Becoming a music producer

 10 July 2015

Music producer Eric Lau started out studying business. When a personal tragedy changed his outlook on life, he found his passion in music. Read about how he ended up excelling in the music industry.

"A normal day for me would be either making music on a particular project for a label or remix work.

 I did very safe subjects – whether it was to please myself or my parents, I’m not sure.

"That’s one side of it. On the other side of it, I’ll be doing either tutoring, consultancy work for Rolling Sound, teaching young people or consulting on projects to deliver to young people.

"I’m signed to a label in America and they’ve given me a deal, so they give me X amount of money and I make an album for them.

"I get other work like remix work or production work, and they pay me for the time and to use my music. I get paid more money from royalties from when it’s played out on radio."

Doing 'safe' subjects

"I did not imagine that I’d do what I do at school... not one bit. You know, I did very safe subjects – whether it was to please myself or my parents, I’m not sure. I did Business, Maths and Computing A-Levels.

"I wanted to do Art, but it wasn’t an option for me. I wasn’t allowed to, but I thank my parents for all the guidance they’ve given me.

"Then I went to university and did a Business Marketing degree. So I have no formal training in music whatsoever!

"The change came in mindset really. When I was at college before I did my exams, my best friend committed suicide and it completely changed my outlook on life.

"I went to uni with an open mind, still open to do the Business degree. But I tried loads of different things, came across music and then realised that it was my passion and that I believed in it and believed that I was good at it."

Early music career

"After uni, you can’t just rely on your parents help... you have to support yourself. So I actually worked at a fancy trainer store in Carnaby Street, selling trainers full-time because I wanted to do music.

"It paid off. I got a management deal from having time to do what I wanted to do and then that led on to more things.

I tried loads of different things, came across music and then realised that it was my passion.

"I started doing an internship at this record label called BBE and they asked me to go round all the record stores to check on their stock round London.

"During that trip, I was playing the people in the record stores my demos just to see what they thought. The feedback was really good, especially from one record store called Deal Real.

"They were saying, "Oh you know, we can maybe help you out," and that turned into a management deal and I got a lot of opportunities and a lot of experience from that. So that’s how it happened."

Family views on the music industry

"At first, my parents did not approve. Coming from a Chinese background to be doing music was, you know, obviously frowned upon at first.

Taking this route has led me to meet so many wonderful people, do what I love day-to-day and to inspire many.

"But the turning point was when I got nominated for a Pearl Award. My dad went to the awards ceremony with me and couldn’t believe that the music I was making was getting respect.

"That completely changed his mind and he saw that I was supporting myself just from it. So I have their full support and they know that I’m happy.

"I have absolutely no regrets in my life. Taking this route has led me to meet so many wonderful people, do what I love day-to-day and to inspire many.

"So if I can do that through a career and live off it, that’s a blessing."

See more videos to help give you career inspiration on icould.com.


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