Slice Through The Apathy

January 3rd, 2011 | By


“You can’t cut through if you’re well-rounded. To cut through the world’s apathy you have to be sharply defined.” -Derek Sivers.

Derek Sivers is is the founder of CD Baby, the largest online retailer of independent music. He shares many interesting music and entrepreneurial related thoughts on his blog. He believes that aggressive niche-marketing is the only way to launch an idea. Being “everything to everyone” or trying to appeal to too many people at once never turns heads.

I think this concept also applies to creating any good form of art. If an artistic style isn’t “sharply defined” it’s usually weak. It won’t cut through the apathy of an audience.

Electronic music has always appealed to me. My older brothers had an original Nintendo and I loved playing Ninja Gaiden on it. I would sometimes turn the game on just to hear the music! Everything was written with synthesizers and I dug it! To this day, one of my favorite sounds is a generic sine wave from a synthesizer.

When I started studying music as a kid I quickly realized that not many people shared my passion for electronic music in my hometown. I frequently would hear people say that electronic music wasn’t “real music.” According to many, acoustic instruments were the only “real instruments” by which music should be created (most people liked classic rock so the electric guitar was obviously the exception).

Because of this, I initially wrote music in a very traditional pop or rock style. I was self-conscious about everyone liking my songs. I was timid to use new sounds that I personally liked. The music turned out okay and it was well received by most people, but it was un-sharpened. It was smooth, cautious and restrained. It became uninteresting for me after awhile.

I hope my music isn’t that way anymore. My objective now is to write songs capable making of an impression on people, whether for good or bad. Creating new sounds and blending them with traditional instruments defines my direction. My desire is to make something sharp enough to slice through the apathy of listeners and hopefully make enough of an impression that an opinion must be formed.

If you believe that artists should limit their arrangements to include only guitar, bass and drums you probably won’t like what I do. If you are a person who is interested in new musical ideas and sounds, you might enjoy some of it. Either way there are no guarantees. Have a listen and decide for yourself!

2 Responses to “Slice Through The Apathy”

  1. Horace Grimshaw says:

    Seriously, I think this is a solid marketing principal regardless of the niche! Also, I think Ninja Gaiden is a dope, classic game from Nintendo!

    • Horace, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I think the principles are pretty rudimentary but still very cool to think about. I agree about Ninja Gaiden too. In fact, you’ve help inspire me to change my buddy icon to a picture of the main ninja from the game, Ryu Hayabusa!!

Leave a reply