As soon as I meet someone and tell them that I work in a recording studio the first question they ask is ‘Have you ever recorded anyone famous?!‘.
The association with recording studios and the rich and famous is an obvious one, and I understand where this question comes from, but I always find myself having to disappoint. I used to just say no and watch people pull a sympathetic face, but after this became too much to bear I developed a standard answer that goes something like this…
‘…errr….I’ve worked with a lot of people who have played with big artists… and I’ve worked on tracks that have involved a few names (I try to casually mention Eric Clapton, Mark Knofler and Carly Simon whilst pretending there are many more on the list)…’ but, inevitably, I always end up saying saying no, I haven’t.
This pains me more than it should do, not because I want to relate stories about how I am on first name terms with Adele (does she have a surname?!), but because the minute you tell people that you’re not working with the biggest name of the hour they can’t help but make the assumption that you’re not very good at your job. I take objection to this. How many plumbers feel disappointed that they’ve never unblocked the Queen’s toilet? Does anyone think less of them because of it?
I’ve been making a living from recording music for ten years now, which I feel is pretty good going considering how everyone been’s predicting the end of the music business for the last few years. I may not be working with Gary Barlow everyday, but does this make my job less worthwhile? I care about working with artists who want to make good music, irrespective of what rung of the ladder they may be on.
With music becoming more and more diverse, coupled with the digital distribution possibilities of the web, I can see a future where more and more smaller artists make a career out of recording and performing music, providing they are prepared to work hard at it. They won’t be driven around in limos or playing arenas but they will be able to do what they love and make a living out of it. Which is exactly what I hope to keep doing… until Adele comes knocking of course.