We recently connected with Etienne Pelosoff and have shared our conversation below.
Etienne, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Covid has brought about so many changes – has your business model changed?
Covid started right while I was finishing my audio engineering and music production studies in Berlin. I only had a blur idea of how I would make it as a music producer and I always wanted to create my own music production studio.
Creating your own studio is obviously a challenge for three main reasons : reputation, gear investment and place investment. Artists and bands need to both know about your studio and trust your professionalism and talent. Reputation is crucial in music. I also knew that a music studio would require a professional place to be treated acoustically as well as loads of high tech analog gear. Since I was not able to provide such financial investment at the end of my studies, I had always considered working for another music studio, to get a wage, gain some serious experience, making myself known by building a network and eventually have enough money aside to build my own music studio.
In Berlin, as in the rest of most of the world, covid freezed social life. All music studios shut down and definitely stopped looking for interns or employees. I therefore decided to invest in my social presence on all professional music platforms and social networks and make a beautiful website with my music portfolio.
Soundbetter is a platform to hire professional songwriters, singers, musicians and music producers. This is where I got my first jobs. The great thing about Soundbetter is you can set your own price and you get a review after every job. And my reviews were all excellent. I was working extremely fast, everything digital on my computer, I was being super caring about the clients specific needs and cherry on top, I was always being super enthusiastic about all the projects I was working. And it’s genuine, I’m passionate about music ! As I was having fantastic rates, Soundbetter algorithm favored my profile on their website and I got more and more clients contacting me.
I discovered I was wrong about two main things.
First, I didn’t need expensive analog gear, which would represent dozens of thousand dollars investment. I was making professional mixing and mastering with top quality high tech softwares, all « in the box » as we music producers say. Digital technology improves super fast and we’ve reached the point where, if you’re good at what you do, you most probably can’t recognize an analog mix from a digital mix. Artists and bands want their music to sound awesomely good, no matter what. I now had the power to do it with my softwares.
Second, online reputation definitely is an incredible tool. I had an amazing website, a rich portfolio and over-the-top reviews on my Soundbetter profile, which united, made artists and bands I had never talked to before trust me enough to contact me and ask about my prices. And in every discussion, I was showing them how much I cared about the final result, about how I would do everything to make their artistic vision come true.
In the end, I realized there was no need to be hired in a music studio. At this point, as I had enough customers already, it was time to create my own professional music studio.
One problem remained : I needed a professional audio place for my studio. After long considerations, I decided to leave Berlin and move back to France to the countryside where housing is much more affordable. This allowed me to find a place and limit costs, so much more than if I had stayed in Berlin.
Covid definitely shaped my business by making online professional relationship and digital technology more profitable.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
My name is Etienne Pelosoff. I am a French music producer, mixing engineer and artist who used to live in Milan, London and Berlin. Looking for making your music big, warm and exciting ? Welcome to the Etienne Pelosoff Studio !
Specialised in energetic songs, heavy beats and warm atmospheres, I provide services of production, mixing and mastering internationally in modern pop, heavy metal and electronic music. Most the time, an artist contact about a song he, she or they have created. The song is just a demo with a few instruments, the melody, the lyrics and bad quality recordings. They come to me to make it all sound beautiful and professional, ready to go on air and compete with the most successful hit songs. The first step is production : we record and arrange the song. Then comes mixing, which is a much more technical engineering process. Eventually comes mastering, which is about transforming the song into its final file, for streaming, CD, vinyls or else. My personal philosophy is that music production is about serving the artist. It’s about translating his artistic vision into sounds that will sublimate the emotion of the music. It’s not about you, it’s about the artist. The personal bond between artist and music producer is therefore essential. Trust is crucial.
Starting at six years old the cello in a conservatory of classical music in Paris, I began composing at 15 years old. Thereafter I attended la Scuola di Musica Cluster in Milan in bass. I later on accomplished a Bachelor of Economics at Bocconi University in Milan followed by a Bachelor in Creative Musicianship with First Honours at BIMM London University (Europe’s largest and leading music college), where I studied jazz, modern pop and music soundtrack. From 2020 to 2021, I was a sound studio engineer at BIMM Music Recording Studio where I eventually accomplished a Bachelor of Sound & Music Production with First Honours at BIMM Berlin University in Germany.
Along with producing a wide array of local European and American talents, I spend my free time developing my own self-titled solo project that blends together the jazz qualities of Miles Davis, and the metal tonality of Metallica, as well as an electronic side-project called Electrosoff.
There are two things I feel so grateful for, in my professional life. This year, I played with my black metal jazz band at Hellfest, and this was one of my teenage dreams. Second, the high tech audio company Adam Audio decided to support my music career by sponsoring me. This was such a big step for me to know professionals not only believed in me, but were ready to invest in me.
Do you think there is something that non-creatives might struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can shed some light?
The obsession. At 20 years old, I knew I wanted to make a living out of music. I went to London with this one goal and it has not changed since then. I’m obviously obsessed with music, and I’m willing to sacrifice almost everything for it. I believe there is something close to fanatic obsession for people like us. It’s almost like a sort of faith : you know you will make it one way or another. Some moments happen when I was completely lost, but I never thought about quitting music. And for a non-creative, it might hard to understand you spend week-ends working. It might seem absurd that, when you finally take one week of holiday, you choose to spend it on more music. But that’s the reality ! I’m still the kid who’s having his fun playing around with chords and trying melodies. I’m so lucky I get paid for it. And even without getting paid for it, I will still do it. It’s this obsession that drives me.
Have any books or other resources had a big impact on you?
The number 1 book that absolutely helped me is ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Israel psychologist economy Nobel prize Daniel Kahneman. Trust me : you don’t want to spend one more day without knowing what’s in it. This book basically unveils how our brain works when making decision, whether small or big. Of course, we are not rational being, we are emotional beings. What’s fascinating with Daniel Kahneman is how he manages to explain it through experiments. After reading this book, I just felt like I knew myself much better. This is one example : I stopped taking big decisions in the afternoon. Why ? Because your brain simply is tired and biased. The more the day goes, the higher you are likely to choose the option that requires the least effort for your brain. I would rather take decisions in the morning, when I have all my energy and clarity. There are so many things to know in this book, and it goes far beyond personal life, business and economics. Do yourself a favor, buy ‘Thinking Fast & Slow’ and enjoy it. Not only is it a transforming reading… It’s fun !
- Website: https://www.etiennepelosoff.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/etienne_pelosoff_studio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/etienne.pelosoff.music/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/78283531/admin/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/etiennepelosoff
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBjYG16UN4jYTAV8SRgJHEg
- Other: Soundbetter : soundbetter.com/profiles/219720-etienne-pelosoff
Etienne Pelosoff Studio