We had the chance to catch up with Swedish music producer and artist Vic Roz and talk about personal milestones, today’s role of a music label, releasing songs for charity and much more. Read along:
You’re releasing music on labels like Soave, Loudkult and others. What is your philosophy on record labels in today’s day and age?
I see many record labels changing to what I personally think is an exceptional way of working with artists in today, and that is through song-by-song deals and/or exclusive master transfer agreements. This way you as an artist give the label the rights to everything around that specific song, while still remaining free to do whatever you want with your next release. I often produce songs in a similar type of style but they can differ in terms of genre. This way I can release my music on the label that fits best for that specific song. I also really enjoy the freedom of not being bound to a long-term contract as a creative, since that probably would hinder my creativity.
One thing that the major labels could learn from these independent labels is the drive of constantly doing their best to push the song. Yes, there will be songs that don’t perform as well as planned, and yes there will be songs that completely outperform others. But labels that are constantly trying their best to make their music heard is so underrated.
How do you feel about the evolution of digital music streaming services?
I feel that the evolution of digital music streaming services is going in the right direction. It is giving new artists more opportunities to break through, and I see songs from smaller labels and completely independent releases ending up on editorial playlists, more often today than ever before. One thing I personally really enjoy is the feature on Spotify to “Show Credits”. As a creator I love to see which individuals are behind the song, and that is probably the first thing I do when checking out and listening to a new release.
Since we spend so much time making the music, I would love to see more of these features. “Behind the song”, “behind the lyrics” and “behind the scenes” are just a few concepts from the top of my mind that would be super interesting to see as a creator, and hopefully for the fans as well.
Could you sum up some personal milestones in your artist development?
Some of my personal milestones include getting signed on labels like Soave Records, We Are Diamond, LoudKult and Get The Sound. I am super humbled by this opportunity, and having people all around the world believing in my music is nothing I take for granted.
Another milestone I feel very proud of is having my songs featured on YouTube channels with millions of subscribers. Channels like The Vibe Guide, Sensual Musique and Tropical House Records have all supported my music, and it feels amazing.
I also recently surpassed 150 000 monthly listeners, which feels quite surreal to me. This is such a great number, considering that it only counts unique users, and that most of them are coming back to my music every month. I appreciate every single one!
Also, I remember reaching my first million streams on a song last year, which was completely insane. This got celebrated like crazy. I also remember making my own “silver record”, printing it out and putting it up on my wall. I still haven’t received any official gold record yet, but my home-made Silver Record is still standing haha!
You just released a song where all of the proceedings will go to charity. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes, the song was released on Friday the 30th of april, and we are raising money for charity through it. The song is called “One Man Army (Vic Roz Remix)”
This song was created as the other producer’s brother sadly took his own life last year, so to honor his lost brother all proceedings from this song will go to the organization Suicide Zero in Sweden to raise awareness and prevent suicide.
This remix also means a lot to me personally. I have been creating music for several years now, but rarely talked about how tough it can be. During parts of my career, I have, among other things, had zero income, felt incredibly alone, and fought against all odds. With that said, I understand how anxiety and bad thoughts can take over and how you can lose all joy of living. At those times it can feel like nothing is worth it and that ”the world would be a better place if I wasn’t here”. If you’ve ever had those thoughts, I just want to say that it is not true at all. The world is a much better place when you are here!
You’re also running the platform Virol Music. Can you give us some insights on what it is about?
Absolutely. Virol Music was above all created to help other artists and producers. I have had my share of success as an artist, and I’ve also gathered an extensive amount of knowledge throughout the years. Not only from actually being an artist myself, but from working at different record labels and attending universities and courses within music and music business. Through my platform I want to share this knowledge with other artists, music producers and creators all over the world.
I also noticed that a lot of things in music that you can do locally could also be done digitally. For example songwriting-camps, co-writes and creative sessions. Therefore my vision with the platform is to evolve into an online education and community for artists and producers, where they can attend classes and find new people to work with.
Virol Music is also a record label, playlist curator and service provider. I founded the company to help talented people be heard all over the world. Hence the slogan “One vision, worldwide connection.”
Do you have a production routine or ritual?
I do, but I also approach every song differently. Every song is unique and therefore the solutions and the workflow have to be specifically made to match it.
One of the production routines that I do a lot, but also wish that I did on every project is; labelling, coloring and sorting the tracks. In my projects where I do this I ultimately work faster and get more creative. Because problem solving is so much easier after this routine, I can spend more time on other things like coming up with melodies or finding the right sound.
I have a weird “ritual” as well, and that is listening to my final mix through my phone on speaker mode, while walking my dog. I find that if it does sound good on just a simple phone speaker surrounded by other sounds such as nature, people and cars, it 9 times out of 10 also will sound good in a studio environment, in a car or in headphones, which is where most people will listen to my song anyway.
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Name 3 major mistakes you made and other musicians could learn from.
This is a great question, and I probably could name more than 3. I have made so many mistakes, and that is probably one of the reasons why I have also succeeded. So my first lesson would be; do not be afraid to make a lot of mistakes. Not only do you get better after every time you fail. You also learn something new.
Another mistake that I have made so many times is staying up all night, making twenty different versions of the mix and labelling it “v1 final”, “v1 final NEW” “v1 final NEW 2” etc. A lesson here is first of all, don’t stay up all night. Your ears will be tired and you will not get a great result out of it. And secondly, take breaks. It helps a lot!
A third mistake I make is looking at others too much. Looking at others to get inspired and motivated is a good thing, but looking at others to feel bad because you haven’t gone as far as them is a really bad thing. This is something that I still do, but it is not healthy for you. I would recommend everyone to either stop comparing, or compare to people who have less than you do. That way you feel blessed by the things you have.
What do you think will be the next production trend to pop up within the electronic music sphere?
Great question as well, I think as festival stages and concerts open up again (even if it is a year from now) we will see more of the EDM and high energy stuff entering the charts. Deep House is a genre that has been really big in 2020 and will probably be for 2021 too. Personally, I would love it if Tropical House could rise again. That is my jam for sure!
How important are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
Oh, it is major. Without data insights I wouldn’t know where to aim. For example I always target my ads to the top 10 countries on my SpotifyForArtists page, and it usually works really well. I also love to see the insights from playlists I have been featured on, channels where my songs have been uploaded and my weekly insights on social media. I think ForTunes is doing a really great job of collecting all of these insights and putting them in one app.
What’s next for Vic Roz?
Next up for Vic Roz besides promoting the remix, is releasing my biggest song yet on the label Soave Records. I can not express how fond I am of this upcoming release, but it is without a doubt the best song I have ever made so far. It will be released on the 21st of may through Soave, and the title will be Run Away.
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