March 22, 2023
Even if you haven't heard of NewJeans yet, there's a good chance you'll soon be humming along to their infectious tunes. The Korean pop group is quickly gaining international attention and breaking..Read more
March 31, 2023
Even if you don’t know who Max Martin is, you’ve definitely heard his songs. Hit-pop songs are kind of his thing after all. Martin first stepped into the music world in 1985 as a frontman for....Read more
March 18, 2023
The Filipino-Canadian duo from Vancouver has been releasing new tracks left and right, and they are known for their most streamed songs on Spotify, “Timezones,” and “Silver Skies.” Previously .......Read more
March 17, 2023
The singer, songwriter, and actress Miley Cyrus has recently released a record-breaking song called “Flowers” in January 2023. This song recites her 10-year long relationship with her ex-husband....Read more
March 4, 2023
Men I Trust is a Canadian indie pop band known for their dreamy and mellow sound. Their music is laid back, incorporating elements of funk, disco, and R&B to create a smooth and groovy vibe that isRead more
March 3, 2023
Artists like Kaytranada have proved that you don’t need access to a professional recording studio to create well-produced music. As technology and social media have advanced, it is now easier than eveRead more
February 25, 2023
People draw inspiration from others when forming their ideas, it’s a fact of life. Sampling in music is no exception - and artists do it for a variety of reasons. Traditionally, copyright laws andRead more
February 23, 2023
Tobias Jesso Jr. You may know his name from his 2015 solo album Goon. Or maybe from his work on various popular songs, such as “When We Were Young” by Adele and “Alive” by Sia. Or even from his receRead more
February 23, 2023
HBO’s The Last of Us is arguably the hottest show out right now, receiving near universal acclaim from viewers and critics alike. This holds especially true for episode three: “Long, Long Time”.Read more
February 21, 2023
Folk singer. Songwriter. Canadian. Polyglot. All of these titles belong to Gina Lam, also known by her stage name Ginalina. In November 2022, she released her latest album titled Going Back: RemembeRead more
February 21, 2023
Rihanna is an illustrious artist. She is among the best selling female artists of all time, and was one of the greatest hitmakers of the 2000s and 2010s. She has since grown to become the richest...Read more
February 20, 2023
Streaming is now the driving force of the music industry, making up 84% of the industry revenue in the U.S. While streaming is much more convenient for listeners, many artists argue that it is near imRead more
Photo credit: Buzz Magazine
What happens when a famous music producer takes an interest in self-help books? The Creative Act is your answer.
But who is Rick Rubin?
Without a doubt, Rubin has an impressive track record in the music industry. For recording studios, he’s known for being a co-founder of Def-Jam Recordings, founder of American Recordings, and former co-president of Columbia Records.
Through these recording studios, he accomplished amazing feats. He helped popularize hip-hop during a time when people tried to censor it. Outside of hip-hop, he worked with bands across various genres, including Beastie Boys, Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, and The Chicks.
Time even named Rubin on their list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Why do artists love his production style so much?
Rubin’s biggest trademark is a “stripped-down” sound. Basically, nothing extra is added in production. No backup vocals or string sections are allowed here! Although he changed his tune in the 2000s, people love this unique production style.
Furthermore, musical artists just love to work with him in general. Rubin uses his vast experience working with sound and arrangements to help artists improve their songs. Natalie Maines of The Chicks commented that “he has the ability and patience to let music be discovered, not manufactured.”
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
What else has he done with his experience and knowledge?
Well, of course, he wrote a book about it.
The Creative Act hit the shelves on Jan. 17 this year. Already, it amassed 1059 ratings on Goodreads with a solid 4.3 out of 5 overall. Not bad for a first-time author.
The Guardian recently posted a review on this approximately 400-page book. According to them, the book lives on the same wavelength as Buddhism, management theory, and self-help books. It’s no surprise given the book’s subject matter: creativity.
“The tone is gnomic and epigrammatic, and Rubin’s elevation of artistic endeavour to the highest status of human achievement reverberates with a solemn quasi-religiosity” - The Guardian
As The Guardian points out, sometimes Rubin’s advice can be contradictory. In one part, he preaches living an artistic life without limitations, while in the next, he recommends those same limitations. In reality, what he’s saying is it depends on the situation. What’s right for one person may not be for another.
Despite these flaws, The Creative Act is clearly made by an artist for other artists. Rubin takes common problems and places them in new contexts. What would happen if you listened to your song with speakers instead of headphones? How about making the loud parts of your song quiet and vice versa? How would it sound?
Ultimately, he gives readers a change of perspective. And for some creatives, that’s exactly what they need.
“To a cynical reader, The Creative Act might feel like a series of self-actualising niceties. Until, that is, these are just the prompts you need to hear, when you need to hear them.” - The Guardian
If you’d like to read The Creative Act, it’s available on Amazon in both hardcover and kindle form. To read the full review from The Guardian, check it out here!
Photo Credit: Financial Times