Creating the first album is a massive milestone in any artist or group’s career. But once the feat is accomplished, many doors are opened for their career. Tours, bookings, sync placements, and more are all possible once you have released the comprehensive body of work that an album entails.
Releasing an album seems like the golden goose for up-and-coming artists, but few of them know what they are signing up for when they commit to the process.
After releasing their debut album, Brigade learned invaluable lessons about the creative process, the music industry, and themselves, and is here to show you the most important lessons they learned. So after checking out their debut album, let’s dive into the five most important lessons you can only know after releasing your first album.
Stream Brigade’s Debut Album Below
To be honest, if you had told me that this was Brigade’s debut album, I wouldn’t believe you. The eclectic blend of genres, timbres, and inspirations showcases maturity in their craft that is usually only seen in industry veterans.
The genres span twelve tracks, from laid-back hip-hop-inspired beats to dance-friendly tunes. Each track showcases the duo’s sound from a different perspective while all remain markedly unique to their signature tonality.
With a breadth of work as diverse as this album below, it’s no wonder they learned the myriad lessons they’re about to share while putting it all together.
Check Out State Funding
Somewhat awkward to make the first heading about that money thing, but we really wish someone had made us do this earlier.
It turns out Germany has a pretty good support system for musicians called Initiative Musik. This gave us incredible creative freedom to book studio sessions and get everything around the album done the way we wanted to. Big thanks to all of you German taxpayers.
Get People Involved And Pay Them
If you’re anything like us, you’re confident in the music making process. (ish… honestly, we still don’t know what we’re doing). It should be your main thing; probably not many people can do what you do in that field.
However, we are terrible at pretty much everything else.
So when it comes to design, photography, video making, writing press releases, budgeting, and mixing, we need to ask other people. Over the years, we have built a pretty good team around us.
In the end, we two make all the final decisions, but we are getting so much help from friends and friends of friends; it’s unbelievable. Having some state funding helps because we can pay people where possible. Still not enough compared to the amount of work, but pretty much all that money went to them.
Stop Building Your Studio
Building your studio is one of the best ways to procrastinate and not make music. We spent so much time building and taking apart studios over the years that, in hindsight, it would’ve been better to work from our bedrooms.
At this point, we’d instead work on headphones than ever build another piece of acoustic treatment. (Also, we’re an embarrassment to the woodworking community. Doing things with our hands, no thank you!) Our studio right now is as good as it gets acoustically, but we know the room and spend much more effort making it a creative, fun space than anything else. It’s not a shiny Beatport top 10s producer studio but an excellent place for experimentation.
Take Time Off And Work In A Studio Away From Your Hometown
Ok, big captain is obvious here: Living in a big city like Berlin can be super distracting. It’s good to get out to get things done.
Once we had most of the primary songwriting process done, we rented a small studio in this town called Eberswalde for one week to finish the album. At first, we were kind of scared it would turn into a “The Shining” type situation but turning off our phones and being away from our average daily distractions helped us to give the album the final touches.
It was a nice, productive holiday. 10/10, would do it again.
Make A Plan And Then Work Step By Step
Once we realized the demos might become a more significant project, we started plotting out all sorts of things like song statuses and time plans on slightly chaotic excel spreadsheets.
Not very fantastic, but we would’ve been lost otherwise. Doing an album is a lot of work, and you can get lost in the process from time to time. It’s so simple but helpful to have an overview like “song A still needs drums” or “contact music video person x by date y.”
Lists like that gave us a good direction and schedule for just taking things as they came up instead of always trying to race to the finish line.