Alok: 5 things I’ve learned about music production


Known for his huge collaborations, Brazilian DJ/producer Alok is currently celebrating the success of his latest single, Do It Again, a co-production with Steve Aoki that’s currently racking up the streams and views.

This isn’t Alok’s first taste of success; previous releases Hear Me Now, Never Let Me Go and Big Jet Plane have taken him to the top of the dance music tree.

In search of his secret, we asked Alok to reveal the 5 things he’s learned about music production...

1. Be musical

“It is crucial to study and learn music in depth. In the beginning it might look like it’s going to be great all along by taking an intuitive approach; however, there is a point where our feelings and musical ideas don’t seem to match up to our technical skill set.

“If you are not a musician and you have never played an instrument before, it’s OK. However, getting your head around tones, semitones and ‘the rules’ is a very clever way to enhance your musical arrangements and work in the future.”

2. Be original and authentic to your sound, your timbre and your music

“To be original in your music is to dive yourself into the search that will lead you to your sound, your grip, and, consequently, your timbre. It doesn’t matter how many years it might take; be authentic to your sound. Eventually, people will be able to know it’s your music by listening to the first or any 30 seconds of it.”

3. Be passionate

“It is important to love what you are doing and, ultimately, to have it in your heart! If you really want to make the music that will touch people’s hearts, you gotta touch your own before that happens.”

4. Be relentless

“Never stop! Never give up no matter what they say about your work and music. If they tell you it’s sounding really bad or that it has too much compression on, don’t worry; get back in the studio and fix it. If you think you can make it better, do it better. Try harder and never stop trying to perfect yourself.”

5. Be human

“The most important thing of all: stay humble and never let your ego distract you from your real purpose. Never forget that you were once that same boy or girl who is asking you for advice, help and wisdom. Never hold your wisdom back for fear of people stealing your skills as they will learn it somehow anyway. We learn by teaching, and we teach by learning with our approach.

“Last of all, be human. Let your feelings and inspirations take over your music and be happy about telling your story to the world out there by doing what you love. If we can make it, why can’t you?”

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.