TechMuze Academy is a school for music producers based in Ontario Canada. Specializing in music and technology, the TechMuze Academy offers a diverse variety of classes providing the most up-to date advice about the music industry. TechMuze initially began as a podcast, that facilitated an interactive community that focused on sharing and promoting information about the producing industry. Now TechMuze has transformed into a prestigious academy that teaches independent musicians on topics such as music production and marketing. The courses available at TechMuze Academy provide producers on the technicalities of the craft, how to creatively develop your own music and how to navigate the industry. MRC recently caught up with the owner of TechMuze Dezz Asante ,we discussed with him relevant advice/tips and the production courses available as well as how to grow and prosper as artist in the music industry.
MRC INTERVIEWS DEZZ ASANTE
Q. MRCPROMO: What is Tech Muze? Why is it important?
A. DEZZ: It began as just a podcast. I wanted a platform to share my thoughts and learnings with like minded people. Since then it has grown into much more. The TechMuze Academy is now a community of DIY musicians learning and sharing about our two pillar topics; Music Production and Music Marketing. The name TechMuze comes from my love of both technology and technique (the Tech part) as well as music and the creative muse (the Muze part). My goal with the Academy is to provide high quality, easy to understand courses to help any DIY musician make better music and grow a massive following. These days we have so many tools and resources available to do BOTH of these things but I’ve found that most musicians lack a clear strategy. That’s why I’ve created The TechMuze Academy.
Q. MRCPROMO: When did you begin producing? Did you have mentors or are you self taught, and how do you apply that knowledge to your production and craft?
A. DEZZ: I’ve been a musician as long as I can remember. I’ve been producing music as a Cubase user since the early 90’s. I’m primarily self taught although I did attend the Trebas Institute in Toronto to learn about recorded music production. Tribes was great but schools like these are very expensive. This is another reason I create courses for TechMuze students. I also promote a number of courses from friends of mine. The $20,000 it costs to go to recording school can get you PLENTY of education AND gear if you do it yourself. Although I learned a lot at Trebas most of my practical knowledge comes from online courses and pure practice.
Q. MRCPROMO: For a home studio, what is the best music software & instruments a beginner should start with?
A. DEZZ: That’s a tough one. I view all of these things as tools. Which tool you choose depends specifically on what you’re trying to accomplish. As I mentioned, I happen to be a Cubase user but any major DAW will get the music made. I would advise that one considers what type of music they wish to make. For example, if you are a guitarist/singer-songwriter you’ll probably fair better with something like Protools, Cubase or Studio One. However an electronic music producer might find that FL Studio or Ableton Live is better suited for that type of workflow.
Q. MRCPROMO: How did you learn marketing..was it something that evovled with your music?
A. DEZZ: My passion for marketing developed out of the desire to get TechMuze in front of as many people that may be helped as possible. I dove deep into internet marketing via podcasts, paid courses and paid membership communities. The more I learned the more I began to realize that my people (i.e. DIY musicians) needed to know this stuff. From there I began tweaking these marketing strategies to better suit musicians and built the Academy’s second course The Artist Promotion Blueprint. I’m currently in the process of designing A.P.B. 2.0 as I’ve learned much more since the first version was released.
Q. MRCPROMO: What are some simple tips an artist should know to grow their fan base.
A. DEZZ: Be REAL and be EVERYWHERE… often! Nobody will discover you in your bedroom. Use live streaming apps like Periscope or Busker to stay in front of your audience. Take those videos and upload them to YouTube. Embed the YouTube vids on your blog and share them EVERYWHERE. Everything you publish becomes an evergreen point of discovery for potential fans. Once they’ve discovered you let them get to know the real you. Sure people want music but they crave connection. This is how you create super fans (also known as customers).
Q. MRCPROMO: What are the elements of a good press kit and why does an artist need one?
A. DEZZ: To be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience with traditional press kits. This is primarily because I prefer the Direct-To-Fan approach to marketing. If I were trying to get label attention I might build one but I’d rather leave the middle man out of my fan relationships.
Q. MRCPROMO: What are some ways a musician can make a living with their craft besides touring or merch sales?
A. DEZZ: We have so many opportunities these days. Here are a few: music licensing, promoting affiliate products on your website/email list, creating a “fan club” style paid membership site for your super fans, setting up a Patreon account and asking your fans to become your supporters, etc. These are just a few of the things covered in The Artist Promotion Blueprint.
Q. MRCPROMO: Do you think every artist/musician should build a fan email list? What are some ways to go about that?
A. DEZZ: YES YES YES!! Your email list is literally a business asset. It is a database of people who have raised their hands and said “Yes, I’d like to know more about you”. In marketing that’s referred to as a “Hot Lead”. It’s something you own and control (unlike your Facebook or Twitter following). When you send an email to your list it hits EVERY inbox. Compared that to a Facebook post. These days you’re lucky if 5% of your fans see your post (unless you pay). Place a subscribe box in the sidebar of your website and create a dedicated “sign up” page that you can share and print on your business cards, etc. It’s important to have something to offer in return for a subscription. Perhaps a free track or some behind the scenes video. Whatever you think would be of value to a new fan. Mention the link at the end of every video you post. Basically make it your main priority. As your list grows you’ll have an actual market of fans ready to check out your next release. It’s very powerful and any internet marketer will agree that it’s one of the most important things to do.
Q. MRCPROMO: What kinds of program or deals do you offer musicians? Any freebies? Where can we find?
A. DEZZ: I’ve created 2 pillar courses at the TechMuze Academy. The first is MixLessons.com, a 25 week deep dive into modern, “in-the-box” mixing. The second is The Artist Promotion Blueprint where I walk you through all of the things I’ve been talking about today and much more. From building a website from scratch to connecting your social media sites for content distribution to growing and nurturing your fan list and of course making sales and getting support from your super fans. All with a heavy focus on automation so you can stay focused on making great content and engaging with your fans. Both courses have free content to see if my teaching style is for you. Visit TechMuze Academy to browse all of the courses that I promote.
Q. MRCPROMO: Last words.. tips or shout outs?
A. DEZZ: Shout out to all of the hard working DIY musicians out there taking their careers into their own hands! These are my people! As for last words: “Continue working on your craft and making great content (both music and other) and take EVERY opportunity to share your content with the world as often as you possibly can.” …Oh and collect emails!!
INTERVIEW: MRC Promotions
EDITOR: La Mont Reed