To work sustainably as a music producer

By | April 5, 2021

Selenium Özan. (Photo: Robin Bøe)

Selen Özan is a music producer, composer and songwriter with both a bachelor’s degree in jazz singing and a master’s degree in music production in his luggage. She is one of the founders of the studio collective Oda Studios in Stockholm and has produced artists such as Veronica Maggio and Miriam Bryant. Last year, she was the first woman nominated in the producer category at the Denniz Pop Awards.

How come you chose to write your master’s thesis on working sustainably as a music producer?
– I noticed some tendencies in both myself and my producer colleagues that I perceived as unsustainable in the long run. I also wanted to dig deeper into my own inability to get tasks done. Here is a link to the master’s thesis.

Can you give some examples of methods for sustainable, creative and long-term music production processes that you address in the essay?
– The methods covered in the essay include tips on time and project planning, creative solutions for blockages and a lot of general tips in sustainability and efficiency with a focus on individual health.

– In planning, the tools have been really helpful to be able to start and complete musical projects and for my own part, it is mainly about new working hours and project planning. I now work almost exclusively only on weekdays during normal office hours and keep the weekends free as far as possible.

For music producers who want to start working in a more sustainable way, where do you think it’s good to start?
– To start by analyzing their own patterns and difficulties and then maybe read my essay to get some tips, haha! No, but it can be very difficult to break established patterns and there I think inspiration is quite important.

In your essay, you write that it has been important for you to have a connection with like-minded people for collaborations and physical meetings. Can you tell us a little more about it and about your music studio collective Oda Studios?
– For me, it is important to have other like-minded people around me for inspiration, creative exchanges and collaborations and skills exchange. It inspires me enormously to hear the buzz of the studio neighbor. At Oda Studios in Stockholm, there are as many as 18 music creators who share some studios and some office / production spaces. There is nothing better than when there are several of us in place who can start each other, and work intensively to then take a joint lunch break.

What are you up to date with in the future?
– We released a single quite recently Miriam Bryant – Someone Of Us (Spotify / Apple Music), which I produced and co-wrote. Otherwise, I have some other projects underway but it is a little special time right now when many sessions are canceled.

Selenium Özan website

The Monday interview is a new series where @Lotta Fahlen interviews interesting people about various topics in music creation, and is published every other Monday.