10 Things We Learned at IMS College – Malta 2017

With the second IMS College – Malta now completed, IMS looks back at the important take aways from the two-day, three-night educational initiative with guidance from some of the industry’s top leaders.

Here’s what we learned from the second annual IMS College in Malta!

  1. In the early stages of your career as an electronic artist, originality is key to attracting the attention of A&R’s and industry heads.

    “Please, write your own page, write your own story, don’t try to be like Richie Hawtin, we already have a Richie Hawtin” – Renaat Vandepapeliere (R&S Records, Founder, Belgium).

  2. That it’s not necessarily essential to be classically trained to make music. Such training can be a threat as the approach maybe too defined.

    “It’s not about mathematics, it’s about feelings” – UNER (Artist, Spain).

  3. When approaching labels with demos, tailor each email to match their style and musical output. Casting the net wide and approaching numerous different labels with the same email can have a negative effect.

    “Find a few words and explain why you feel the music fits the label” – Ralf Kollmann (Mobilee, Co-Founder, Germany).

  4. It’s important for electronic artists to widen the scope and to explore different industries with their music.

    “The cinema industry is really looking for electronic musicians” – Agoria (Artist, France).

  5. Mixing your productions in Mono will give you a more polished sound.

    “As an exercise in mixing, if your mixes sound good in Mono, then they will sound awesome in Stereo” – JC Concato (Point Blank, Creative Director, UK)

  6. That turntables and a mixer should be considered an instrument.

    “It’s very simple, it’s just my instrument, two turntables and a mixer. I’ve worked for 37 years now as a DJ and I’ve never seen a reason to change my style” – Sven Väth (Artist, Germany).

  7. An insight into the Maltese electronic music market. Although the scene has grown positively, local artists believe that there is a limit to their own development on the island.

    “I believe there’s only so much you can do in a 30-kilometer island. We have a good scene in Malta but eventually you will have to go international” – Joven Tenishia (Artist, Malta)

  8. CR2 Records are launching a new educational initiative called #Learn4Free. Two production tutorial series that focus on underground and main room studio techniques designed to guide up and coming producers. 10% of proceeds will be donated to Teen Cancer USA.

  9. The significance and importance of utilizing DJ Charts on Beatport to gain exposure as an artist.

    “DJ Charts is second biggest drivers of sale and discovery. No matter how small you are of an artist, it’s a way of building on records that you are putting out” – Jack Bridges (Beatport, Director of Artists, Labels, Sounds, Berlin).

  10. As an artist, it is fundamentally important to work with a publisher to ensure that all of your royalty payments are collected.

    “Publishers do all the legwork so you can focus on making music. They pitch you, they invest in you, they advise you. Performing rights license all the organizations like Radio 1 and Creamfields. The publishers drive them to make sure the money is paid to the right people” – Mark Lawrence (AFEM, CEO, UK).