time to time, this page will feature an article from Jimi on various topics,
usually about the Network, but sometimes we may just let him ramble a bit! Take
the time to read this, enjoy, comment, etc. - Thomas, webmaster
Finding A Producer
Jimi Yamagishi, Director, Songnet
For most of my friends and clients,
finding a producer is all about "Comfort Factor" - the overall "vibe"
being the most critical. Our songs are our children, and we wouldn't just dump
'em with an unknown person. Abuse can occur. So can "kidnapping".
Sure, it takes a while to feel out a person, but it's worth the time. The following
is all a part of the process for me, in random order:
- Likes the same food
Sometimes on those long drawn out sessions, it's pizza or Chinese. Sometimes
the pressure is so intense, a simple disagreement over what to eat can blow
up to a major deal. Also if they're vegan, and you're a ribs kinda dude...well,
Is interested in what YOU have to
A good producer wants to fulfill YOUR vision, not their version of what you
are trying to communicate.
Back in the 80's many great folk artists hooked up with disco producers, and
are now selling used cars and sweeping floors thanks to what they did.
Is JUST about the music
Yeah, there are some relatively well-known producers that used their position
to fill their casting couches. If all the artists they produce are young female
acts that never seem to get a career going, be aware.
Is keeping their schedule clear
As a producer myself, I know I can handle 3 projects at once MAX. If your
producer is working with several platinum-selling artists AND you, guess who's
studio dates will get postponed if "something comes up"?
Has a track record
Hopefully, you found 'em because of their previous work.
Being someone's "first time" is usually NOT a good idea, no matter
how much all of the above holds true. Expect to take twice as long, and wind
up with something that "could have been..." if you really want to
risk it. Then again, if it's YOUR first project, you may not notice and everything
will be fine...until your SECOND project and you see what could have been
Is in good health
Bummer if the dude checks out in the middle o' your project. We're talkin'
both physical and mental. If your producer skydives or wrestles sharks on
the weekends, think twice. and you've heard plenty of stories about heartattacks
and coke. and if your producer has a probation officer attached, expect delays.
Don't need to preach atcha here.
Is on time for lunch
If they're on time meeting you for lunch, you won't be wasting time in the
Isn't hurtin' for money
If they're pushing you for pre-payment on a per-session basis, LEAVE. You
don't need someone tryin' to suck your wallet dry when you probably have little
there to begin with. Be sure their share/payment is spelled out very clearly
before you even think about finding a studio. Even friends should get it in
writing. Stay friends.
Is aware of what's current
If your producer thinks BBMak is a burger, or can't name the current artists
topping the charts in your genre, better look elsewhere. Even if they're not
about that kind of music, a good producer knows what's out there in the world,
and what it's gonna take to be competitive on every level. They should be
hipper than you.
- Can put up with YOU.
If you think you are perfect, you need more than a producer. And do not call
me for help. Please.
There are lotsa other reasons I'll
choose someone else to produce an artist I have to pass on, and reasons I'll
choose a producer for my own projects too. Yes, I try not to produce myself.
Why? I'm too close to my own music. I need someone I trust to say "Jimi.
That sucks." I also need that lil' pat on the back when it's really good
but I'm having self esteem issues.
A quarterback relies on the coach to see the big picture. Your producer is the
one that concentrates on the game plan so you can play in the moment.A CD that is not all it can be is a
bigger loss than the cost of a producer that will take your work to the next
Don't shortchange yourself. Be all
the artist you are destined to be.