“The music industry has always been difficult to break into, and this era is no different. “Success” is also a relative term. Start with something small then work your way up to the bigger stuff. Don’t expect worldwide success overnight.”
Check out the interview with Alan Fraze exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
SKILLY: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
A.F: I first attended a rave in 1999 for an after-after prom event my senior year of high school. I heard trance music for the first time and was instantly hooked. The next year I went to the University of Denver (aka DU). The school had just installed ethernet throughout all the dorm rooms, and Napster exploded onto the scene. I downloaded all the electronic music I could get my hands on with occasional recommendations on what DJs to look up. After that, I started DJing on and off as a hobby (December 2000) to understand more about the basics of electronic music and for a greater appreciation of the music. This love stayed with me all through college, graduate school, and the working world afterward. However, after I closed my gym in February of 2010 and co-produced a movie I was left with nothing on my plate. At that point, I decided it was time to get on the other side of the decks in a more serious fashion and begin producing music.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I advertise across all the various social media channels on top of using a variety of promotional companies to push my music to major DJs. Building relationships with content promoters, podcast creators, and any online/real world radio stations also helps, but that takes a lot more time and effort. I also have a weekly radio show that is free to download on Soundcloud or streamed on Mixcloud.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The great challenges are the same challenges all musicians have (or will) face.
1) “How do I get my music out there?”
2) “How can I make a living from this?”
3) “How do I compete with [XYZ]?”
I’m still trying to overcome these hurdles, and it’s an always evolving answer. Some tactics work, some don’t.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Denver has an extremely well developed electronic music scene. We are the home of Beatport, Beta nightclub (ranked one of the best in the world, the legendary Red Rocks outdoor amphitheater, and Global Dance Festival. As a result, we always have top talent coming through on the weekends and the summertime. Sometimes it’s hard to stay home! 🙂
On the flip side though it seems like every single person is a DJ so the market is saturated. Also, Denver really isn’t that big a city. It has a population of 682k with Colorado only having 5.6M (according to Google). There isn’t a lot of venue turnover, and new opportunities for DJs are few and far between. The competition is extremely fierce for any slot at any venue.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
We are continuing to see the blending of different genres to create new and exciting music. This evolution will continue, and I think it will only speed up. Synthesizers and plugins for DAWs are only getting cheaper/more accessible which leads to a new generation of producers and sounds. Past that, I’m not sure where the music scene will lead us in the coming years, but I am looking forward to finding out!
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
I think that persistence, not getting easily discouraged, and staying positive are key assets. The music industry has always been difficult to break into, and this era is no different. “Success” is also a relative term. Start with something small then work your way up to the bigger stuff. Don’t expect worldwide success overnight.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Hmm, this is a good one. Sometimes I’m just not motivated to create, but sometimes I find myself taking notes on my phone while I’m listening to a headliner at a music festival in Morocco. There isn’t really one thing that I look towards for inspiration. It’s more a general desire to just continue creating.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I use a well-estimated production methodology that I have refined over the years. It allows me to produce quality tracks that have similar vibes. However, it’s also easy to modify when I want to branch out of the tech house/technosphere into other genres such as electro house. I try not to get bogged down with one particular aspect of any song. When I do I just move onto the next element and revisit whatever I got stuck on. I also write the v1.0 of a track then set the song aside (usually for 1-2 years). When I come back to the track I have completely forgotten what it sounds like. That allows me to spot flaws and make changes more easily. It used to be that between v1.0 and v2.0 of my tracks there were a lot of massive changes. Now the v1.0 and v2.0 of my tracks are much closer and require fewer changes.
What do you think makes a great song?
What qualifies as “great song” is different for everybody, but I think the only catch-all answer would be that a song “catches the ear”. That being said even my taste can vary quite wildly. Sometimes it’s the vocals that get me (Colette – “Hotwire (Sonny Fodera Classic Mix)”), or a dark and dirty track that melts my face (Rezz – “Relax”) or just a straight banging tech house/techno beat (Gaty Lopez – “Play The Funk (Ahmet Sendil In The Church Remix)”).
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+AlanFrazeDj