Arts & Entertainment, Music

Starting Your Producing Career


Lesson time 15:16 min

Joel puts on his label-manager's-hat to talk about what he looks for when he's signing up and coming EDM artists, and offer advice about how develop your brand and promote it the right way.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Labels are Looking for the Total Package • The Truth About Getting Signed • Invest in Yourself • Making Music Your Full Time Job • Define Your Brand • The Secret to Selling Yourself: Don’t


No one's out to help you-- no-fucking-body. And if they are, they're out to fuck you. I guarantee it. I 100% guarantee it. Nobody out of the goodness of their heart are doing things to further your career and get no gain from it whatsoever, unless it's your mom. That's about it. I do scout for new talent from time to time. And actually what I do look for and what we do, as a team, for a label look for is self-sufficiency. As in have the music, first and foremost and then maybe they're kind of branding or like the way they look-- not in the physical sense, but I mean look as a musician-- and their deliverables, like if they could give us a full album. And we're not really looking for the guy that can just do one track with the help of a whole bunch of other people, but couldn't finish a whole album. Because that would mean we'd have to jump in and then start assigning producers to that artist and really kind of like holding their hand through the whole process. Every act I think I've ever signed has delivered a fully finished album or even just EP-- which is just two or three tracks-- to us, but then have also had a say in how they want to appear or their art direction or their album work. Like my most recent discovery was, ironically enough, from Niagara Falls. Her name was REZZ. And she had all this music that all fit together nice, and it was all in the same vein. She delivered a full album. And And then she had all this artwork done, and she had the whole vision, like everything all on a silver plate. So she didn't leave a lot for us to kind of make up for her. So I look for self-sufficiency. Nobody at my label or any other label I know likes a guy who just constantly sends in demos or is like hey, help me. Help me. Help me do this. I have all these great ideas, but I need you to do-- it's like, we'll hear about you. You know what I mean? That's just like-- I end up hearing about other artists or something like that, and that's how you kind of get initiated into this circle of kind of EDM money, really, because I've signed a lot of artists. And now I'm not out-- I'm not a charity. I don't just bet on things and give them money. I study them. I follow them, and I make sure they know what they're doing and then that they have something deliverable. And then I take that and just say pretend it's mine. How can I market it like or whatever, and then suggest to them how I kind of do that. A case in point was Skrillex. This kid came up to me at a show with a USB key with the entire album of Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. And I took his demo, and I saw his art or someone else's art that he sourced. So there you go. He's all in one platter. And I took that USB key and I went fuck, man. This is what I think North America needs right now because they are so sick of house. They're so sick of EDM and so sick of this other shit. Maybe dubstep ...

About the Instructor

Before he was deadmau5, all Joel Zimmerman wanted for Christmas was old toasters to take apart. Now, you can watch him take his music apart. In his first-ever online class, Joel teaches you how he approaches melodies, mixing and mastering to make unique sounds you can't find in a cookie cutter sample pack. You'll not only get his lessons, you'll learn how to create your own music without spending money on million dollar gear.

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6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.

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