It’s been a week since I dropped my first track, Lightsplitter, and I’ve had some time to reflect now that the dust has settled. I never knew how much I didn’t know about the business side of music. For a long time simply making music kept me happy enough, but it occurred to me that art is not really art if nobody hears it. So it became my duty to force myself to commit to a social posting schedule, handle problems with my distributor, learn Photoshop and Premier, and more. I had to quickly learn a lot to get this release out, all while holding down a more than full time day job. It’s a lot to confront, for anybody starting out in this industry. I’ll share with you my inspiration for the track, which was important enough for me to go through all of this to share with you, and some of the things that you run into when you’re an independent musician.
The inspiration behind this release was an concept. I wanted to give the listener a feeling of being next to something so fast and powerful it could split light (photons). The name lightsplitter also has a few other meanings I felt contributed to the concept, such as the idea of a prism splitting light into multiple colors, and the “double slit” experiment which proved light could be a wave or a particle, depending on an observer.
It was a totally solo project. I believe this is something noteworthy, because I did everything from designing all the sounds myself, to doing the mixing/mastering myself. I had total control over the entire process to ensure that nothing altered this original concept. This is the way I normally work, and how my upcoming releases were made as well.
I wanted the track to work well on a dance floor yet be interesting and dynamic when played over streaming platforms, so I made two separate masters, one loud one that will only sound good without any kind of loudness management algorithm, like in a club. The other is a dynamic master with lots of peaks and troughs in the volume, that will sound best over streaming platforms like Spotify and in iTunes. The loud ones are at Beatport and Juno, and every other store has the dynamic version.
I used Ditto music distribution services, since they are the only ones who claim to be able to get you on Beatport without a label. In retrospect I may have been better off with a label because it’s been a week since the release date and Lightsplitter is still not up on Beatport. I’m working with customer service but they are quite slow.
I spent weeks stressing and grinding to get this release to come off as perfectly as possible. Ditto was not holding my hand so I was on constant alert, making sure everything was being done correctly on their end. Photo shoots, press releases, social media post schedule, artwork, video creation, Photoshop and Premier editing, these things aren’t free, and take a substantial amount of time and energy.
I believe there comes a point at which many artists put so much into their work yet the universe puts so many barriers up and tells them over and over again to give up, so they do. I am not that guy, but I have felt that pressure daily. Lightsplitter embodies that attitude of pushing through despite all obstacles. Go get your dreams guys!