Expert studio owner John Robinson on why he uses Indiy
John Robinson describes how guitars, garage and good referrals have built his business – and how Indiy could grow it even further…
- Tell us about your background in the music industry and what you’re currently up to.
I’m a music producer – I’ve worked in my own studio in Kilburn, which I built from scratch, for the last 20 years. I work primarily with singers, predominantly vocalists, songwriters and producers from all over the world.
I started out as an engineer, repairing and building equipment for recording studios. My first music job was actually in the back of a music shop, repairing everything from guitars to mixing desks. I went from there to working in studios that needed my services, before moving over into the production side of things.
Probably the biggest pop name I’ve worked with is Sinitta, and her family – her Mum was a proper disco diva in the 70s! I’ve worked with a lot of garage artists too; right now, I’m doing stuff with Bushkin and Heartless Crew. They’re still going and are doing some really interesting things right now.
- What made you want to be an independent producer?
When I started working with musicians, I found I could often reflect their abilities and ambitions back to them effectively – I could understand what they were trying to achieve, and critique and explain how it might happen. I had the skills to bring the performance out of someone; when you discover a skill, sometimes you feel it’s your duty to follow it. That’s what happened for me – I just thought, ‘I need to do this, so let’s go and do it!’
I built my own studio and attracted a client base through referrals. I’ve built the whole business from referrals, in fact. I think artists need to feel that they can know and trust the people they’re working with; Indiy is an extension of that, to me.
- How long have you been using Indiy for?
Pretty much since it started.
- What do you use the platform for?
I’m using the platform primarily to promote my services: the studio itself and production, where people can either send me vocals, or come into the studio and I’ll produce them to a studio-standard that can be dropped into their mix; and also my songwriters’ room. It’s basically a clean, supportive and welcoming rehearsal room where people can work on their songs and also record them, too. I don’t really advertise much, apart from on Indiy.
- How did you first hear about the platform?
From Chris himself – we worked together a few years back on some of his other projects and kept in touch. I think it’s a fantastic idea that he’s building. I’m trying to support him in that by making sure I can provide my services quickly and easily when clients get in touch through the platform.
- What’s your experience been like so far? Has it helped you to grow your business, expand your network etc?
The Indiy site is really quick and easy to use – you could set yourself up on it in under 20 minutes. It’s all really clearly explained, and Chris worked hard to iron out any issues early on to keep optimising the platform itself. I’ve had a couple of enquiries so far but it’s early days, so I’m keen to help it grow.
- Would you recommend Indiy to other music professionals? If so, why?
I already am! I manage the live performance area at the Notting Hill Music Networking event where I programme all the artists and musicians. I put on about 15 acts at the recent event, and all were desperate to work with people that they could trust. Chris actually gave me some Indiy cards with QR codes on to hand out, and I gave away a good 300 of them! I’m a big believer in the power of referrals, especially if they benefit everyone involved in some way. That’s the system I run for my studio: if someone refers my services to an artist who then works with me, they get a referral fee. People become more committed when you do things like that; plus, it’s really nice for the friend who’s making the suggestion to benefit, too. You get to know your clients so much better as a result and it really builds a network of trust.