reiner erlings: musings of a maestro
From working with American singer Flo Rida to producing TVCs and music for The History Channel, Reiner is set to become one of the region's greats. Here's how the conversation went. Let us know what you think.
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tell us about yourself. when did you start getting involved in music?
I am a music composer and producer, originally from The Netherlands, but for the past ten years, I've been based in Dubai.
Growing up, I was always into music. Although my parents put me in some basic guitar lessons, I remember never being particularly interested in music theory or learning how to read music. I later started playing piano and got into playing along to music on the radio, and I think that's how I learned a lot about song structures, chord progressions, and more.
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I studied business at university and was not planning on making music my profession. However, after graduating and working briefly in a corporate setting, I felt that I should take a chance and see if I could do something in the field of music. I moved to London and started an internship and working with studios and other composers, and that's where I met Dan Leary, who became my production partner.
Together we opened up a small recording studio, where we worked with up and coming bands from the region. I was still totally new to both producing and song-writing, so I learned a lot in a short period!
I was not planning on making music my profession
After a couple of years, I had an opportunity to come to Dubai and thought it would be a good idea to make a move and be part of an emerging music scene. I eventually started working at a large recording facility here in Dubai where I would work on all sorts of projects, from working with bands to recording voice-overs and also making music for videos,
which led me to become very interested in composing music, and gradually, I started doing more and more composing work.
Today, 90% of my work is composition-based. I compose music for brands such as the History Channel, as well as films, TV shows, and ads. The remaining 10% of the time I work with artists, mainly from the UAE.
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tell us about your music production journey, what were the challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
Working in music production, especially when you are starting out, can be challenging! There are so many things you need to develop, ranging from technical stuff - engineering sessions, setting up gear, learning about signal flow, how to record - through to learning how to deal with artists and how to get the best performance out of people.
These are skills that take years to develop, and I feel like I'm still learning new things every day, so there is always more to learn!
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for bands or tv?
I enjoy both. The main difference is that for my film and TV work I am working on my compositions, and there is something indescribably fulfilling about hearing your music on TV!
what can you advice young aspiring talents?
Practice on mastering your instrument, whether that is your voice, a guitar, piano, etc. The more you practice, especially at an early age, the more you will benefit from this later on in your career.
Secondly, I would advise everyone to learn basic production skills as it will open up a whole new creative world and will allow you to make your music.
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Share something about how music has evolved in general.
do you prefer how the way
things are before?
Making music has become more accessible than ever before. I know of 14-year-old musicians who are producing their music and have already mastered their DAWs. This is exciting! Just imagine where they would be 10 years from now.
The chase to keep up with what's current has made all commercial music sound very homogeneous.
The downside is that musical styles are becoming very trendy and are changing at a very rapid pace. The chase to keep up with what's current has made all commercial music sound very homogeneous.
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who do you look up to
in the way you approach and produce music?
I have much respect for anyone who has made it to the top of the music industry ladder and has been able to put out great music for many years consistently or even decades. Some examples are James Howard Newton, Max Martin, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, and legends such as Quincy Jones and David Foster.
if you were not into music, what line of work would you have pursued?
Ideally, a pilot. But in reality, I'd probably be doing a corporate job.
Originally from the Netherlands, Reiner currently divides his time between London, and Dubai, where he works out of his own studio. See more of his works at www.reinererlings.com