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Quora Answer : As a music producer, how can I start producing music that's peculiar to only me?

Jan 28, 2020

If you have one influence. You'll sound like that influence.

If you have two influences, you'll sound like a mixture of those two.

If you have a hundred influences, people will give up trying to track them and just say you have an original sound.

As Alex Johnston says, you can't avoid having influences and sounding like them. Culture is made of copyings and imitations and inspiration. There's no shame in that. That's what it is, and what it has to be. That's what makes it "communication" between us. And not just something that isolates us.

I think Johnson is wrong that you can't "try" to do something genuinely different, though. Or that it isn't worth the attempt. Or that people don't value it.

I very much value it personally. When I hear something that I really can't place anywhere else. I'm always saying "Wow, that was so great, it was so unlike anything else!"

I remember a friend complaining to me back when you could first hear jungle on pirate radio stations around London, that when he picked it up, he thought he was hearing two radio stations interfering with each other. The beats seemed so disconnected from what was going on over the top. He said it like it was a bad thing. But I remember thinking at the time "Fuck yeah! That's what I want to hear. (And make). Music which almost sounds like it can't quite be one thing because bits are flying off in different directions"

Of course, you don't want to be completely arbitrary. But the joy of originality is the ability to recombine existing elements in a novel way. And to succeed in the challenge of making things that never went together before, fit together in a way that feels "right".

So yeah ... have a lot of influences, explore music, love music, and keep putting the things you love together in different combinations. Eventually you'll find something that is completely you. Even as it's also all those other people you love.

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