If you’re interested in becoming a music producer and don’t know where to start, this post is for you.
I’m interviewing Shrai Pradhan, of SHRAi Productions.
He’s 29 year-old, produces electronic music and started from scratch 6 years ago in Mumbai, India.
Now, he’s a professional full-time music producer.
3 Reasons You Don’t Want To Miss What SHRAi Has To Say
1- He built his career from scratch, with no inside-track in the music industry.
2- He has experience developing his music production business online and offline, locally and internationally.
3- He’s really good at what he does….
I’ve included the full interview at the end of this post.
It’s worth the watch but if you’re in a hurry, I’ve compiled a timeline and what I think are the key takeaways from my conversation with SHRAi about how he managed to become a full-time music producer.
2013 – Took a 2 months course on Ableton with a great teacher and mentor.
2013-2015 – Made music pretty much every day, DJ-ing professionally to pay the bills.
“The first couple of years were all about making music every day, trying to do something new, trying to come up with something interesting.”
2016 – Recorded and released his first single.
Still 2016 – Joined Soundbetter, a freelance platform for music making professionals.
“I created my profile and thought, let’s see what happens!”
2016-2017 – Focused on building his portfolio and getting positive reviews. Commanding high fees didn’t seem realistic at that time.
“I was producing complete tracks for $100-150, complete end-to-end tracks.”
Also thought about quitting during that time. But more on that later….
2017-2018 – Online international work started to bring in offline local gigs.
“Volume comes from online but locally are higher income projects.”
End of 2018 – Moved into a brand new studio and launched SHRAi Productions website
Now, I don’t know what you got out of this timeline but I think we can all agree SHRAi’s success is not down to luck.
If Soundbetter hadn’t worked out for him, he would have found another way.
Key Takeaways From My Talk With SHRAi
1- Finding A Great Mentor Is Priceless
Whenever you learn something new, teaming up with someone who’s been there and done that before you is a great way to make progress.
You can do that with a teacher, like SHRAi did during the 2 months course on Ableton he took in 2013.
Or you actively listen to others and try to figure out how they do it before you give it a go yourself.
That’s what SHRAi did when he modeled Stromae’s visual approach to music to inspire his own work in the studio.
2- You Learn By Doing
Something that shines through when you talk to SHRAi is just how eager he is to learn and how much time he spends actually doing.
Experimenting and trying new things.
3- It Takes Time To Build Your Name
This is what SHRAi has to say about newbies who ask to be paid $500 per track:
“Why would they hire you? This is an online platform. They don’t know who you are. Unless you actually work with Grammy-nominated producers and you have that kind of a portfolio, you really cannot command that kind of money.”
Of course, you still want to get paid. You ARE working after all….
So what did SHRAi do?
For a couple of years, he worked part-time as a DJ, offered production work at very low prices and focused on raking up positive reviews on Soundbetter.
Was he getting paid a pittance compared to the time and energy he spent on each track?
But, little by little, as he grew his confidence and credibility, he raised his prices effortlessly.
4- Collaboration Will Help You Grow Faster, Financially And Creatively
This is what SHRAi answered when I asked him what he would do differently if he had to start over:
“I think I would be more open to collaborating with people and setting up partnerships. I would see the merit in it.”
Some of the key benefits of collaboration according to SHRAi:
- you grow faster because you learn from the person you’re collaborating with; and
- you can deliver a better product to your customer when you’re not afraid to ask for outside help.
Developing your music production skills + Making your customers happy = Road to a creatively and financially rewarding career in music production.
Yes, you might have to share the spoils BUT….