Swedish guitarist and producer Ola Englund is a multi-faceted creator, member of the bands The Haunted, and Feared, and gear guru with his YouTube channel, where he shares production tutorials, gear breakdowns, and music industry insight to a community of 600k+ subscribers.
We caught up with Ola this month, fresh off the release of his new album 'Starzinger', to learn more about his creative process, what it takes to 'make it' as an independent artist, and what he has coming up in 2021 as the music industry eyes a return to touring and live performance.
What can you tell us about your inspirations & creative process for "Starzinger"?
My album is basically just a reflection of me in the present, much like my last album being the me back when I wrote that album. I’m just letting whatever happens happen. My solo stuff has become an outlet for all my music endeavors that I don’t do in my other bands The Haunted or Feared.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey on streaming & downloading platforms?
Well my band and my YouTube channel started around the same time and with the channel growing, my band Feared grew, and with that, I started seeing how streams started to climb on other platforms other than YouTube.
I started on the Myspace platform with Feared and just didn’t see it catching up, but as soon as I did everything on YouTube I also got in contact with iMusician pretty early to do all my music online.
Has branching out as a YouTube content creator and launching your guitar brand, Solar Guitars, opened your music up to a new audience?
It has, but it also might’ve closed a lot of doors in the sense that people would be more reluctant to listen to a ”YouTubers” music. But yeah just as back in the day, as my channel grows bigger so does everything else. Everything goes hand in hand!
As a career musician, can you briefly talk about the importance of releasing music independently?
As I’m also in a major label signed band I’m getting both sides of the story and I can say for a fact that I would probably NEVER release my own music endeavors through a label. For the simple reason that I would lose control.
A label is great for certain things, but no one is going to push your music more than YOU. If you have the control, then there is no limit. You need to have a good working discipline and time. But if you want it enough, you’re gonna do well.
What are you working on right now / what projects await you in 2021?
I’m still working on more music for all my projects, Feared, The Haunted, and solo-stuff, and also balancing my other things, YouTube, Solar Guitars, etc.
At this point even though I’ve had a good year, I’m sorta looking forward to getting out and doing a live gig. I haven’t seen my band in two years. I’m really excited for the autumn and hope that the gigs booked at that time still won’t get canceled.
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