Hailing from the seemingly distant country of Russia, multi-instrumentalist and multi-genre-ist, Mitya, has taken his commitment to music from the ground-floor to a high-rise Netflix suite. Find out how he landed his music on Indie Shuffle, and our thoughts on what it takes to become a successful musician!
The yin-and-yang of success and failure is the basis of every artist-who-made-it's journey. Wanting to learn about how a musician succeeds taps into our inherent, humanistic need to figure everything out. What do those fluctuations between the two poles, success and failure, look like today?
In the digital era new technologies have made it possible to reach most sets of ears on earth. At the same time, those tools contribute to a noise that makes it much harder to be heard. It’s daunting, but there are still artists who break through.
"Like... how?", you're wondering? And how do they know they're doing it?
I first heard Mitya Burmistov’s music about a year ago. It happened while responding to submissions sent to Indie Shuffle via SubmitHub.
7% of the music we get sent works with what Jason, Stella, and I feel is right for the blog. After a second listen to Mitya's “1 Life Is Not Enough” I was intrigued enough to dig a bit further.
Mitya's social media is a trove of content, good and bad, which to me indicates that he's an artist who is willing to try new things, tweak what doesn't work, and adapt. On top of that, the song was a bop.
I don’t know if being adaptable is something you can teach people, but I can tell you one thing that I’m sure Mitya does which anyone can do: look at what you’re doing and if it’s clearly been done before, use your skillset and try something new.
INTERVIEW (AND HOW THE NETFLIX THING HAPPENED)
I reached out to the Russian to find out a bit about how he's found his groove in amongst a music industry ranging from Beyonce to Nils Frahm; with the hopes that his answers might provide the control our minds seek!
Tell us about a moment that made your decision to commit to a life in music seem worth it? And a time that made you question it all?
There are tons of them. When I found myself happily floating somewhere in timeless space just by constantly playing one note on a grand piano. Or my first gig with a live band. Or being on stage with an orchestra playing my own stuff for the first time. Or selling a tune I recorded in the villages of Tatarstan to Netflix.
I had lot's of down moments (bad gig, few views, endless album recording, or an intense youtube troll), but every time I am sure that this too shall pass.
How do you go about planning your promotion cycle?
Feels like I just become more experienced in that field naturally after millions of mistakes. For example, next time I finish an album it wont be the day before release, but a month before (I HOPE). Will send to blogs/playlists/musician friends and will see what happens.
What was your biggest blog feature/sync placement before the Netflix gig?
I think it was Ableton putting an article about my EP and documentary.
What was the process with getting approached and placed on Netflix?
It was a standard procedure: they emailed me, we signed a contract, some months after I got my money. They were really nice and polite. Of course I was excited and offered them everything I could. "You know, I've got tones of cool stuff, can I send you 10 of my albums for your next series?" style. But that's it for now.
Did you notice any changes in streams / following / etc. after getting the placement?
I don't think it built a streams hype. The main thing for me was the confidence I received. You know it's a nice feeling to appear on Netflix for a guy who recorded an album in a village, recorded and mixed it himself somewhere in Russia. It just proves that no matter where you are from or what music you make, if you love what you do and continue working and improving, cool things can happen.
Did Netflix give you a reason why they wanted your song specifically?
Nope. I think they just have a special guy who is in charge of cool music and loves Indie Shuffle.
Any strategies while using SubmitHub?
I tend to submit my work right after the release (not before), so the person who receives it can see first comments by my loyal fans and feel inspired to like it too.
I'd say never feel upset and take the criticism seriously, tastes really differ. I had lot's of examples, when one editor commented "vocals are thin" and another yelled "those vocals are the sexiest! Call me." And that's on the same song. So, the plan is: create --> submit --> if anything cool happens - celebrate and create more / if nothing happens - create more!
Your time will come.