(This stemmed from reading on a music forum a post about a producer feeling exhausted and “lost” with his [only] genre.)
Ever feel “lost” making your music genre?
My tip: don’t just stick to one genre.
I can say that in my career, I’ve definitely experienced the pain that comes from trying to force one style too much at one point. I have also seen that in many others, who I’ve later on tried to encourage to do whatever. And every now and then I hear “a D&B producer” break out of his shell and “loving making music again” etc.
I guess on one level one part of you has reasons for pushing one style (maybe it’s gained you some recognition, you realize you have the talent for it, or maybe one particular style has gained you a few bucks), but in the long run it’s very hard to do, and another part of you probably wants to experience again the same joy it once did – and that joy can be hard to experience without leaving the good old playground you’re used to. Remember, when you were working on your first/main genre in the beginning, you were learning many different things relating to your genre. Your mind needs to experience that again every now and then – it needs new challenges. Do different things. Just do what comes naturally, without expectations.
I’ve been making music for 25 years, and no way it would’ve been possible by doing one genre only.
The hardest periods for me have been those when I’ve tried to make too much D&B and too often. It’s almost like eating the same meal over and over again. Probably there are better analogies, but you get my point.
D&B has always been my main genre, and I’m happy about it, because just like with a language, you need one basis you’ll always compare others to, and in a way that’s been helpful, too, when making hip hop, for example.
Every time I’ve realized I need to step outside of it real bad, I’ve felt those amazingly rewarding feelings once again and had some really productive periods and “found myself again” and realized how destructive sticking to one genre for too long can be. You’ll be “lost” because maybe you’ve exhausted the paths you can travel – you just need to step into a whole new forest altogether.
These days, i’m switching between genres all the time, which has taken some learning as for a long time, i could only be in one “zone” at a time genre-wise, and being in that zone always lasted for maybe 2 months at a time, but i’ve finally learned to be “zone-free”, which has lead in amazing productivity; in 2017, I’m releasing four albums (one D&B, two hip hop, one 120–140 BPM electronic stuff), as 2016 has been insanely productive as i’m switching between genres and styles almost daily…honestly, that never ever gets boring.
If you look at the catalogues of producers who have been doing it the longest, you’ll probably see that they’ve kept it varied. Or, if not, they’ve got somewhat boring with their one genre.
So, if you feel “lost” with your genre, maybe you should try giving yourself a little bit of “genreless freedom”.