Rick Rubin is a music producer who has made a name for himself by working with some of the biggest names in the industry. From Johnny Cash to Adele to Kendrick Lamar, Rubin has proven time and time again that he knows how to bring out the best in an artist.
So, what's his secret? According to Rubin, it's all about the power of volume.
When it comes to creating a new album, Rubin follows a simple but effective strategy. He demands volume. Usually, an artist might rock up with a batch of 10-12 songs they’ve already written for the album.
Invariably, the last two songs are the best. That’s because, usually, creativity correlates with volume.
The first 10 songs were already in your head.
When you’re pushed to go deeper, that’s when you have to wrack your brain.
You have to go below the surface and tug on old memories, relationships, and stories from your past. Suddenly, you have content that’s twice as raw as you were originally prepared to be.
So rather than rushing into the recording studio, Rubin encourages artists to keep writing. He believes that if you write 30 songs, there's a better chance that the final 10 will be top-quality.
This lengthy pre-production process may seem counterintuitive, but it actually pays off in the end. By taking the time to prepare thoroughly, Rubin is able to make records faster than many other producers. And the music itself is much richer.
He knows that if he and the artist are fully prepared in advance, they can cut the whole album in a week or even less.
If you want to push the limits of your creativity, keep digging.
Don’t just stop at the point that seems intuitive.
Dedicate enough time to prepare. You’ll execute more efficiently, and at a higher quality.