Exclusive Interview With Four Eyes
Read the Four Eyes Interview below and share it on social media.
Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?
So, I'm Four Eyes and I make a whole bunch of music. I've had songs published on channels like: NCS, Electrostep Network, Berzox, Most Addictive, Clown Music, Alex MTCH and many others. I tend to kind of specialize in the heavier side of electronic dance music, so dubstep/melodic dubstep, glitch hop, electro, etc etc. But my goal is to be able to make all sorts whether it's electronic or something else.
How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years?
I started off (as many people did) back around 2010 when Skrillex first came into the spotlight with his "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" EP. It was eye-opening, I loved the energy you could get from it and at the time I was just like a little 13-year-old kid at the time headbanging away to it haha. From that though, I found similar artists like Knife Party and Zomboy and kinda stumbled upon labels like Never Say Die, Monstercat and NCS all of whom were doing similar kind of things.
That's kinda how it started out, but a producer that changed the game for me was "Virtual Riot", anyone that knows me, will know how much I praise his stuff. His melodic spin on heavy genres is incredible. And it was awesome to see how you could blend the two together. Recently as well the artist duo "Grey" has become an inspiration, they have so many neat production tricks in every song, and it always reminds me to keep trying out new things and experimenting with new ideas.
What´s new right now?
Umm so in terms of whats new. I've recently had a kinda hiatus for the past 6 months where I went completely in the dark to my audience. I think after I got signed to NCS, I realized that I had to start acting like an NCS artist. I'm quite critical of my own music and so to me what I'd been producing just wasn't good enough anymore, so I needed time to improve.
I'm really proud of where I'm at now though. I have a song which is maybe a day away from completion and I'm so excited to send that off to NCS as it'll be my second submission to them ever! So nerves are high. But whether it does or doesn't get on won't affect its release. It's time I came back to releasing stuff for my audience who despite being left in the dark are still supporting me, it's hard to express how much that means ?
And in terms of live shows. I'd love to start doing some soon and I will start working on that shortly but for me right now it's more important to continue on growing my audience. Maybe some day soon though!
Are you a superfan of anyone? How did you become a superfan? Do you remember how you become a fan and what turned you into super fan? Have you ever thought about why you´re such a fan?
Virtual Riot!!! I properly fangirl over this producer haha. We've got a few mutual friends and even that is the coolest thing in the world to me. I think he became one of my favorite producers after hearing his track "Evil Gameboy". But it was after his collab with Sub.Sound "Where Are You" when I became a superfan. It still remains one of my favorite tracks to this day.
What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?
Thinking my music was good from day one. I know this sounds discouraging, but the first song you ever make is unlikely to be your best. Like I remember in my first year of producing, submitting some tracks off to labels like Monstercat and Dubstep Gutter (aka. Gutter Records) almost sure that I was gonna get signed to them. Obviously, that didn't work out haha.
The problem with that kind of unrealistic optimism though is that it kinda sets you up for disappointment. Its okay to accept that your music isn't gonna be the best at the start. Keep comparing your music to the professionals and try your best to stay unbiased and honestly tell yourself how you think your music compares to the pros. Once you kinda realize that "Okay my music isn't quite there yet" it'll leave you open to looking for ways to improve your production skills. And that's how you get better and better. Its hard to accept sometimes, but it's better to be open and looking to improve yourself rather than stuck in denial believing your music is better than everyone else's. Six years in and I'm still looking for ways to improve my production skills, I've still got a way to go but I'm closer than ever before.
Do you have good promotion tips for other musicians?
Submit emails to promotion channels. This is so important. It can be the difference between making 10 followers from a song and 1,000+ followers.
If you're just starting off with music production this may be a good approach to use and its what I used to build an audience. I kinda consider it a "ladder approach". And its good from getting you from 0 followers to maybe 1,000.
I started by scouting out promotion channels that had a small audience themselves and could guarantee me like 100-1,000 views or something. I then had a list of maybe 10 of these. I chose these channels because I figured fewer artists would submit to them and in turn, these channels would be more desperate to find songs that artists wanted to premiere with them or sign to them. I then sent off emails to all 10 of them with the guarantee that I'd add them to the download gate of the track as well (which I did). I'd then wait and see who responded. From the responses I picked the channel that had the most subscribers/followers and told them they could premier the track. I then told all the other ones that said yes that they could also upload the track after the premier came out. From there I now had a bunch of contacts who would be more likely to promote my music seeing as they liked some of my earlier work. I could message them again and do the same thing and make some more followers or as my music got better, scout out bigger promotion channels and do the exact same method. It took a while but eventually, I was able to reach out across to channels that had over 100,000 subscribers and could guarantee views from anywhere between 1,000 to 1million views.
Lot of info there, but hopefully that helps to offer a new method for anyone struggling with that problem haha.
Do you have insights on how to grow your audience on soundcloud that you want to share with our audience?
Keep uploading, use download gates and submit to promotion channels!
For anyone that hasn't heard of it. Download gates are used as a system in which artists allow listeners to download the song for free, but in return, the listener must follow the artist in order to receive the track. They've definitely helped boost my profile, in fact, I think one of the download gate websites showed that I made 1,000 followers form that feature. So definitely recommend that!
I probably wouldn't recommend repost trades or pay for play systems. It's partly a personal choice. I kind of hold the belief that someone should support my music because they genuinely think its good and they think their audience would enjoy it. As opposed to the fact that I'm giving them money or that I offer to repost one of their tracks. Also, a lot of the time these pay for play systems use bots to spam your page giving your track and account fake views which is kinda pointless, and fake followers which Soundcloud removes after time.
What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Umm well, my biggest challenge ever I think has been getting my first 100 followers. It's so tough because every time you complete a track, you kind of this rush of excitement and you tell yourself "This will be the one that'll get me on that label" or "get my first 1,000 views". And then nothing comes of it.
It's a lot of disappointment, it sucks. And you're always constantly doubting whether you'll actually be able to make it. But it really separates the people who just make music to become famous, and the people that actually love making music.
It is one of those things where you have to keep pushing on and trust yourself that you'll make it, it took me a year before I was first signed to a label. But it taught me that if you genuinely want something, then you can do it. It's a cliché. But I still firmly believe it five years on.
How do you personally discover new music?
At the moment it's becoming harder and harder to keep up with new releases coming out, the quality of music which new producers are making is so good that the gap between music made by professionals and underground producers is becoming smaller and smaller. It's really hard to say, probably for me I find new music by checking out producers who are on labels that I want my next song to go on and from there I usually stumble across songs and people who I've never come across before.
Once you discovered new music, do you tell others about the new music/artist you discovered? If yes, how exactly?
"Umm kind of I guess. I mean sometimes I'll give it a repost across my Soundcloud to help the track generate interest and give credit to the artist(s). But to be honest I only do it rarely and usually only to songs and artists that really blow me away.
I tend to not be too active in the kind of social community of music production. I love it and its a great place to talk and really get to know some insanely talented people. But I just don't have the time to balance it in there with all the other stuff I do. So it's unlikely that I'll ever send someone in that community a message about new music I've discovered.
What is your number one tip to improve your music production or songwriting skills?
Number one tip would be to master the basics of mixdowns. I've kinda always considered mixdowns to be the most important thing between a good and a bad song. Like you might have the best chord progression or the best melody but if it doesn't work with the rest of your sounds and sounds messy then its ruined. A lot of producers understand how EQs and compressors work but there's a lot more depth underneath that. Check out concepts like the Fletcher Munson curve or like what soft clipping the signal in compressors can do to your dynamics. They sound confusing but those concepts were definitely game changing for me.
We meet again in one year. What has changed?
Ahh wow, this could be disappointing to look back on haha.
Umm hopefully I'll get to keep working with NCS and grow my audience. Obviously, I'm probably biased but working with NCS has been amazing I'm so honored to be apart of that community. I've spoken to a few other artists from that label and am working with some of them at the moment. They're some of the nicest people I've met in the industry including the management. They're incredibly open and down to earth. I went to ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) this year as well following an invitation for an NCS meetup arranged by the management and it was such a surreal experience meeting talented people from all over the world. I'll never forget that!
So yeh definitely planning on sticking with them as long as I can. But who knows what will happen ?