Being an electronic music producer can be a lonely pursuit—and one without a proper feedback loop. You can create all the great beats and killer hooks you want to get people on the dance floor, but unless you can get it played somewhere, who knows if it actually works its magic?
There's a sort of “new old” event in the area that can help with this quandary. The Reno/Tahoe Producers Social is back at the Bluebird, giving artists a chance to not only get their music heard, but to also get advice and constructive criticism on it.
The event was brought back to the Bluebird by Jesse Edelman, a.k.a. Zodiak Iller. He described it as “a round-robin, open mic deal for producers to show up and get their music played on high-quality club sound, and then industry peers will give you feedback on how it sounds. You can write at home and think that you are doing really good, but once you hear it on the club's sounds, it's totally different.”
The Producers Social will take place every month, although with no set date since the Bluebird hosts so many traveling artists throughout the month. Edelman said that those interested can go to the Bluebird's Facebook page to see when it takes place. The first one takes place on Jan. 30, and the event organizers accept any method to get your music out into the speakers. (Usually it's via USB or an aux chord into a device.)
Edelman grew up in a small town called Georgetown, California, between Auburn and Placerville, but he was no stranger to the Reno scene. He played shows in the area for the past four or five years and traveled up to the Biggest Little City to see shows as well. He now lives in Reno, and was itching to bring back the Producers Social after it meant so much to him during his journeys from Northern California.
“It was around two or three years ago, and I would drive in, two hours each way, just to play four songs every month,” Edelman said. “It helped me make a lot of friends in the music scene here.”
It also kept Edelman creating on a regular basis. “I gave myself a goal every month—OK, I'm going to have four new songs that I can bring to the Producers Social,” he said. “And that gave me the drive to write.”
The concept, and name of Producers Social stemmed from a similar event in Los Angeles, and Edelman got permission from its organizers to use the name again for the Reno events. He co-hosts the Reno social with local DJ/artist Howker (a.k.a. Brandon Campbell), although Edelman was humble about his actual role with it.
“I'm not really in charge of much,” he said. “It's more like ‘Hey, it's your turn next, go ahead. It just needs someone to organize it and make the flier every month. I'm just trying to keep everyone as an equal. It doesn't matter if you've been making amazing music for years or if you just started yesterday.”
Fostering community is also a huge part of what Edelman wants. “I go by this thing of community over competition,” he explained. “It's easy for the individual to rise if they have 30 people supporting them, instead of 29 people who don't care. If it's that way for the scene, it's that way for everyone. If everyone is genuinely happy for the other person then the whole scene rises.”