How To STOP Caring What OTHER Producers Think!Oct 10, 2021
I've had so many people in my life, along with some producer friends, EVEN BOYFRIENDS, tell me I'd never been a "real" producer. They told me to just stick to what I was good at, songwriting. Had I listened to them, if I had given in and believed them, I would never have had the confidence to put my own music out there and see what I could truly be! The truth is we have to stop letting other peoples’ opinions define us. Most of the time these people, these producers, aren't really talking about you, they're projecting their own insecurities on you to feel better about themselves. So don't take it personally and most importantly KEEP WORKING!
In this blog, I want to talk about how you can push through the fear of caring what these other ‘producers’ think!
You can do it, I believe in you! 🧡
The other day I got a DM from a fellow up-and-coming female producer. My heart ached as I read her words as they echoed my own from not long ago. She told me she wanted to be a badass self-sufficient producer who wasn’t afraid to talk around the ‘big guys,’ but she was SO afraid of what she creates being bad and paralyzed with the fear of having another producer tell her she did something wrong. She was frozen in her own insecurities. Then she said, “I feel like I’m JUST a songwriter.” My heart broke hearing this.
A lot of you already know what I’m going to say: perfectionism is procrastination disguised as productivity and I know her position ALL too well. For years I wanted to be a producer; I had Garageband, I had Logic, I had the midi controller, friends had HOOKED ME UP by selling me pretty decent used gear for really cheap, but I still waited. I still procrastinated. It was never good enough. I wasn’t producing because...(I only know how RIDICULOUS this is now LOL) I wasn’t producing because ‘I needed better sounds.’ Because I couldn’t afford Kontakt or Omnisphere, I would produce NOTHING? Saying it out loud now I’m like, ‘wow, I was really just terrified’ and I get it, I had producer friends and they were all men. Super intimidating right?
This isn’t to knock men, because I know some AMAZING male producers and I’m forever grateful to my mentor, who is a man. BUT I will say, a lot of my so-called ‘friends that were producing would say stuff to me like “you should just stick to what you’re good at.” By the time I actually did start producing, making demos, and was actually making a little money I still had a guy tell me “yeah but you don’t have a REAL studio so you’re not a REAL producer.” LOL! I actually let those words get to me! I only see NOW that OF COURSE, he was saying that, he had to justify and validate HIS studio costs to feel better about HIMSELF. ESPECIALLY because he saw that I was succeeding, growing, and making money without all of that! His own need to validate his studio rent had nothing to do with me and it never will! When people are trying to tear you down or say you’re not good enough, it’s because of their own insecurities. Please remember that.
It’s funny because, yes, there are @ssh#les & trolls out there, but most of my fears were actually in my head. There was a time when I never posted my beats or productions on social media because I was always afraid one of those “pro guys” would comment and critique that I was doing something wrong; kinda like a “yeah, that’s cute, I remember when I had my first beer.” I was petrified I would be belittled and that I wasn’t good enough
So, back to the message from the up-and-coming female producer. She finished by asking me ‘HOW I got over the feeling of not being good enough, and I’m going to tell y'all exactly what I told her:
We have to stop caring what other producers think. End of story.
I know that’s easier said than done, but hear me out: once I changed my mindset, it changed everything. We don’t make music for other producers. I want you to marinate that for a second. We don’t make music for other producers. We make music for ourselves of course, but we also do it for the fans and fans don’t listen to music the way music makers do! NONE of your fans are listening to your music and thinking “oh, she really should have shaved off a little 10k there” or “ugh, I wish she’d bring the attack down on that compressor.” Producers think like that and guess what? They’re not your audience! They’re not buying your records and going to your shows, so who CARES what they think?!
Listen, y'all know that I’m a songwriter FIRST and I truly approach music production in that way. If I’m EVER doing something in my productions to ‘impress’ another producer I know that my EGO is getting in the way. Yes, of course, it feels nice to be embraced by your peers, but you can’t rely on their opinions as truth. They literally don’t hear music the way non-producers do, and once again, your music isn’t FOR them.
So let producers talk their smack. I look at it like this: any energy they spend tearing apart YOUR work is time they should be spending on improving their own craft. People that hang out online just waiting to troll you are LOSERS, they’re hanging out in online forums just waiting to use their energy on something completely anti-productive.
I heard once that the cure for imposter syndrome is to stop making it about you and to instead make it about service. The same applies here with music production. For example: when I go to teach a live webinar, I DO get butterflies and sometimes I get NERVOUS, but when it starts to feel like it overtakes me I realize I’m making it about me. If I look stupid or say something stupid, I have to realize that’s my selfish side talking, but when I make it about my audience and think about how I can serve the people that have shown up today, my anxiety melts away. The same exact thing applies to your music. Think about who you can help, who you can touch, who you can move -- don’t pay any mind to the idiot who has way too much time on their hands to sit around critiquing yo $h!t.
Alright, well I hope you got a lot of value out of this and I hope if you’re feeling insecure about producing that this has given you the confidence to just do it. As far as ‘sucking’ in the beginning goes, THAT’S normal! I have made TONS of $h!tty demos. We don’t run before we learn how to walk. AND we don’t walk before we learn how to crawl. AND we can’t crawl until we START.
So do you have some barriers and self limiting beliefs about being “just a songwriter”? If so, please don’t ever say that again. You are a CREATOR & there are TOOLS to help you create the music you hear in YOUR head, and I want to help you learn how to use them! I hope you’ll continue to follow along with this blog and with my podcast. I've made it my mission to help you succeed but to do so you HAVE TO put in the work!