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Deadmau5 has shared a stack of advice for upcoming producers

There’s more to breaking through as an artist than just making good music – take it from Deadmau5.

In a video recorded from his live stream last year and picked up by Dancing Astronaut, Joel Zimmerman has offered up a bunch of advice for newcomers trying to get their big break. A lot of the wisdom the Mau5 has to impart is based on what he learnt as a young producer in Niagara Falls, teaching himself the old-school way how to make music on computers. In his words: “I wasn’t scooped up by Tiesto and piggy-backed onto the stage of Ultra and all the sudden I’m a fuckin’ superstar!”

As Joel tells it, he started making music “just before the MySpace boom”, meaning there weren’t online platforms for easy self promotion at the time. His advice? “If I had to do this agin in today’s climate, I would really focus on being very offline.”

“I know, it sounds fucking crazy,” he explains. “Take your music and go to a fuckin’ nightclub and meet a DJ, go to a radio station, it’s still old school as fuck. Honestly connections made in person are a million, trillion times more valuable than a fuckin’ spammed link or an email or a demo. You need to do a lot of fuckin’ groundwork.”

Joel says that’s exactly how his protégé Skrillex got his attention. “Sonny came in person to an event. Me and Tommy Lee just crashed some random HARD party out in L.A…we’re all sitting backstage and Tommy said you’ve got to meet this kid Sonny. And then Sonny came in and he delivered me Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites on a fuckin’ USB key. I’m more likely to take that piece of hardware [because] there was a personal connection,” Zimmerman says.

“The moral of the story is, if Sonny just emailed me links and posted SoundCloud stuff I would never have fuckin’ found that shit.” Take in all of Deadmau5’s advice below.