John 00 Fleming On Dealing With Critics

John 00 Fleming

Underground trance legend John 00 Fleming has never been one to remain quiet about his thoughts. In a recent Facebook note the vocal producer shared about how he’s dealt with criticism over the years. J00F’s seen success without changing a single thing about himself, which is what I love and respect about him. So to all the new (or old) artists out there, I suggest you read this and try to take it to heart.

We’ve seen many changes in this music industry throughout the past couple of decades; vinyl turned into digital, record shops are now in our browsers, recording studios fit in lap tops, producers are now DJ’s and you must tell the world what you have just eaten on a daily basis on your unsocial networks.

The list is endless. If you don’t keep on top of all these you could be in danger of becoming obsolete.

The one main thing that’s changed for many is the public being able to get closer to their favourite artists. They can leave messages of support, chat openly about them and even interact online via their social networks or forums.

This is all well and good when they are being praised, but what happens when bad stuff is being said? Perhaps a few don’t like their latest musical direction or material? I’ve seen many take this to heart. Some can take a downward spiral and it makes them very insecure about everything that they do.

This was never the case a few years back; we never saw the public’s feedback, as they couldn’t reach us.  If we did good, we saw results from record sales and full clubs, people voted with their feet and not clicks like in today’s world. In order to keep those feet coming, you had to perform your ultimate best with solid sets and groundbreaking music.

The pressure was on to hunt for music in record shops, learning your music and practice mixing. The critics were stood right there in front of you. Play a bad set and you start losing your crowd. You only get a few chances, but the adrenaline buzz was immense due to this added pressure and risk taking trying new things musically. We saw in the flesh what worked and what didn’t.

Today people hide behind screens being vocal. Some helpful, others there just to cause trouble getting off on poking a beehive and watching the mass chaos as a result. I’ve lost track the amount of conversations I’ve had with fellow colleagues trying to help them deal with these demons that have got inside them due to this.

It’s quite a dangerous game they are playing with people emotionally; maybe this is something that fuels the critics? It’s easy to target the commercially successful artists in this industry, but as history shows, we need the Armin’s, the David Guetta’s, and the Tiesto’s of this world because they are the frontline soldiers pushing electronic music to the masses, otherwise we’d all be holding guitars.  Eventually the rewards of this trickle down to artists like myself as people discover different flavours inside.

We currently have a huge commercial storm hanging over the electronic scene, but again as history shows, this fuels a movement in the underground scene to create something new musically to move the scene forward away from this commercialism. This has always been the mechanical cycle of the electronic scene. This commercial storm is the perfect opportunity for those armchair critics to make a change. Instead of voicing what is right and wrong, they could start their own events. Make the perfect tracks. Perform the perfect sets that they usually dissect. But this would put them directly in the headlights of others waiting to criticise them; is this what stops them?

The heroes in my eyes are the ones that step into those headlights and dare to try something new, something different. The new promoters, producers trying new ideas, the DJ’s experimenting musically. These are the extremely brave guys and girls because we know in this current climate critics are ready to attack. Yes we all make mistakes on our journeys through life, but there’s only one way to learn in life and that’s by making those mistakes.

I’ve learned it’s impossible to please everyone in this World. It’s human nature.

If we all thought the same way, the world would be at peace, politicians wouldn’t argue, we’d all be wearing the same clothes driving the same cars watching the same movies and have the same hobbies etc. Back in the real world this doesn’t happen. So when I make a track, write a blog and make a mix, the statistics say some wont like it.

That’s a fact that I can’t change. Some wont like a new single. Some want a DJ mix deeper, harder. It’s impossible to write a sentence in a blog without some translating it into multiple meanings. I personally know what I love, I want to keep my integrity intact and many know what my words mean.

What I’ve learned with forums and social networking is that it seems to be 90% of the noise made by 10% of the people. It’s important for the new generation of artists, not to get deterred by these critics, we need fresh blood and musical ideas.I keep the same ethos as I did years ago and make sure that I play my ultimate best, find the best music possible to keep those feet coming filling clubs when I play. I just keep my head down and follow my heart.

Don’t change what you do because of a few outspoken people; you are the braver person for stepping into those headlights and trying something new. I think some of the critics would benefit from this too; criticism can be translated to that individual being an enthusiastic realistic personality. These are great assets to becoming successful.

What are your thoughts on this?


Connect with John 00 Fleming:
Twitter: @john00fleming

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