I have been reading a great book by Susan Cain called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. This book confirms what I have believed and felt all along in life – That the really great world-changing ideas and work of great artistic and long term merit is created by people who love solitude. In a world where communication noise is getting louder and louder by the day, this picture of a person working quietly undisturbed in his room or cabin seems like an anomaly. But there is no escaping the truth – Introverts / Nerds are going to rule the world! In fact they already are. Most of the celebrated internet and new age tech companies globally and in India too have been created by the thoughtful, intelligent and bookish types – the ones who are the exact opposite of the loud, brash, exuberant, hyperactive and buzzed 24 / 7 personalities. The artistic stereotype of the quiet and weird guy practicing his musical instrument or coding on a computer all by himself in his room is now the celebrated billionaire!
Social Anxiety Disorder is Good For You
Before you take a plunge into the world of music production, take a long and hard look at yourself. Before you decide that you want to program or produce music and invest a few lakhs of yours or your dad’s hard earned money, you must first of all recognize whether you are cut out to enter the world of music production. It is one thing to say that ‘I love music’ and another to actually sit down on a computer and start producing music cooped up inside a room for days or weeks on end. If the profession or the hobby you choose is in conflict with your personality, I can bet that you going to give it up a few months down the line. Dozens of students enroll for our music production courses every month and a few months down the line realise that this is not really their cup of tea. As an honest and ethical business. we believe it is our duty to encourage those who can flourish in this business and actively discourage those who cannot. Even if that means losing out on a few students and money, so what? Our good karma will ensure success in the long term because what goes around comes around.
Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
Try and answer yes or no to the questions below:
1. Are you someone who gets bored and restless sitting in one place for extended periods of time?
2. Do you feel the need to be buzzed or stimulated all the time?
3. Do you feel that you have to be surrounded by people / domesticated mammals / primates / reptiles all the time?!
4. Do you have to rely on the opinion of others or seek confirmation about yourself all the time?
5. Do you love outdoor activities, traveling, trekking, clubbing, socialising, mall hopping etc.?
6. Do you crave instant gratification and are reward-oriented in all activities?
7. Is money, fame, status, dating beautiful women a great motivator in your life?
8. Are you a risk-taker in all aspects of your life?
9. Are you highly competitive by nature?
10. Do you hate alone-time, solitude, meditation, reading books, practicing a musical instrument, being with nature etc.?
If you answered mostly ‘yes’ to the above questions, then we have bad news for you. Music Production education is not something that you must even think of considering! You will simply be wasting your time and money and you will being frustrated and will abandon this pursuit after a few months. Trust me, we are saying this from experience after having met many people who have completed the course. We have correctly identified right from the very beginning those who will become competent music producers and those who will quit after a couple of months. And we have been proven correct 10 / 10 times! On the other hand take the following quiz:
1. If you are engaged in something you like, do you get into the ‘flow’ and forget everyone and everything around you for hours on end?
2. Do you like solitude, peace, quiet, time to think peacefully everyday?
3. Are you super confident under your own skin and care less about what others think about you or your work?
4. Do you hate sports, outdoor activities, indulging in small talk?
5. Do you dread the thought of visiting public places where there is a large concentration of strangers such as clubs, concerts, parties etc.
6. D you believe in ‘delayed gratification’?
7. Are you one of those types who are unruffled by the lure of fame, money or chicks / studs?
10. Are you non-competitive by nature? Do you care only about the quality of your work and not quantity?
10. Do you hate being given deadlines preferring rather to work at your own pace and schedule?
11. And finally – Do people call you ‘un-social’, ‘selfish’, ‘weird’, ‘uncaring’?
If you answered mostly yes to the above questions, then welcome to the fascinating world of music production. You were born to produce music! You will not only enjoy what you are learning thoroughly but you will also create path breaking music and make a name for yourself in this profession. Because you are persistent, thoughtful and solitary by nature, you will be able to spend thousands of hours immersed in your craft until you become a master of your craft! As Einstein, a consummate introvert had once said, ‘It’s not that I am so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.’ Because you do not crave instant gratification, you will not be wasting time playing cricket, chasing girls, watching mindless movies at the mall, or gossiping away with friends at the local bar. That is time spent doing what you love – poring over your music production softwares, trying to create new songs, researching books and internet articles and videos and generally getting better and better everyday.
Are Extroverts Not Allowed?
Of course you are allowed! It’s your money! If you want to shove it down our pockets, who are we to complain?! But here are some tips that you might want to consider before you allow yourself to make that decision to invest in ours or any other music production institute’s courses.
1. You have to have the ability to disappear into a cubicle and get the work done! Too many corporate companies are filled with caffeinated-jargon-spewing-talkative-extroverts who talk mostly nonsense all day inside meeting rooms or appear to seem busy sending emails all day or talking on the phone. While the real work is done by the quiet introverts – the roll-up-your-sleeves and get the work done kinda guys. Remember, you are trying to become an artist to be exactly the kind of person that you do not want to be – the loud mouthed guy who everyone secretly laughs at knowing fully well that he is just bullshitting and kissing-ass his way up in life. If you want to produce music, you must be willing to put in long hours in front of the computer and start ‘doing’ and ‘producing’ instead of ‘consuming’ and ‘talking’.
Music Production is a craft and like all learned skills, the more you practice the better you get.
That also means making a few sacrifices – less partying, less socialising, less internet-surfing and instagramming!
2. Take a leaf out of an introvert’s personality. Introverts are not very concerned with rewards. They do their work because they enjoy what they are doing and once they are absorbed in their work, they enter the ‘zone’ where nothing else matters. The work is the reward. If you can embrace this attitude, then you will excel not only in music production but in anything that you take up in life. Getting into the ‘flow’ can only be achieved when you intensely love what you do and when you are totally immersed in what you are doing. But this love can be tough love if your heart is not really into it and if you have been attracted to pursue this only because of the rewards and other ancillary benefits that are attached to it. So be sure that you love music and are crazy about it – crazy enough to take the plunge into producing music because let me tell you, the frustrations that you encounter along the way can make grown men cry! Get into this field only if you are absolutely in love with music – nothing less will do.
3. Stop being nice and agreeable for a change. You do not have to be the most popular guy / gal in town. Introverts do not care about what others feel. They care a lot about themselves – which is why they are called weird and selfish by others! But that can sometimes be a good thing because you will stop saying ‘yes’ to every invitation that comes your way and will not waste time attending weddings, events and parties that are not going to contribute in any way to your goals in life. On the other hand, loving yourself will also mean that since your goal is to please yourself, you will create music that is fresh, unique, inspiring and exciting. Imagine Michelangelo working on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel lying on his back and painting for twenty hours a day. A few onlookers come by and say, ‘Gee, that’s a pretty good looking painting. But why don’t you use more red instead of blue?!’ What do you think Michelangelo or any other introvert would say, ‘$#@% Off! It’s my painting!’. Extroverts are like the onlookers of life. They like to ‘manage’ other people and think that they are getting the job done when in fact it is the quiet Michelangelos of the world who are creating the great work that matters around us. Introverts think nothing of giving other people a piece of their mind because all they are concerned with is pleasing the most important person in the world – themselves!
4. And here’s the most important part – loving solitude. Unfortunately, research has proved that a person’s proclivity for solitude is in his genes and cannot be changed much. Which means that an introvert will remain an introvert right from his childhood days till the day he / she dies and similarly an extrovert will also retain his / her exuberant and outward qualities all through his / her life. This means that if you are an extrovert, then you will have to admit that the introvert-type person has been born with superior advantages over you as far as artistic goals are concerned.
This ability of being happy when being alone is what allows the introvert to excel in the arts – practice guitar or drums all alone for hours on end, paint inside a studio all alone on a Saturday night when the friends are out partying, writing a screenplay on a Sunday morning when the world is fast asleep and produce music on his computer all day and all night long.
Can you develop this essential monk-like quality? I doubt it. But it’s surely not an impossible task. It depends on how badly you want to become a music producer. History is replete with instances where people with great desire and passion developed the strength and ability to change their circumstances and fortunes against all odds and despite all inherent weaknesses and deformities. You can achieve anything you want if you want it badly enough and you can do it in spite of all odds and in spite of what you were born with! That’s what makes you human!