BY DOUG FENSKE
Self-education is a process that is as old as our world. Our ancestors developed housing, means of conveyance and art without formal education (referred to as autodidactism). Many successful people have blossomed from self-education over thousands of years. In modern times, self-education takes the form of absorbing information from reputable sources, applying that information and repeating the process. How do we self educate in the music industry and where do we begin?
Many articles and columns will say to begin by defining your goal. However, a bit of self-exploration should happen before any goal is specified. First, define who you want to be in the music industry. Often times I caution aspiring individuals against painting with broad strokes in this area. For example, someone who wants to be an artist, producer AND a DJ right from the very beginning of their career is facing a taller task than someone who is dialed in to one specific trade. The individual who wants to hold all of those titles will be spreading their time, commitments and energy across all three of those career paths, as opposed to the person who puts all of their effort into mastering a single craft. That is not to say after becoming a productive, professional producer that a career as a DJ is out of the question. Quite the contrary. The skillset and sharpened decision-making learned as a producer will benefit the pursuit of becoming a DJ, plus the connections made during your time a producer will help finesse the process. Before any sort of goal is defined, clearly determine who you are, who you want to be and what you want to accomplish.
Doug Fenske is a GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum engineer, producer and mixer for artists such as Frank Ocean, Ryan Tedder and LL Cool J. He also serves as Director of Education for Crē•8 Music Academy, which provides four music production courses through a unique partnership with Westlake Recording Studios (Rihanna, The Weeknd, Michael Jackson, Adele).
Larry Katz has been a senior executive, attorney, consultant and trusted advisor in the Entertainment Industry for more than twenty-five years, and currently runs his own legal and consulting practices known as “Lawrence H. Katz, P.C. – Attorneys At Law”, based in New York City, and “Katz Consulting Group, Inc.”, based in Los Angeles.