RCR Recording Studios: Be an original, not a copy. The world is full of unoriginal ideas, what it needs most is your unique sound. We are just beginning 2024 and if you listen to the top 40 music charts you may start to see a pattern. Every song is well produced and well written and sounds like a carbon copy of the last song you heard on the chart with rare exceptions. Music these days is becoming more and more homogenous (that’s a fancy word meaning more of the same) to the point where the biggest criticism today is that music is becoming boring. My dad likes to relate a story that when his father, a very talented jazz musician, was listening to the new pop music coming out at the time (like the Beatles or Rolling Stones) he told my dad that it was just noise. Why? Because it was new and different. When my dad heard some of the music, I was listening to growing up he said nearly the same thing, that’s not music it’s just noise (He has since come around to appreciate that music by the way). No one is saying today’s music is just noise, they’re saying it’s boring. There is no one breaking new ground or trying new things, today’s music is just copies of each other. There are many reasons for this (The internet, major labels and a slew of others) but I’d like to talk about reasons why it should not be this way.

Being forced into conformity can feel stifling and creatively bankrupt. And when that happens you lose the passion for music you had in the first place. You have to risk being offensive (musically, not just being a jerk) in order to stand out from the crowd and get away from what everyone else is doing. It’s so much easier to just copy what’s hot right now but all that’s doing is devaluing the actual value of music. Who cares if all the music sounds the same if no one is paying attention in the first place? Well, I tend to think that’s why no one cares about music anymore. It’s just background noise. Why should I pay attention to background noise? Write music that demands to be listened to and demands to be talked about. Who is talking about the new hit single these days aside from industry shills? When was the last time you heard a song that really made you think or helped you to understand the world in a new way? I’d venture to guess it wasn’t recent.

Trying to sound like everyone else can be frustrating on another level as well, because you will inevitably become disappointed when you sound like a second rate copy instead of a first rate you. You begin to feel inauthentic and disingenuous. You start to feel like a tiny needle in a sea of hay and have to just hope and pray that someone is looking for you. A single flower in a barren field stands out more and can be so much prettier than one flower amongst many in a garden of beautiful plant life. Variety is the spice of life. If you ate pizza everyday you would eventually get sick of it. That’s what’s happening in today’s music industry. Go eat a steak or some tofu or anything other than pizza and you will begin to come alive and get excited about food. 

So how do you embrace your own authentic sound? In a word, courage. Courage is needed to stand out from the crowd and go in a different direction. You will risk criticism, naysayers and people who may be jealous of your talents but that’s no reason to conform. It’s all the more reason to press forward. It’s been said that no one erected a statue of a critic. Only people willing to have the courage to try something new and different get noticed and that’s going to generate haters and wannabes. They may call you crazy, naive or just plain untalented, but “they” are often wrong and if you embrace your true unique sound, you will have a much better chance at garnering a following of people hungry for something new, something authentic. In short, have the courage to be yourself.

At RCR we foster an environment where you have the freedom to be yourself and we encourage you to be the best you, you can be, not a second rate someone else. Have the courage to start your musical journey and we will help you on your path.

Cary Crichlow, Senior Producer and Engineer