KLP’s Survival Guide To Making An EP
Sydney wonder woman KLP is riding high on the release of her new EP ‘Ember’ along with being on the headliners of Brisbane’s 2016 Valley Fiesta! Many would know KLP as the voice of triple j’s ‘House Party’ program, but the producer and singer over the past year has also toured with Art vs Science and her music video for Recover featured cameos from Peking Duk, Alex Dyson, Jess Kent, and Set Mo. Oh, and she’s also been collaborating with What So Not and Skrillex. Yeah, we also feel a bit unproductive in our lives now too…
In support of her set at Valley Fiesta, and to just understand how to be a super productive music person, we asked KLP to run us through what you need to do when making an EP full of booming beats, charming melodies, and groovy soundscapes!
1. Decide if an EP is the right thing for you to be making
If you’re a fairly brand new artist, maybe putting out singles or using the triple j unearthed platform would be a better way to go until you build up a little bit of momentum. But if you’ve honed in on your sound and direction and you’re ready to put out a few songs at once, then maybe an EP is for you!
2. WRITE LOTS OF MUSIC!
Don’t just write four or five songs and think “I’m finished” – write more than you need to so you can pick the cream of the crop. For my EP I wrote over 20 songs and then picked the absolute best ones that I loved and thought worked as a group nicely.
3. If you get writers block, try to keep going!
There are lots of resources you can use if you find you’re getting stuck in the writing process. Collaborating with people is one, even if it’s with people that make slightly different music to you, it can help to push your boundaries or really define what you’re looking for.
A book called ‘The Artists’ Way’ once really helped me get back on track when I was a little stuck and always censoring my own ideas. I didn’t even finish the book, I just read it until I felt like the doors of creativity opened back up.
4. Build a good team around you!
I’ve always struggled with giving up control and letting people do things to help me, but sometimes you kind of have to. It helps if you really trust the people around you so take the time to build up a good team that will help carry out the release as smoothly as possible.
There are 100 per cent bound to be bumps in the road, so if you have a solid group there to help out, it can make the bumpy times a lot easier to handle. Manager, record label, publisher, booking agent (to plan a tour perhaps), PR company to service your songs and get some press – there are a lot of people that can help!
5. Be patient
ARGH, this one is hard! But sometimes it’s better to wait and get things right, as opposed to rush it out when things aren’t as good as they can be.
6. Plan out a budget
From studio time, mixing, mastering, photos, artwork, PR…there can be a lot of costs. However there’s no point in investing time and energy into creating amazing music, and then having it not sound complete, or no-one even hearing it. Set aside time to create a budget so you don’t get any rude surprises and end up broke as f*ck at the end of the day!
7. Get your songs mixed and mastered by the right person
Getting the right mix is absolutely crucial. If your songs are going to hold their worth next to other songs on the radio or internet, you want to make sure they sound the absolute best they possibly can. Spend a little bit of money and find the right person to mix and master.
I created a pinterest mood board and collected pictures and ideas that I liked for the months leading up to the ‘Ember’ EP. Then when it came to artwork I had a really clear vision of the type of vibe I liked. Spend the time to get it right!
Hey, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve made a damn EP! Take a moment to enjoy the fact that it’s finished!
10. Make sure people hear it, then expect nothing
Hopefully through budgeting and the hired help you have employed, by release time there’s a PR company on board to help service your EP to radio stations, get media and send it out so people can hear it. Follow it up and make sure it all happens. Then…expect nothing.
Don’t do it for the accolades or media or likes, do it because you like the process of making music. It’s a bonus if it brings in income and helps to move things forward and build your fan base, but you need to be doing it for the underlying love of music.
Catch KLP live at Valley Fiesta 8:30pm @ Brunswick Street Mall Main Stage, along with her Falls Festival and Party In The Paddock appearances – more info HERE
Valley Fiesta 2016 Lineup:
Yacht Club DJs
Set Times HERE
Valley Fiesta 2016
FRI 28 – SUN 30 OCT
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane