CARSTN is an ambitious DJ and upcoming producer hailing from Southern Germany. After several years of gaining experience as a music curator and DJ for private events, he finally decided to follow his passion for electronic music and launched his artist profile in 2018.
The release of his single “Honey” in 2019 kickstarted his career – since then he managed to gain an ever growing number of streams across platforms and a followership well in the four-figure-range.
Here’s our Q&A with the aspiring ForTunes user CARSTN:
How did you get hooked on producing music? Tell us about the early days of your career.
I wanted to make music since I was a child which is why I started to play the guitar at eight years. At the age of ten, I realised my music style needs more rhythm and stopped playing the guitar. So, I started drumming lessons. In 2009, I also started DJing to combine my love for rhythm and music in general. The next step in my career was to produce my own music which I did with the help of Ableton Live.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an up and coming artist in the digital age?
To me, the biggest challenge is the rapidly developing digital generation. It is super easy to get into making music with the current software which is available.
Also, YouTube is another great place to find tutorials to get into producing your own music. Therefore, you must be unique: find your own style and promote your music.
Do you have some insights on running a smooth live show? Please share them with us!
When performing live in front of a crowd, it’s important to not only see but also to feel the emotions of the audience. You need to figure out what they want to hear right now and what they like and, even more, what they dislike or even hate. It took me quite a while to figure this out, but today, I’m really into it. Preparation is the key!
There is nothing more important than a great preparation for your performance. With a good preparation you can react to your audience and change your course in music. This fast transitions and changes of music are another key aspect for me. I often use the tool “Mixed in Key” to make my sounds fitting and harmonic. In addition to that, as a warmup DJ, you must check and know the DJs that are going to play as the main event of the evening. It’s important to know what they are going to play, so you don’t play their songs as a warmup.
Your tracks got added to massive playlists like Spotify’s “Wochenende”. Can you give us some insights into your playlist game?
At the point of the release of my songs, it’s important to promote them as much as possible and try to receive as much interaction with my followers. When Spotify’s algorithm shows that many people like a song, chances are high that it still gains attention a few weeks later. Consequently, it is added to playlists such as “Wochenende”.
Another important aspect is the networking with other artists in order to be added on various independent playlists. Keeping in touch with other DJs is helpful as they might promote your songs on their social networks or their playlists.
However, when I suggest my songs for specific playlists, I always keep in mind that the style of my song fits into the style of the playlist. It does not make any sense to suggest a hip hop track to a list consisting of deep and tropical house songs.
Name your top 3 software tools for engaging in musical content. Why do you think they’re awesome!
My top 3 software tools are “Spotify for Artists”, “1001trackslists” and “ForTunes”.
Spotify for Artists is great to check the analytics of your songs and playlists and how the listeners interact with them.
1001tracklists is perfect for checking hits which are trending right now. Also, you can find some hidden gems in sets from other DJs.
Your all-in-one app ForTunes is just awesome. It provides you an overview of all your accounts connected to your music in one app. But what I like most is the possibility to give a shoutout to the people supporting me and my music.
How do you feel about the evolution of digital music streaming services?
Since there is such a high-paced evolution in our digital generation, you must keep track of all the important music streaming services. In Europe, Spotify is one of the most important music streaming services, but maybe one day Amazon will take the lead as the most important music streaming service.
So, in my opinion, you need to be present on all platforms and streaming services.
When you start a new track – what are the first steps?
Well, there’s not really a formula to do so. I’m just going to my home studio and work on whatever catches my attention. This can be anything, whether it is working on the vocals, the melody, new samples or even plug-ins. Once I have a rough idea for a track, I try to visualize it in my head instead of permanently working on it.
Putting all the work aside and taking a break from time to time is important for my work. After a break I often have zero struggles to produce the perfect track.
How important are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
Data insights are immensely important. By checking the analytics of your tracks and playlists, you get a detailed view on the interaction of your productions and your listeners.
Some tracks and playlists are played more frequently than others and with data insights, it’s easier to find out why and to find a solution to problems such as a drop in the follower count or listeners.
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