DO IT YOURSELF: DIY AND MODERN MUSIC
DIY (from English do it yourself) is a popular phenomenon among young people, the basis of which is the production of any kind of product with their own hands. However, such amateur activity is not limited to making funny articles on educational videos on YouTube. Modern DIY affects even such a serious area as the music business.
For most artists, music has long ceased to be a hobby that is practiced for the soul. The modern music industry is a well-established business, where in the first place is not the performing talent, but the producer. Much of the major musicians, one way or another, cooperate with the commercial label, which means they are under the control of the record company. But is it necessary now?
In contrast to the commercial side of musical art, there is the “homemade” side. Some currently popular artists act like this: they record and mix their tracks on their own, and then spread their work through the Internet. We offer you a selection of three notable artists associated with DIY.
Marina and the Diamonds
This Welsh singer cannot be called a DIY adherent in the full sense of the word – two of the three albums of the singer were recorded under the direction of the label. However, Marina made her first steps in the music field on her own.
The early songs were recorded independently by the singer in the program GarageBand, and then sold through a personal page on the social network Myspace. Then Marina managed to independently write an EP “Mermaid vs Sailor”, the first copies of which were recorded on CD by the singer with her own hand. On each of the discs, the track list of the plate was manually written, and the disc packaging was decorated with multi-colored children’s stickers.
A year later, Marina was invited to warm-up with Australian artist Gotye, and six months later she signed a contract with the British record label 679 Artists (known for her work with hip-hop artist Plan B and electro-rock band Dead Disco). However, after the release of the second album, the singer had problems with the label, because of which even the European tour in support of the album was canceled. After that, the singer again went free swimming. The latest album Marina and the Diamonds “Froot” was recorded by the singer independently and was highly appreciated by music critics. Only in the first week after the release, more than 10,000 copies of the record were sold, and the album hit the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart.
“Shikari” is exactly the team that first comes to mind when mentioning musical DIY. The British Enter Shikari also began their career with distributing the first self-recorded albums through the Myspace site.
In the summer of 2006, the band members even created their own record label Ambush Reality, which is run by Enter Shikari themselves, as well as their friends. However, its own label is not enough to distribute its albums and tour outside its native UK.
In 2007, Ambush Reality Records signed a distribution agreement with Warner Music, which helped the band tour North America. Soon, Enter Shikari broke off a partnership with a large label and signed a contract with independent Southern California-based company Hopeless Records, through which Enter Shikari are selling their albums in America so far.
The ongoing concept
This rock band from Idaho is interesting because it takes musical DIY to a new level. The fact is that in 2015, to record their second album “Handmade,” the musicians from The Ongoing Concept manually collected all the necessary musical instruments for recording.
The guys learned how to make guitars and drums on tutorials on Youtube and spent about two months making the instruments.
“The most difficult and long in all this was the process of drying the tree. The fact is that fresh wood itself is too raw to cut and glue something out of it, so we cut it into small pieces and warmed each one in the microwave. It was necessary to monitor the temperature of the tree very closely, because the microwave at any time could catch fire, ”says frontman of the group Dawson Scholz.
The Ongoing Concept not only recorded the album using self-made instruments, but also went on tour with them in support of the album. According to the frontman, the band members were too worried about the hand-made tools that could break down on the road, so it was decided to make a new set of tools with reinforced hulls for a major US tour. The album “Handmade” has collected many positive reviews from critics and fans.
It is also noteworthy that all the music videos of the group were filmed by the vocalist of the group.