On March 2020 the world was abruptly thrown into collective disarray. The pandemic stopped almost…
The Bristolian duo was signed to Pete Tong’s FFRR and have amassed 60 million+ streams & 8 ‘Hottest Records In The World’ from BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac, the most ever hottest records for a single artist! They also released their Unfold EP earlier this year.
Icarus have established themselves as one of the most capable producer tandems in electronic music in recent years and have been lauded for their emotive take on house music. Today they share 5 tips to beat writer’s block to celebrate their latest release, the ‘Better Daze’ Remix of ‘Must Stop’ by ONR feat. Sarah Barthel of Phantogram.
1. Listen to music
This is such a great way to beat writer’s block. It’s easy (and frustrating) to sit there, staring at the screen, trying things and getting nowhere fast. Taking some time to listen to music and gain some inspiration can quickly get you out of your rut. Obviously, we’re not saying you should rip people off but hearing something within a track and thinking ‘I’d like to create something like that’ can be a great starting point for a new tune. Before you know it, you can be a million miles away from the original inspiration, but it’s dissolved the creative block!
2. Leave the screen
This can really help. Being a creative isn’t like any other job role. You can’t just switch on creativity, so sometimes you need to accept that you’re just not feeling it. Take some time away from your screen, go for a walk in nature, do some exercise, or whatever takes your mind away for a while. We usually find that when your mind is free to wander, inspiration comes knocking.
Can’t write anything you like on your own? Work with someone else! Getting someone else’s eyes and ears on a demo you’ve been struggling with can be really helpful. Often, other people can pick out the potential in things that you just can’t see or hear. Or, start something completely fresh with someone. Chances are, you’ll learn new tips and tricks for writing and producing from this person too. Two heads really can be better than one, sometimes.
4. Learn something new
Nowadays, you can learn basically anything from YouTube. We’ll often pull up a browser and search for a new production tip or trick to try out. This can be so helpful for beating writer’s block. Messing around in your DAW with a new plug-in, or just one you haven’t bothered to learn before can really help creativity and spark something fresh.
We’ve put this at the end because it’s kind of a ‘last resort’ but there’s no denying that there have been some huge records that use samples to great effect. Have a hunt for something obscure or unknown, sample it, and see where it takes you! You never know, you might end up not needing the sample that sparked the initial idea.
ONR – Must Stop (ft. Sarah Barthel of Phantogram) [Icarus Better Daze Mix] is now available. Stream and buy here.