Tunefruit Artist Spotlight: Craig Ferguson

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Photo Credit: Tyler Kongslie

Our writer for this article is Cantaloupe. He is a music producer based in Atlanta, GA.  His current release is entitled Kebomusic Presents: The Experience.  When not making music, he is probably writing software or working out at the gym.  For more information, check out www.kebomusic.com.

What is your favorite sound?

I tend to favor organs a lot.  Mainly because when I am writing I can get a wide range of sounds out of it. Everything from a cartoon sounding piece or a texture that can become useful.  It’s funny because I am not even a keyboard player.

Wow!  What is your main instrument?

I am a guitar and bass person.  As a composer, the organ is a really helpful tool.

What inspires you creatively?

I really don’t take myself very seriously and I believe that is reflected in my music.  I like to have fun.  I like to write upbeat and happy music, so that type of mood definitely inspires me.

What about life?

For songwriting – absolutely. I am always grabbing phrases from regular conversations and incorporating that into my writing.   Sometimes it’s harder with instrumental music because I have to imagine an activity and then put that activity to music.  I suppose you can say that I am a visual writer.

Do you have any aspirations to come from behind the mixing board and in front of the camera?

When I am not writing and composing I do perform, so in that regard I am in front of the camera.  However, when I am performing my goal is just to put on a good show and not necessarily be “in the spotlight”.

Gotcha.  What are your thoughts on Tunefruit?

There are a lot of disorganized companies out there and Tunefruit has demonstrated very good ability to organize their media, payment is quick and customer service is great.

All of these Tunefruit guys have funny names.  What would your Tunefruit name be?

Since I’m from California it would have to be Avocado.

Describe yourself using metatags?

Whoa!  I absolutely hate metatags but I can try.  Let’s see – how about quirky and fun.

Our special grand prize for answering Tunefruit-related questions is a t-shirt. What size Tunefruit shirt would you like to wear?

I think I am a large.

Great!  We will put you down for a large.  Do you have a favorite DAW that you use?

I am a Pro Tools person.  I actually first started out on Logic and that was a great platform.  It gave me access to a lot of sounds.  Once I started doing more sessions, most studios were using Pro Tools so I made the switch.  I like how it resembles more of an analog environment.

How did you get into scoring films and television commercials?

Between performances I always had a desire to write.  When I first started I didn’t have a particular formula down.  It took me about a year of trial and error to get things going. After that I started to get some material out there and some of my music was being used.  It was always part of my long-term career plan.

What’s next for you?

I am going to be writing new material and releasing it.  I will be start by releasing a proper single and seeing how that goes.  I am also interested in licensing new songs to different markets.  Most of my music is licensed to cable and it has opened a lot of doors for me.

Do you have anything to contribute to the analog vs. digital discussion?

Well for one I am an analog snob.

Aha!  So you are an analog snob and yet you are using ProTools? How does that work?

I think it is very difficult to be completely analog.  Even though I prefer analog, I have a hybrid setup.  Some of the Waves plugins are OK however there is nothing like using real tape.

Do you think you can still capture that analog “warmth” with digital plugins?

That’s a tough question – there is a lot of great gear out now that improves the sound before it gets into your computer.  I think you can get pretty close with digital plugins but there are some variables present with analog gear that can give you a great sound. I think the differences are so subtle that the average listener is not going to notice.

What were you doing before music?

Wow that makes me think back a long way . . .

That’s what we do here at Tunefruit!  We take you back!

I got heavy into music around the age of 11.  I played baseball a little bit, a few bad summer jobs but I pretty much went from music school to Los Angeles and started gigging and writing.   I feel very fortunate to have taken that route and not having to spend 5 years wasting away at another job.

If you were in another life, what would you like to attempt besides music?

I think I could improve the assembly instructions at IKEA.  Those are really hard to understand.

Is there something that you would never want to do?

I really like being creative.  One of the reasons why I have remained independent is to have that creative control.  Any job where I have to do the same thing everyday and I have no creative freedom would make me miserable.  Like data entry?

Any commentary on the current musical landscape?

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the internet is slowly becoming television. One concern is will the advertising rates that were set for television ever transfer into new mediums like Hulu and YouTube?  At lot of the so-called “up front” payment websites, where commercials are shown during a web video, the rates are far less than a commercial that would air on TV.  The idea of a TV commercial may possibly fade away and we may just have web commercials.  As a composer creating music for commercials, if the rates are so much lower than television then it will be very difficult for composers to make a living.

What is currently playing in your car right now?

I don’t really listen to CDs much in the car anymore – I will listen to some indie radio stations or a station out of Philadelphia that plays indie music.  Most of the new music I listen to is through Spotify.

What advice would you give to the youngins’ out there who are aspiring musicians?

You have to know what your market is and what you are writing for?  My niche is more southern cable shows.  A lot of people who may be struggling to break in perhaps have not figured out what their strengths are yet.   In regards to composing music for television, you have to watch a lot of television to find out what sound would work for different shows.  Plus, hope the television show doesn’t get cancelled before you submit your material.

Right!  Where can we hear some of your work?

I’m on about 32 shows at the moment.  Cajun Pawn Stars, American Pickers, a few Bravo shows, Interior Therapy are some shows that I am on or have been on in the past.

Want to hear and license one of Craig’s tracks? See all of his available tracks here: Island of Awesomeness

Go to www.craigfergusonmusic.com for more information.

Catch up with Craig on Twitter: @SLMixing