Soul man sees Internet mostly as a blessing for producers

In keeping with our mission to cover the issues affecting music in the Internet age from all angles, we invited London-based soul producer Mathieu Karsenti to answer the question:

“How does the internet affect your work as a producer?”

Mathieu: As an independent Modern Soul music producer, the internet has been very beneficial in helping reach and connect with the kind of artists and organisations I would like to work with. I come from the generation that grew up with vinyl and CD, the era when artists were original, creative and technically advanced. Finding these artists nowadays without the help of the internet would be very hard and most or all of my contacts now come from online sources such as Reverbnation, Facebook, MySpace, personal music websites, blogs, e-zines, internet radio stations…  With the current shift to digital downloads and the physical product becoming obsolete, it has also meant that producers, engineers, musicians, and everyone else involved in the ‘making of a record’ gets paid a lot less. Nowadays, ‘home-based producers’ can produce professional sounding tracks, place them online and make money, email them to the artists in no time (without sometimes meeting them in person), so the cost of recording an album or a single has plummeted.

Big recording studios are struggling to keep afloat as the industry is changing and big bosses aren’t making as much money as before. To me, this means that we all have to adapt and work harder than ever: the days of artists pining for a record deal are numbered, and so are the days of industry professionals making tons of cash from music. We have entered into a time where artists must build their own fanbase online, reach out to a wider audience with their blogs/websites/gigs and take control of their music and image. The emphasis is on making money playing live and building an online presence.

The Internet is making people think again and that’s a good thing. In order to survive, producers, like artists have to promote their services in their niche, market themselves and still find the time to run a business and write music. Personally, thanks to the Internet, I was able to really target the right artists and music industry professionals and build a real following for what I do.

The cons are also interesting though: spending too much time researching on the net and promoting takes away from actually making music (which is my main purpose). Copyright and illegal downloads are still important issues, and everyone needs to be up-to-date and learn more about how the old music business model operates in order to understand and adapt to the internet days and create a new business model.

My work has always been about encouraging artists, developing their sound, supporting originality and talent just like in the olden days (but with a modern approach) without resorting to production tricks or conforming to production/music genre trends. I spend a lot of time playing instruments, recording them properly, coaching singers to use their voice properly and generally aiming to produce ‘warm’, soulful sounding music that I want to hear.

Finding artists that have the same approach is essential, and the net has definitely opened up the possibilities of reaching them.
Soulem’s blog

Mathieu Karsenti a.k.a Soulem is a professional music producer, composer, songwriter, musician and vocal coach from London, UK. His music is an understated signature sound that complements the artists he works with, ‘putting the Soul back into modern music’.

His influences and his musical experiences mean he can deliver commercial music that is in tune with current ‘Urban’ trends. He has recently worked with Britain’s Got Talent winner Diversity and Sky1 show ‘Got to Dance’.

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