Dux Duce / Blog

Separate the Hobby from the Goal

As i lay in bed and think about the business negotiations going on in my music camp, i wonder have i gone in so far that I've lost the love for my hobby that i now treat as a business? The art of music never attracted me by its chance of glitz and glamour. The arts attraction for me was the love of freedom and expression.

My hobby allowed me to do what i could not do in the real world. Argue about what i hate, discuss my position or tell my story without any immediate feedback, speak my mind with no consequences and give my self a chance at opening up emotions. The reason lots of artist remain unfulfilled though successful is because they've lost that ability; now that they're a part of the business world.

So, is it true to say that making your hobby your business may eliminate the fun of what you once called ure "free" time. They say money changes things. I believe its true. The minute you put a price on a project the entire focus becomes different. Sometimes it may have the same result, but its still different. The approach in which you handle it is different. When its free, its love. Its giving without thinking. Its sharing because someone needs.

But, you can't love everybody though. They say its healthier to love those that love you back. So in this music world i try to keep my hobby alive by staying true to me. By showing others who want to learn. By supporting those who support me. And I keep the business alive by knowing no one deserves a free ride. By respecting those that bring me the business and giving them the better hand. By separating friends from clients.

We all have the goal to be successful in this business. But its the ones that separate the hobby from the goal that will make it.

Mixing Business with Pleasure...

In my opinion it's never a wise idea to mix business (music) with pleasure. I've learned through the stories of others and seen with my own eyes several people fall statistic to the guilty pleasure of mixing business with pleasure. It never leads to a good place. The simple fact is that it can lead a work/business relationship to an awkward and uneasy place. Most of the time, sad to say, it's the man who crosses the wrong line with an approach that leaves woman artist with a bad taste in their mouth. If only they could keep their "pecker" in their pants. Why must a woman be afraid to explore her talents and work with other men based on the fear that the time will come when someone in her click ask her to pull out or get out. Damn, where have we've graduated from if we still act like cave men? Don't get me wrong there are circumstances where its a mutual relationship that develops from this mistake. Now lets assume that both parties involved are crossing the same line. Now you have other artist in the circle/group feeling like now they must worry about favoritism or just getting caught up in the middle of the relationship. Again, bringing about yet another sense of uneasiness and awkwardness. I say lets let music be music and relationships be relationships - refrain from combing the two. For your own sake! Also remember work is work, so i am not just talking about artist/producers/managers and band members BUT doctors/lawyers/business owners AND all workman and woman. So... would you mix business and pleasure?

The Process

Its quite an extensive process to formulate music. Everyone has their own settings, inspirations and order of operation to complete the task. For me it involves a different set of tools depending on the concepts and orientation in which I need to move. For instance if my project is going to be a well thought out, conceptual, mind absorbing track; I need tranquility. It's so natural and free flowing to have the time to sit and think without interuptions. This atmosphere allows me to think within and grasp my thoughts effortlessly. Another necessary element would be - being in that mode. In order to start or pick up on a concept I must be feeling that way at that moment. It's very difficult for me to sit and write on an emotion that has came and went. It's defiantly not an impossible task, just a more challenging one and has a less appreciated outcome if it has to happen any other way. Now on the other hand; if my project is a more direct, straight to the point, and more beat hopping music than mind boggling it needs to be an at the moment production. Which means right there, right now or loose it forever. Ridding the beat is a fun thing to do for me. I enjoy the challenges that come with conceptual tracks, but I LOVE to let loose and just rock with less pressure and more entertainment. Another element that's vital for growth and that continues to decrease in availability is having competitive artist in your surroundings. It's very easy for me or anyone for that matter to get comfortable with our surroundings and watch the bar stop being raised. The more competitive my team is the more I am allowed/forced to step it up a notch. This element is also a key reason to network. I'm sure I am not the only one that feels a sense of needing to impress or prove yourself to the collaborative partner. It makes you perform better than usual. Most of my better work has come from working with artist outside my inner circle. That's when I find myself having to take it up a notch. The last and probably the most important thing would be positive and constructive critisim. When I have a counterpart or group member that is genuine in his/her opinion it makes me feel confident. It always feels good to hear a compliment or respect when someone tells u it needs to be done over. I try to surround myself with real people that can only keep it 100 with me. Anyone who knows me can vouch for that as well as tell u I give the same. So.... What's your process?

What Does Music Represent to You!

Being an artist makes music a bit more meaningful to me. I listen to tracks and now more than ever; I find that more credit needs to be given to the overall production than just the artist. Artists are just an image and voice attached to the promotion. I'm finding out that some kats don't even write their own material. If the overall song has a nice instrumental, production is on point and the flow of the hook is catchy; an artist that doesn't or wouldn't ordinarily fit the bill can sound like a super star. That being said, music to me means a melting pot of intellect; a collaboration of skills and energy that meshes well together. The beauty of being underground and independent is that one can express himself in any way he'd like to. The fucked up thing with the industry is that sometimes you have to edit yourself to be looked at. A true artist can take those two points, blend them and master both skillz. So... What does music represent to you?