind of leads me to another question, which I thought at the top of my head here is, so I've had this discussion with other artists about being prolific and the prolificness and releasing regularly. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think it's more important to release, I suppose all the music is quality, although you deem it of a certain quality, otherwise you wouldn't release it. But would you say it is more important to release quality over quantity? In order to sort of establish self, establish yourself and build as an

Drew Knight:

artist. 100%. And again, that's, um, that's a lesson I learned the hard way. Right. The reason I was, I was posting this, this demo quality music before, and it's all gone now. I, I took it all down was, you know, I felt like I wasn't keeping up with everyone, you know, when I, I first got into synth wave, you know, you know, Instagram seems to be just like the hub for, for all of these independent artists. And, you know, ev it's a very friendly community and everybody talks to each other and, and reaches out. And I would be like, Man, everybody's releasing like a new song every two weeks. Right. And it, you feel this like, is it like a peer pressure where you're like, I have to keep up with this. Right. I mean, I haven't released a song in, in months. Like, these guys have a new track every Friday. I, I don't think that's good. And I think to release, you know, to release a song the right way, it's, it's also very expensive. You know, it, it's gonna take you a while to recoup from a release if you're, you're actually putting the, the money into the production and, and putting the money into marketing it and promoting it and, you know, doing all of that. Like, you know, I need time to financially recover in between releases too, you know, because my thing is, you know, why release it if you think if you're not gonna be able to, to get it out to as many people as possible? You know, It, it's like that's still part of the work, you know? And the marketing is, is part of being an artist too, right? That's, that's the visual representation of what you're doing. Um, that's how you reach out to people. That's how you make people aware that, that you're doing anything. So, um, you know, I, I think releasing quality is absolutely more important than just releasing quantity. And, and also you don't, you know, if you're releasing a song every week, people don't tend to get as excited about it anymore. It's like, Oh yeah, they release a song every Friday. I'll catch the next one. You know? Um, so I think, uh, I think to do it right, you, you almost can't be releasing back to back to back I think every couple months. Um, you know it because you want to give your last song a little bit of time to, to do its thing too, right? I mean, um, you know, we're still still doing great numbers on Spotify from the last song, so I, you gotta find that balance when to release next, right? It's strategic because while I still have a, a high amount of monthly listeners from the last one, right now, I want to jump in and release the next one, but I wanna make sure that the first song has kind of reached its potential. But, but hasn't completely fallen off yet. So I have an active audience and, and I think that's the balance. You just, you know, you have to plan it out and you, you have to be smart about

Marc Matthews:

it. Yeah. And I, you, I think you are right in saying that, um, the, the, the quality is, is paramount over quality. And what you said there about releasing sort of weekly or fortnightly, and it echoes the discussion I had with someone recently on the podcast, and I can't remember the artist, but it was a case of you see a song released and a song released and song released and it, I, I admittedly, I've, as I've said exactly what you did then. And I said, Oh, I know they released a song recently. I'll check that one out later. You know, it kind of, I put it on the back burner a bit because it's, I kind of know what to expect, which probably isn't. Thing to say, but unfortunately that's, that's part of parcel of it, I think. And, um, and you, you're right, you do need to let a song, a song needs room to grow and, and room to breathing. You need to invest that time in it as well. So that kind of leads on nicely there. I know we mentioned earlier about stars and how it came to fruition, um, with your relationship with Bradley. Um, but can you just tell us a bit more about the songwriting and composition? We know that it was part of the challenge, but how did it all start?

Drew Knight:

Um, it actually started with, uh, with that baseline. That was, that was the first part written, right? I had a kick drum and, and that baseline, and I had no idea what I wanted to do lyrically, there it was just a lot of pressure, right? It was like, all right, you've. 48 hours, you better have a, a loop done. Right. And I remember the, the first like, you know, 16 bar loop I had turned in, I thought his head was gonna explode. He was like, What is this? It's a mess. You've got sense coming over here. And you know, I, I had a, um, my biggest challenge was I, uh, I like to add too many things to a song. I had way too much stuff going on. No room for the vocals, you know, Um, that's, I've, I've learned to be a bit more subtle in my approach, but that's, that's kind of how it started, right? It was the, the baseline was kind of the driving force in that song originally. Um, You know, and then the rest just, it, it kind of came together as the, you know, the ideas for the melody came in. And I remember, um, you know, I had actually written the, the chorus or pieces of the chorus, the lyrics were a little bit different, um, before it was due. And, and that's kind of where the inspiration sparked, right? Because the night of when I was thinking, All right, I'm, I'm gonna get kicked out of this challenge if I don't have something turned in that, you know, that's, the wheels were kind of spinning there. And I was like, You know what, I'll just write about exactly what I'm going through right now. Right? It's, it's late, I'm tired, but I'm not willing to give up on this. And, you know, um, and, and I, I really felt like I needed to make a decision that night. Like, I've, I've already invested a ton in like, gear and, you know, moving forward as an artist, like I, if I'm not gonna do this and I'm gonna drop out of these challenges and not finish it, Then I, you know, I need to give it up. But, you know, I, I also know that I'm not going to be fulfilled if I'm not creating music. I mean, it's just, it's been a part of my life so long that it's, uh, you know, it's difficult to give up and, and literally, like, that's what the song's about. Um, it was about that kind of deciding moment, like, All right, I'm gonna lean into this. Like, I'm all in, um, you know, I'm gonna keep pushing to, to make music and, and I'm going to, you know, I'm gonna do this. And I think it translates well because it's kind of just in general about following a dream, right? And I think people relate to that. Um, I don't think the lyrics are so on the nose that that're like, Oh, specifically talking about this. But I think people kind of understand the feeling. I think maybe that's why that song particularly resonated with people, because I, you know, I think we all kind of go through that at times. So it, it felt like a, a very good topic to write about. So that one just kind of came together. Um, You know, and as, as far as, uh, Bradley's part on that song, you know, he, he sat back and, and he wrote his own verse and, and all of that on it. I actually originally recorded a second verse of my own that was absolutely different from what he did. I can act, I'll share the demo with you, uh, too, so you can hear the original version of the song. It, it's, the chorus is there. The first verse is there, but there are some things that are a lot different. And the second verse, without Bradley just it sounds night and day. He really, he really added a lot to that song.

Marc Matthews:

Yeah, I think your vocals, vocal performances, complement each other really well on that track, I gotta say. Um, thank you and once again, it is, is a fantastic track. And what I like what you mentioned there is the, is the less is more approach. And it's something I've experienced having done my own tracks cuz I am very much like yourself. I'll a lot of the time with a song, I'll throw the kitchen sink at it, you know, and then I'm like, there's, there's no room to breathe in this song whatsoever. And it just sounds like a, a cluttered mess. And then the mix itself turns into an absolute pig cuz I'm having to get rid of x, y, z to make room for, and I haven't even got the vocals in there yet. So less, there's more. And I think that's something that I'm realizing more and more as I chat to more and more artists on the podcast. Sorry.

Drew Knight:

No, you know what I think it is with that though, to be honest with you, Right? When, when you're writing a demo, so a final song, you know, each instrument might be shipped off to multiple buses, right? And, and it's panned out left and right when you're originally writing. You've just got that single sense sound or whatever. You're trying to fill up all this sonic space right from the get go to make it sound good and feel good. And then when you get to the mixing part, you realize, oh, I've gotta make some decisions. Like I can't have all of this stuff. It's just one big wall of sound. You know? I'm literally playing every note in the key right now and I've got 15 different scents doing it. So, um, I, I think it's, uh, for me a lot of it was just not anticipating the big picture at the end. I was just trying to have all the, the sonics in the song right from the beginning.

Marc Matthews:

Yeah. I, I think you're right. And it goes back to what I said earlier. I think about how using the d a w your door as a sketch pad, as a sound pilot and not trying to get it perfect from the, from the get go. Cuz that's where I fall in, into that trap of doing exactly what you said is, it's not sounding like the final mix. So I'm just gonna check this sy now I'm gonna check that Sy, Now I'm gonna have this transition, that transition, Oh, I'm gonna have four different bases going on to fill out the sound. I'm, I haven't even mixed it yet. And then when it comes down in mix down, I'm. What on earth have I done to this song? Um, and it's something I've learned and, and I now, fingers crossed I'm not gonna take going forward. But what you also mentioned there is about deadlines. And I try and use this in my own productions and it's something I bang on about as well when I talk to other artists. Do you still use the deadline approach when you are writing music outside of the, the producer program that you're with, with, uh,

Drew Knight:

with Radium, absolutely. 100% of the time now, um, I will say there are songs that I'll get the instrumental done and if it's not part of that challenge and I'm not trying to turn it around quick, I might put it away and come back to it another time to, to work on the vocals and lyrics and all of that because, you know, you get burned out on tracks too, right? It's hard to, it's hard to maintain that enthusiasm. When you've been sitting there with headphones on for, you know, days and hours, just plucking away listening to the same loop over and over. Sometimes you've gotta give the song a little bit of time to just sit and come back with fresh ears and listen. You might hear things you didn't hear before, but, um, I still follow the process. And, uh, if, you know, if there's a song that I'm like, All right, I need to get another single ready, then I'll absolutely use those same deadlines 24 to 48 hours. Um, I tell myself, All right, today I'm gonna sit down and I'm gonna work out the sound palette. Then the next day I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna create a groove with like the drum and bass and maybe like a pad or something to kind of figure out the song. And, uh, you know, then, then day three would. Really going in and doing sound design, shaping that loop, getting everything sounding good, and then expand that out into an arrangement. Because to me, like working from the chorus first, that's where we're going, right? Like the chorus, like that's the song, that's the part people care about. And my philosophy with the chorus is get there as quick as you can and stay there as long as you can. Right? Because that's, that's the memorable part. So once you have that chorus written, now it's like, all right, how do we find a way to this chorus and a way away from this chorus, right? Like, how do we, how do we have that journey back to this? And, you know, Um, so that, that's kind of the, the philosophy I follow, right? And, um, yeah, it's the same process every time for me, I, it just works, right? If it ain't broke, don't fix. Oh,

Marc Matthews:

a hundred percent. I totally agree, and I really love what you said there about how getting to the chorus as quick as you can and staying there for as long as you can. I've never thought of it that way. And I think that's a really, that's gonna be a really good soundbite for this episode. Sure. Yeah. It, it is one I'm certainly gonna use. So, off the back of that, So I'm, I'm well aware of time here and I've got a couple more questions I wanna put towards you. So you're working with Bradley Dennison and you're collaborating with him during that process. What is the single most important thing that you've learned from Bradley from that

Drew Knight:

process? I'll tell you, he, you know, he's been amazing. Like, um, you know, he's, he's kind of mentored me through every step. I mean, this is a guy that's released big records, big soundtracks, and, uh, you know, here I am just a, like a clueless artist. Like, you know, I wanna make music too, you know, and, and I'll do whatever you tell me to. Um, but you know, just the, the last release, I mean, I, I learned a ton about just how the process goes, right? Like what you have to do to get on playlist and who you should be reaching out to and creating mailing list and, um, you know, using your content to kind of support that, that marketing as well. Um, and, and just in general, kind of my, my approach to, to doing every bit of it has completely changed. I mean, a lot of the stuff he was doing was, was really familiar and I understood it, but it just, you know, it, it seems a lot more practical in hindsight now, but, you know, these are all things I really didn't know how to do. So, um, I mean, he's, he's really helped me out with, with every step of it, trying to, trying to figure it out, right? Getting me that much closer to being, uh, a bit more self-sufficient as an.

Marc Matthews:

Excellent. So would you, is it fair to say then that it is the, not necessarily the music per se, but it's everything that surrounds the music and the musical release is, is the, the, the fundamental thing that you've learned?

Drew Knight:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Right. Um, the, the song is always, first, It's always the most important. And again, um, he's, he's helped me late years with the, you know, just composing and, and you know, getting the prem mixing and all of that stuff done. But yeah, I mean, really, I think the part that most artists struggle with are, um, kind of understanding that, that there's a lot more to it than just the song creation, Right. You're an artist. So the music is one piece of the art, right? You've also got all the visual stuff and the artwork and the marketing, and it's all gotta stay true to your vision as an artist. And I, I think that's the most important part. Totally

Marc Matthews:

agree with that one. Sorry about that. No, no, no,

Drew Knight:

that's fine. My phone's been buzzing in my back pocket for like, the last 20 minutes. I just, it was annoying me.. Marc Matthews: Um, so my final quite an interesting one, and it's not one I've actually asked any other, any other artists on the podcast of mixing things up a bit with the questions here. Are there any tools or resources that make songwriting easier for you? Is there a, is there a tool or resource that you would recommend? Oh, or maybe a process. I, you know what? Buy every plugin. That's, that's what you need for inspiration. It's an investment in yourself as. No, I, I'm kidding. But I, I have done that too, right? Mm-hmm., Um, uh, no, I, I don't know. I, I would say that music theory is the tool that you need as an artist, and I understand that not everyone needs music theory, right? It is what is, You're still following it, whether you know it or not, right? If you're writing music and you're creating songs, but to me, the, the best tool you can have is understanding, right? If you're dedicating all of your time and money into being an artist, and, and the thing you want to create is music, then, you know, to me it seems like a no brainer to dig in and learn music theory, right? Understand how music works, and, and it'll get you there so much faster. I know there are like a ton of tools out there you can buy that, you know, you can get the, um, you know, like the midi cord packs and all of that stuff. Um, you know, you can just do a lot more if you actually understand music, right? And you spend some time learning your instrument, right? If, if you're, um, you're doing most of your writing on a, on a keyboard, you know, practice it and, and make sure you know what you're doing. I think that's the biggest thing because, uh, you know, if you understand music theory, it gives you a lot more options. It, it helps you know where to go with the songs and the songwriting. It lets you know what you can and can't do. I mean, I mean, even, even understanding and knowing music theory, you're still gonna make mistakes and you're gonna struggle to find, you know, things. But I think that definitely helps the process out. I think that'll, that'll get you the best start, because we all know the feeling of staring at a blank doll, right? And you're like, All right, I can. anything and I want to do everything all in this, this one song. So it, it's like overwhelming the amount of possibilities that are actually there. So I think it's good to have it rooted in, in theory and really understanding how music works. Right. And you know, that would be my advice to anyone. Don't, you know, you can buy these, these software programs that'll help you put a cord progression and write a melody. But if you're going to use 'em, learn to reverse engineer that stuff so you can figure out why it's coming to these conclusions. Right. And then you don't need that software anymore. You can still use it for inspiration. I mean, do whatever you have to do Right. To get the song written. But I think that would be the, the best thing for anyone if you're writing music, understand music theory, it's important. Yeah,

Marc Matthews:

I think that's a fantastic point. And I, I'm lucky enough that I grew up playing guitar, so there is music theory. Going around in my head in some way, shape or form. And it's something I experienced cause I was self-taught up until a point. And then I went into the studio and then realized my, my technique was, was shit for one of a better way, but Sure. Yeah. Yeah. And then, uh, I was just like, I need lessons man. And then I go in and got lessons and I'm like, my guitar tutor was like, Yeah, your technique is shot. You need to do this, this, and this. And I learned more theory. And you're right, it does help when I've, when I've gone, entered situations whereby I dunno where to take a song and I might do something along the lines of, I might find the relative minor to a major or vice versa. And without having a knowledge, that theory knowledge, it's not somewhere where I could potentially take that song or knowing how to augment chords and all that sort of stuff that goes with it. So even just having a basic understanding of, of scales of theory will, will certainly help. And there's enough out there to help you. And I do agree with what you said about don't, the silver bullets that you see online, and I had this discussion with the synth. Powell's virtual pub thing, um, that we do. And it was a case of, uh, I think it was, George mentioned there was a program whereby, uh, you could create professional chords and it will do it all for you, which is all well and good, but if you don't understand how it's done, I suppose you could do that. And then it's important to do what you say, which is to then reverse engineering. Think, okay, it's done that well, why has it done that? And just to help you understand. So No, I totally agree. I think that's a fantastic point and something that the audience can certainly take away. Drew, I'm well aware that is now approaching the hour mark, so I'm gonna give you the opportunity here. Where can our audience find you online? Where should they go? Um,

Drew Knight:

mostly Instagram. Right. And, and obviously Spotify. Uh, look me up on Spotify, stream my songs a bunch of times. Appreciate it. Um, but yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm most active on Instagram. I mean, I'm on, I'm on Twitter. I've got a Facebook account that I never look at, but. You know, Twitter, Instagram, I, I'd say I'm, I'm more active on those and you know, TikTok, I'm trying. So, you know, if you wanna show me support, get on TikTok and, and be one of the six likes on my videos, I'd appreciate it. Yeah,

Marc Matthews:

tick's another boost in itself. I'm still trying to work that out myself. Um, but I'll put links to all those in the episode notes and that the audience please do go and check out, uh, Drew's work and do go check out stars cuz it is a fantastic song. If you haven't heard it already, I know that you're gonna love it. Uh, Drew, thanks. Thanks for spending the time with me today. Um, it's been great to pick your brains on this cuz as I say, it's a topic that I haven't actually covered in the podcast before, so it's gonna be a really, really good one and I'm excited to get it out there and I'm sure audience will get a lot out the episode as well, um, as I have done too. So big thank you again and I'll catch up with you soon. Thank you.

Drew Knight:

Sounds good. That hour went quick. It was fun,. Marc Matthews: It I'll speak to you soon buddy.

Behind the music: Drew Knight
Why music marketing is important
The truth about the music industry
How to monetize your music
The Drew Knight songwriting process
Things to consider before choosing a producer
Music quality over quantity in 2022
Stop overcomplicating your music!
Why understanding basic music theory makes songwriting easier

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