UG started experimenting with music from an early age, with his mom teaching him how to play the piano at the age of three, although he admitted losing interest in music during his teenage years but everything picked up again for him when his dad gave him his first guitar.
This is the full interview with Singer/Songwriter from Berlin, Germany - UG (Urban Germany).
Can you give the readers some background information about yourself?
I am a singer-songwriter from Berlin, Germany.
So did you initally get into music? What is your first memory of being inspired by music?
I have had a strong connection to music from a very early age. My mom started giving me piano lessons when I was three. I lost my passion for music for awhile during my teenage years but picked it right up when my dad gave me my first guitar. I have been very involved in music ever since.
What made you decide to start uploading covers and songs on youtube?
YouTube presented me with a rare opportunity to share my music with the world so I started uploading some videos and got an overwhelmingly positive response from people all over the world. Naturally, that inspired me to keep going and I’m still in awe when I look back and see what wonderful opportunities those videos have created for me.
What has been your favourite cover and why?
I have several covers that bear a special meaning to me. “Because of you” by Ne-Yo was the first one I’ve ever done and I often feel like it paved the way for me. Then of course there is my “Nothin on you” remix that got an incredible number of views and got me a lot of attention as a songwriter.
What has the response been so far from youtube? What opportunities it has that brought you thus far?
The response has been phenomenal. YouTube provides artists with the opportunity to directly connect with their listeners and supporters which I think is incredible. My videos have given me the opportunity to travel and have shows all over the world. Also, they provided me with the chance to work on music professionally.
Is there a song or album that has been really important to you growing up and why?
There have been a number of songs and albums that were very important to my development as an artist. I grew up on R&B and hip hop music of the late 90’s/early 2000s (Boyz2Men, Joe, Craig David, etc.). Even though I enjoy the contemporary music we have right now I feel like I learned most about singing and writing music from listening to the latter.
What are you currently working on at the moment, What should your fans look forward in earing/seeing soon?
I am currently working on a lot of songwriting projects for other artists. However, I am also working on a new EP of my own from time to time and I can’t wait to share those songs with the world!
How would you describe your music? What kind do you think you play?
Songwriting wise I think I’m pretty versatile but I think I feel most comfortable with acoustic/pop/R&B music which is also reflected in the songs that I put out as an artist.
When did you realize you could actually do this as a career?
The internet has given me an opportunity to showcase my music. This has not only blessed me with attention from music consumers but also some people in the music industry. I have a couple of really good contacts now and the rare opportunity to do music on a professional level in the big leagues. How that will work out? I honestly don’t know but I am eager to find out!
What has been the hardest part in getting your music out there?
I think the hardest part nowadays is to set yourself apart from the rest and to find your own lane. YouTube for instance is crowded with talented people. Therefore, it is hard for most people to get people to discover and watch their videos.
What advice would you give to other musicians trying to get off the ground?
I think all you can do is put your music out there. Having a plan helps. What are you going to do once you have built your audience? What are the next steps? Often times, people assume that getting a lot of views on YouTube is the ultimate goal when it’s not.
It’s all about what you are doing with the attention you have gotten and how you benefit from it. Realistically, you cannot build a career off of doing YouTube videos and giving a couple of shows here and there. That won’t pay the bill for the next 10 years. So if you are aiming for longevity make a plan and think about what it is you want to achieve with you music.
Other than that, I always encourage people to put their videos up no matter what. I was very excited to have 50 people listening to my stuff in the beginning, just the same way I am excited to know that several thousands are listening to it now. I didn’t start off thinking I could possibly make career off of this. I just wanted to share my music and I think that’s something that you should keep no matter what level you are doing your music on.
Do you do music full-time?
I invest a lot of time in music but I haven’t finished school yet so I am not doing it full-time at the moment.
If you weren’t a singer/songwriter what would you be doing?
I am studying business and telecommunication networks and I could totally see myself working in that field in the future.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Being able to travel the world to do music and signing my publishing deal!
Do you play any other instruments apart from the guitar and the piano?
No, not really. The guitar and the piano are my favorite instruments.
What bands/musicians have you played with thus far? Any gigs in particular that meant a lot to you or shows that were the most memorable?
I have shared the stage with a lot of talented people like Jeremy Passion, Gabe Bondoc, JR Aquino, SummerBreeze and others. My most memorable performance was probably the first “For your soul” show in San Francisco. It was my first show in the U.S.
Are you still looking to get signed, and how important is it to you? Do you feel artists lose creative control when their under the control of a label?
I am currently focusing on songwriting which is what I’ve always been aiming at. As for losing creative control as an artist when signing contracts that very much depends on what label you are signed to and at which point in your career you are.
As soon as there are financial interests behind your music you are basically bound to be influenced in your creative output which is understandable on some level. After all, from a labels perspective it’s nothing more than a financial investment at the end of the day.
When you give someone your money you tend to wanting to control what the person is doing with it. I am not saying that this is how it should be but I guess that’s just the way it is. If you can prove to a label that you know what you are doing and that your work will result in commercial success you will automatically have more liberties in your contract.
Do you have any goals you may want to reach with your music?
Yes! A lot of goals! But whether that will work out only the future can tell…
If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why?
WAY too many to name… lol
Thanks for your time UG.
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