I don’t know how I missed these chances before. Ever since I won my High Achievers Scholarship in my first year since my entrance grades were high, I’ve been able to afford a Macbook Pro and music production software for it, hence I can make music. But so far, shockingly, I have only used it for productions for Uni work and some unreleased original demos, and have never really made the most of the other opportunities in terms of music production until now…
This shock and horror occurred when I realised that I haven’t made a song in ages because I didn’t have access to singer and that recording vocals (in my experience) is extremely time consuming, but I found out recently that vocals are freely available from remix competitions. While I’m glad that I can now download many fully recorded vocal “stems” and do more or less whatever I want with them (in the name of music production practice), I feel like I should have started participating in remix competitions a long time ago. Oh well. I’ll get over the ‘missed opportunities’ feeling in time, but for now I have many, many remixes to make and so little time.
Overcoming the barrier of having no vocals to work with, I realise with confidence that now I can create original works minus the need for vocals. With so much electronic dance music around, I suppose I don’t really need to spend ages recording vocals and just go down the instrumentals route for now, and maybe collaborate with singers in the future (never do professional projects on your own). In case you’re wondering, I have performed on my own songs before but it takes about a month to record my own vocals due to the extreme amount of recording takes I insist on. I was hesitant about doing just instrumentals as I really wanted to go down the pop song route, but I must adapt to what I have.
Finally, if I get enough contacts (like singers, instrumentalists), ideas and luck, I would like to enter songwriting contests. I have heard amazing winning songs in the past, and I would like to be a part of those creative processes. What has stopped me in the past was mostly the entrance fees but I can afford to pay a few now, so we’ll wait and see. I’m still a little shaky when it comes to music production; arranging I can do, but mixing everything together is a different story so more practice is needed right now.
As you can tell, I am into my music production, although I have to be realistic and not aspire to work in music full time as those opportunities are few and far between. Instead, I would like to see how far I can actually take my practice in terms of creating music and participating in competitions. Not only is it good vocational practice, but it also gives me a feel of the pressure of the competitive nature of the music industry as, let’s face it, it’s all competition. I hope this post helps other creative arts students such as myself realise that there are other opportunities outside of Academia that can provide practice for any skills learned from Uni and cultural enrichment.