Tiga’s six golden rules for producers

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Just last week, Canadian tastemaker Tiga released Non Stop, his “crystal ball through which you can glimpse the music-encrusted future”. That crystal ball is, in other words, a mix-CD bringing together new and exclusive gems from Tiga’s own studio, his Turbo Recordings cohorts and like-minded producers. To welcome the collection into the world, the studio whiz wrote this Guest Editorial for inthemix. Abide by these golden rules, and you could be burning up dancefloors just like Tiga.


#1 Finish what you start. Always.

As a discipline, don’t even look at it in musical terms, but more as building up an automatic reflex to complete tracks. That hard-drive with 130 ‘cool tracks’ is not worth one finished track. Anybody can start something. Anybody can make something “good”, but it’s only the ones that get finished that the world will ever know about. The very act of knowing and deciding that something is complete is possibly the most crucial step. Every unfinished demo steals a small part of your soul. The goal is to die with nothing half-finished.

#2 If you love it, somebody else will love it.

If you dance in the studio, somebody else will dance (and the corollary: if you don’t love it, what makes you think anybody else will?). You must fight ruthlessly against friends’ opinions, blogs, passing fads, managers, charts, etc. All will try to influence you and distort your instincts.

But while all those factors will change, and are in fact always changing, you must hone and temper your instinct and your knowledge of what you actually love. Imagine if you stopped knowing what is actually funny, stopped knowing when to laugh, and started thinking if you should laugh. It would be over. Shoot yourself. Same with what music you love.

#3 Don’t listen to anybody…Or maybe one person.

If somebody tells you you can or can’t do something, tell them to fuck off. Remind them the world has been crafted by maniacs and dreamers. Remind them that individual men, often maniacs/artists, have gone on to conquer entire countries by following their inner voice. So making some dope club tracks should not require anybody’s consent.

#4 Listen to as much music as you can.

Keep an open mind, but try hard to avoid comparing yourself to anybody, even secretly in your own head. It is a path to ruin, or at best mediocrity. If somebody else says, “Oh your new shit is like part Marcel Dettmann part Stereo MCs”, tell them to fuck off. It is subconscious jealousy and lack of imagination/passive aggression. Surround yourself with people who love music and are supportive or people who stay quiet.

#5 More is not better.

Often when you feel the need to keep adding bits, it’s because the core idea is not interesting. It’s what Phil Spector called ‘polishing a turd’.

#6 ALWAYS test dance music in a club.

One play on a good system can save you days, and often can instantly reveal flaws, or even better reveal the inner hidden power.

Tiga’s new mix-CD Non-Stop is out now through Liberator Music.

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