Indie Artist Go has spotlighted DJ Paula Frost ahead of the release of debut single ‘OXYGEN TANK’. Paula speaks about her songwriting process, sobriety and where she sees herself in 5 years’ time. Click link to see full article or read the Q+A below.
1.) What elements and/or characteristics made you say to yourself that you wanted to do music for a living? Who are your influences/heroes/role models?
Firstly I’d like to let everyone know that my debut single OXYGEN TANK is out March 20th and available to preorder now on iTunes and presave on Spotify.
I got into music at a very young age and I can play the drums and a little guitar. I began DJing at about age 21 and loved it straight away. I am the kind of lucky person who knew exactly what they wanted to do their whole life. There was no choice! My heroes are Prodigy, Shy FX, Congo Natty, General Levy and DJ Shadow.
2.) If you could compare yourself to an already established artist, who would that be and why? If you don’t like to compare yourself, then music-wise, what separates you from other musicians?
I would compare myself to Mija because she’s a kick ass punk rock chick who can DJ her heart out and I love that. Musically I believe I have my own vibe and that’s what people in the dance music world are saying. The way I write and execute dance music is twisted and fresh because I come from a punk background.
3.) Everyone in life goes through adversity of some sort. Is there anything in your life that has any influence on the kind of songs you write? What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure on your path to becoming a musician?
Yes I have had a lot of trials and tribulations along my way as a musician and I still have mountains to conquer every day. I have had some pretty bad things happen in my life and have probably been through more than your average girl my age but I have spent time working on myself and learning to love myself and overcoming any resentments I had with others. All you have is one life and one body and you have to respect yourself and push yourself to the limit to achieve true happiness. I love life and pour passion into everything I do. If I stopped music, my life would be over. So I’ll keep chasing this dragon to the end!
4.) How do you prepare yourself to write certain songs? What is your song-writing and recording process?
I am always taking lyrical notes on my phone or bookmarking songs I like the sound of. Then I use all my ideas to sit down and write. I used Logic software and a sythesizer. I start with a catchy melody idea and then more onto drums and bass. I use a lot of different techniques and would say I vary up the song structures a lot and spend a lot of time searching for unique sounds to include. Then when I’m happy with the track I bring it to my friend Joel who cowrites and produces for me. We have a great time just putting the pieces together.
5.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don’t get any recognition for their talent and/or hard work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed? Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not? In regards to the music industry itself, do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead?
I think it would be great to sign to a major label short term for the exposure and then go independent like Radiohead did. You have to be really squitched on just to keep on top of your game and make sure too many people aren’t putting their hand in your pocket. A lot of talented artists don’t last the pace because they develop drug or alcohol issues or get ripped off and decide to stop making music. So I’m sober and don’t sign anything without a lawyer. Play it safe and keep the songs coming.
6.) Are you able to make a living with your music? If so, how were you able to attain a career doing what you love? If not, what do you do in order to fund your music career? What advice would give to someone who’s interested in pursuing a career in music?
I do live off of being a DJ and it was a long time coming. Advice I’d give to others; get a good agent and be great at every show. It’s 50% being a nice person and 50% being a good DJ. If you connect with people they remember you and help you in the future so always give people the time of day.
7.) How do you think the internet and social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves? Social media is obviously an extremely important element in today’s world, especially when it comes to business, branding, marketing, etc. With that being said, do you think an artist will be able to survive in today’s music industry if they’re not social media savvy?
It can really consume you so I’d advise people to live a life outside of the computer. If you write good music and play shows, the social media side mostly takes care of itself. Make sure you have good photos and video on there and step away from it! Some artists don’t use social media at all and they’re established enough in the real world not to need it. But I imagine they must be missing out on a few opportunities by being totally cut off. Its whether you care or not.
I personally love a bit of social media but it has to be balanced out with songwriting, gigging and traveling which gets you out of cyberspace nicely.
8.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more money are usually seen as “sell-outs.” Do you see it that way and if so, what do you plan to do to make sure your music stays true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to “sell out”?
I think you’re more of a sell-out if you settle into a steady job and give up on your dream. There’s so many talented people who don’t push themselves and thats sad. Whatever you do, someone will pick holes in you and hate on you. So you might as well be fully confident and go for it. Be true to yourself and brush off negative comments. You know in your heart what’s right or wrong and the people who love you will be honest with you. Everyone has to make a living so be happy for those who are successful and strive for your own personal greatness. Nothing else matters.
9.) Professionally, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
At the rate things are moving now I just can’t imagine how far DJing will take me in 5 years! I will have released an album or two, have done more tours all over the world and have made thousands of people happy! That’s the goal!