Dillon Francis: “As a music producer, you get to this level and then you’re expected to be amazing all the time and I feel like I’m not.”

The EDM star reveals he recently undertook classes at a music production school to reinvigorate his creative spark.

Dillon Francis in front of a sunset orange background

Credit: MusicTech / Clare Gillen

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EDM producer Dillon Francis has opened up about the pressures of expectations in the music industry, revealing that enrolling on a music production course and attending gigs “re-inspired” him to make his latest album.

Discussed in a new interview with MusicTech, the LA-based artist remarks on a period of creative block in January 2023, when opening Ableton Live felt like “opening a newspaper”, he says.

“As a music producer,” he goes on, referring to a feeling of imposter syndrome, “you get to this level and then you’re expected to be amazing all the time and I feel like I’m not.”

According to Francis, who released his latest album This Mixtape Is Fire TOO in December, six sessions at ICON Collective, an LA-based music production school, offered him newfound inspiration.

“I didn’t know what to expect going into it,” ICON teacher Diaso tells MusicTech, “but they were really fun sessions. It felt less like a teacher-student relationship. He has such great taste for sound design. I demonstrated a few techniques and he could just take it and run with it. It was really fun to watch.”

“There’s a lot of stuff in Serum I didn’t know you could do,” Francis says. “I didn’t know you could put in a PNG and make WAV file out of it. You gotta go read the manual for that. Who has time for that? But no I should be reading the manual. It was awesome to go [to ICON] and re-inspire myself.

He goes on to say how he further found inspiration after fellow EDM producer Porter Robinson urged him to attend more music gigs.

“‘You gotta go out to shows. You gotta see people live and keep re-inspiring yourself.’” Porter told him. “So that was a big thing I started doing at that time when I was going back to school. I was trying to check out new artists and search for people that were inspiring me and that was a big part of [This Mixtape Is Fire TOO].”

Read the full interview with Dillon Francis at MusicTech.

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