Interview with Todd Carey
By Dani Felt (May 1, 2016)
Dani: So today we’re welcoming rising music artist, Todd Carey to be featured on Monthly Industry Expert Blog for his amazing work as a singer/songwriter with his upcoming release of “Future Throwback” said to have “the sound of modern pop mixed with hard hitting beats, acoustic, rock, and urban elements.”
The goal of this interview is to share your adventures and lessons in the music industry so you can inspire, motivate and guide our fans to continue going after their creative dreams. So, welcome.
My first question for you is what is your perspective on the life of a music artist in the music industry? When you wake up in the morning, how do you see your world?
Todd: That’s an amazing question.
Dani: Thank you!
Todd: Really, it is so fluid. It just changes so much. I think the one underlying constant (it’s got to be a number one) is absolute love for what you do and the craft—making music or whatever that is. In my case, it’s writing songs, recording and producing them, singing them and performing them live and marketing them.
And so I look at those as the core aspects of my job. If I didn’t love that, then I’d have to rethink it because that is the best part of it, being able to write, record, perform and kind of give you out there.
There’s so much more involved beyond the things that I just listed, both great and not so great. But if you just focus on those few constant things, at least for me, they keep me totally motivated and excited. Because if I know if I’m able to get my fill on those things that I love, it’s worth it for me.
Dani: It sounds like that as a music artist, you’re juggling different parts of your career. You’re a writer. You play guitar. You’re a singer. You’re involved in working with the producers for your work …
Todd: … Right and producing my own stuff, producing stuff for other artists, marketing my own music, growing my social network presence, maintaining communication with my fans and friends is a huge part of what I do. And basically, just kind of like all around brand management, so to speak.
I know that’s a really business-y term for what we do, but I feel like just like a lot of other disciplines, there is a large part of that aspect in what I do.
Luckily, I just feel really connected to what I do, so my brand just extends from me personally. So I have no trouble getting behind it and promoting it.
Dani: Absolutely. It’s basically like you’re your own business. You’re a creative entrepreneur. You’re building something with all your effort. Everything you do is connected to that next level whether it’s social media and working with your Twitter fans and then your Facebook outreach and then your marketing, your touring. You do extensive touring on top of that.
Todd: Totally! And all those things are really fun, but I think the reason that I’m able to continue to do all these things is the love for making music. That’s got to be number one. You just have to love that more than anything, I think, to keep going. So that’s kind of where it all starts.
Dani: At the core of an artist is just that pure passion, their life purpose. They’re meant to create music. They’re devoting their life to it. They’re on this journey. You mentioned the word ‘fluid’ where you just don’t know what to expect, but it’s exciting because amazing things can be around the corner. I know there’s ups and downs, of course, but then you learn from those experiences.
Todd: Totally, yes.
Dani: So I think you need to have a certain personality too to just be able to be, like you said before, ‘fluid’, to be able to change and go with what your market is interested in and what the cool sounds are and navigate different personalities in the music industry, people that you meet.
Todd: Totally, that’s a huge part of it. And luckily, I’m a music student. I’m just grabbing onto one thing you just said. It’s all about changing sounds and styles.
For me, I’ve always just been a student—because I love it, I was like, “What is working? What sounds great? What is interesting to me? And how that relates to what’s working currently and how I fit that into that picture without changing too much of myself, how I fit into that picture creatively?” That’s like the most exciting part of all of these to me.
And I’ll give you an example. My new record that’s not out yet, it’s an 11-song album called “Future Throwback.” I think a lot of people would call it a hard shift from what I do, but the first single, “Nintendo,” which has been garnering some great attention and it just seems like a real blessing to me for what I do, if people heard my last EP, which is definitely more of a singer/songwriter EP, they’ll be like, “Wow! That’s really different.”
For me, first of all, the new music, (at least the new single and the record I just made) is much more in line with the type of music that I come from, which is fun, up-y pop music.
I grew up listening to the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Phil Collins and sounds that you can groove to that have hooks and that have great lyrics. So that’s where I come from. But then, updating it and fitting it into the picture like you know, I play the guitar. The guitar isn’t the hippest thing in pop right now, like, “How do I fit that into the equation, like putting it over beats?”
This for me has been like the last three or four years of what my life has been. I wrote 70 songs for this album first! And it’s a huge part of the process and probably 50 or so songs were just finding what I like.
So yeah, I just grabbed on to one of the many things you said there, which is “How do you fit?” How do you fit what you do into what’s happening currently? I guess that’s my answer, without changing myself too much.