We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Robert Ford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel Robert, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is the success of my clients. Whenever choosing a contractor in any field of business, you need to do your research. I want Artists to choose to work with me because they feel secure in knowing they have hired a talented and capable professional. As a creative type, I know that not everyone has the same tastes, especially when individuality comes into play. Though I am not a performer or singer, I consider myself a “Recording Artist”, with the recording studio being my primary instrument. My hope is that when someone listens to my catalog, they say “yes, I can hear myself on that.” The nature of being a Record Producer & Mixer is that we are in a service industry. Our clients come to us with dreams of success in the music business, whatever that means to them. Therefore the job spec is to give them a product they can be proud of and use to accomplish their goals. This is not an easy task. At over 20 years in the music business, getting to a place where I can deliver the quality of records needed to be competitive with major label artists in the market has taken my entire life of study and practice. I still study and practice everyday as music is ever changing with trends, the passing of time, and emerging artists. All of my effort and energy goes into honing my skills and talent so that I may put them to use for each new Artist who chooses to work with me. So if the question is “What is the most important factor behind my success?” Then it must be the success of my clients, because those credits are what expand my horizons as a small business and open doors in the future with new clients and Major Labels. If the question was instead, “How do you best serve your client’s success?” then the answer would be; “By striving everyday to hone my talent, master the skillset, and be open to new ideas and creativity through studying the charts and trends so that I can stay ahead of what’s popular for my clients, giving them an edge when they are ready to launch their careers.”
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My story begins with Music Education in public school. In the 4th grade they asked; “Who wants to be in the Band?” and I raised my hand. Music has always been in me and with me, through dance, martial arts, musical theatre, indie bands, and in my home… and so I only ever felt “right” when I was making music in some fashion. At the age of 21 I was DJ’ing in San Francisco and decided I wanted to study Audio Engineering, so I attended Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA. Music Education has been a major part of my life, and I will forever preach the necessity of it in our schools. I’ve been very blessed to have incredible teachers, both in business and in music, and so one day I hope to be able to pay that forward. That said, my story has been hard won. Like anyone I’ve had my own personal struggles growing up in this world, but I have chosen dedication and determination as my driving forces. I believe strongly that perseverance is key, because everyday as a small business owner is unique! I write this today working on a Saturday, because the music must be made (and on time!!!!) The biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way are that authenticity is paramount, and that every artist sees the finish line in a different place. I get every type of client from dreamer to hobbyist to serious contender, and I’ve learned and they are all counting on me to be my best. So I strive everyday to deliver the best product I can sonically and creatively, so that I know I did my job my best for each one of them. The one thing I remind myself of every day is that my client’s dreams are what give my dreams flight. I can’t do it without them, and that deserves an extra serving of care. The people that continue to choose to work with me allow me to live my dreams (of being a Record Producer) and so I am very thankful to my clients for that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in Nashville Tennessee offers an abundance of entertainment and sightseeing. Nashville “Music City” is the home of Country Music, and we have an entire downtown area dedicated to that complete with multi-story bars and museums. We also have “Music Row” where the Major Labels are, and of course if you are a music fan you have to catch a few “Songwriter Sets” where you might hear the next hit song before it’s on the radio. Songwriters from all over the united states come to cut their teeth in the sets of Nashville, in hopes of being discovered and connecting with the movers and the shakers. Nashville isn’t all music though, we have vineyards and Distilleries like Arrington and Jack Daniels! You can drive a couple hours north for a day and hit Distillery Row in Louisville Kentucky if you like Whiskey, or your can drive East to the Great Smoky Mountains if you want to hike or hit Dollywood. You can drive west to Memphis and see the Civil Rights museum, or catch some Blues & BBQ on Beale St., or you can stay local and get on Percy Priest Lake if you know somebody with a boat. Nashville is full of activities to keep you entertained, but also we eat really well. There are incredible restaurants and Bakeries, we have fantastic artisans and fashion, and if you like when the leaves change color Autumn and Spring are exceptional.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I always shoutout the two most important women in my life. My Mom has always been my biggest supporter and cheerleader, and without her I would not be me… in every way. The second is my fiancé (our wedding is on 5/1/2021). We’ve been together for 14 years, she is my best friend, and my “better 2/3rds”.