The first few months of the New Year can always leave you feeling like you want a new change. It might sound clichÃ¨d but often the beginning of a new year is the easiest time to transition into something new. This was the case with Amin, a.k.a. A-Minor who went from banking to being a music producer amassing over 1 million YouTube views for his first ever music video! This is no mean feat considering how much content is put out on YouTube nowadays. So we sat down with A-Minor to find out more about his career change and see how far he’s come along.
Hi A-Minor, first thing’s first, what is your background?
Although I didn’t study music at school or University, it has always been a huge part of my life. I had been playing piano from a very young age and started writing songs in my teens. The turning point was when I was 17 years old. I was in a pub with some mates who played me a song they had produced the night before. The
production quality blew me away – it sounded like something on the radio. I was so mesmerised by it I coerced my friend to leave the pub and take me, then and there, to his home studio. He gave me the software to get started and I’ve been producing music every day since!
How did the idea come about and how exactly do you go about making such a huge career change?
After graduating I went into investment banking at a top tier firm. Given the opportunity, it seemed like the logical route at the time. Very quickly though, I found myself dissatisfied at work. My hours left me absolutely no time to write music and naturally I became more and more frustrated. I was working to make ends meet but had no real sense of purpose.
Having giving it a lot of thought and saving some money to get started, 2 years in, I made the difficult decision to leave the firm and focus on music production full time. I had no connections in the music industry, and no plan B, just a lot of drive, ambition and ideas.
I guess the decision wasn’t as radical as it might appear, because this is what I’ve always wanted to do, but taking the plunge and leaving a high-paid, stable job in favour of something with no guarantee of success was obviously a little nerve wracking.
What was the first thing you did after making the career change? Did you have a clear plan outlined?
Given a business background, I set about making a realistic business plan, by looking at the trajectory of similar artists I aspired to and seeing how and when I’d realistically start making money. Having this in place helped me keep focused and provided me with the routine I needed to stay motivated.
You amassed a huge number of YouTube views for your first music video, making it a bit of an internet sensation. In this day and age where channels like YouTube, are being used by more and more people, how do you go about getting your videos seen and heard, let alone getting over 1 million views?
Well it’s no easy task to be honest. I started off by contacting every single music blogger and influencer I could find online. I was sending hundreds of emails a week, with honestly around 1% of people responding. I actually thought there was something wrong with my email server at one point! Eventually a couple blogs posted my remixes, and from that, a young independent talent manager got in touch. He had an online PR background and was very well connected so within a short space of time, he was able to get my music heard and posted by every major blogger. It all snowballed from there and the major record labels began contacting me having heard my music on these blogs. Like most infant businesses, I learned quickly that persistence is everything.
I’ve recently wrapped up my latest song, Be Mine, which has now been released. I’m currently writing and preparing the subsequent singles for next year. I’ll be back to DJ’ing and performing in 2016.
Finally A-Minor, in your opinion, what’s the key to success?
For me, I think it has to be work ethic. How much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals? I’ve seen countless examples of hard workers outperforming talent both in Banking and in Music.
In the hot seat
- Most fun place you’ve DJ’d: In Ibiza at a spontaneous, unplanned 5am house party.
- Favourite song you’ve released: My first song, Thinking Bout the Things, as it was my breakthrough release.
- Favourite current singer/songwriter: I’m probably going to get a lot of stick for saying this, but I’m really impressed by Justin Bieber’s new material. It’s incredibly difficult to become a credible artist given his history, but for the first time music critics are beginning to accept him and that’s inspiring. I’m also addicted to an electronic artist called Tourist. He’s a Grammy award winning songwriter who co-wrote a little song called Stay with Me. I hope I’ve redeemed myself with that last answer!