Making the Music He Wants to Make
Popular trends tell us that the key to success in today’s music industry is social media engagement. Marketing experts tout detailed plans to achieve this miracle. Many online courses, dozens of books, and slews of YouTube videos are devoted to the subject.
However, the Franklin, Tennessee-based band, Your Neighbors, did none of it. They don’t even have a website.
And yet their top 10 cuts on Spotify have been played more than 3,000,000 times. This surprising success has attracted the attention of Electra Records, Atlantic, Universal Publishing and a division of Sony.
What’s their secret? It may be less about social media gimmicks and more about good, original music.
“We don’t promote any of our stuff. We just put it on Spotify and people like it,” says Brown, who adds that the group has released a total of 19 tracks to the platform. “It’s weird that we’ve kind of found out all of the things they tell you to do. We’ve basically done none of them and had more success than a lot of our peers. I feel like our main goal is to not be put into a box. We make the music we want to make.”
Walker Robinson is the “mastermind,” lead singer, and lyricist. Taylor Brown produces the tracks and handles the drums, keys and programming. He is the most consistent collaborator/producer but there are others. He describes Your Neighbors as a “production collective.”
“It’s really tough to explain,” says Brown. “It’s sort of a band, but it’s sort of not. It’s a house full of people that work on music helmed by one guy — Walker.”
Brown, 22, who earned his audio recording certification from Dark Horse in 2017, says he chose the institute for its “family vibe” and the connections.
“What Dark Horse offers that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else is the amount of hands-on access you get to the gear,” says Brown. “That’s so crucial.”
Brown began working with Robinson soon after graduating from Dark Horse. Within a few months, Your Neighbors had been added to the “New Alt,” “New Noise,” and “New Rock” playlists on Spotify. Label interest followed and discussions are ongoing.
Asked about future plans, Brown said, “I’m doing the Your Neighbors project. I have about 5 songs coming out with Nashville rapper Tim Gent. I also helped produce eight tracks on an album dropping in June by Reaux Marquez. Also a couple of tracks with Chuck iNDigo.”
The June Song of the Month for ESPN titled “Teammates” was written by Tim Gent with production and mixing by Taylor Brown and Jack Keller.
Brown’s down to earth approach, dedication and unquestionable skills continue to prove effective as he finds success in making the music he wants to make.
If you are interested in pursuing a music production career, Dark Horse Institute’s Music Production Program is a great way to take things to the next level when you are ready.