To all the music makers and aspiring music makers,
We get into making music for all sorts of different reasons.
However different these reasons may be, there is at least one defining moment that motivates us to take action. To take action and begin our music-making journey.
That defining moment is why you are here.
It was 2010 and I was front and center on the dance floor of a fraternity party getting ready to DJ. As I was nervously setting up my equipment, I was thinking back to the very first music festival that I ever attended just a month ago where I saw Armin Van Buuren and Deadmau5. I thought It would be such a thrilling experience to be able to mix your favorite songs and see an entire stadium dancing to the music you loved. This seemed like such a surreal experience that I had to know what it felt like.
The next day, I went out and purchased a DJ controller and Traktor DJ software.
As I began DJing the fraternity party, no one was filling the dance floor. I was starting to get even more nervous and anxious.
Was anyone going to dance to the music that I was playing? Am I playing the right song? Am I going to completely ruin this party?
20 minutes went by and the dance floor was still empty.
I had to do something.
I loaded up one of my all time favorite dance songs into Traktor, turned up the gain, and faded in the track. Through the cheap sound system that I had brought for the party, a vocoded voice blared out, One More Time. You could hear Daft Punk’s classic song, One More Time, throughout the entire house.
Within a couple of minutes, the entire dance floor was filled and people were going crazy.
I remember looking onto the dance floor and seeing everyone having a great time to the music that I was mixing in and thinking to myself, “This is what I want to do with my future. I want to fill people with positive emotions through music.”
This was my defining moment.
From that point on, it was off to the races.
During the next five years, I spent countless hours producing, watched every tutorial I could get my hands on, attended San Francisco’s Pyramind music production school, moved to Italy to work at a radio station and studio, traveled around Europe exploring the music scene, released music on labels and popular YouTube channels, and created chart-topping sample and preset packs.
After all of this, something still didn’t feel right.
As I looked around the music-making landscape I saw that there was no one-stop shop for music makers, a single place where music makers could receive help in all aspects of music-making from one platform.
In 2016 I started a website called SoundShockAudio which featured tutorials, free downloads, interviews, and music industry news.
Over the next two and a half years the SoundShockAudio platform and community gained popularity and support. The platform had proven to be helpful to producers across the globe, but something was still missing.
It wasn’t fully delivering on my goal of providing a one shop stop for music makers.
It wasn’t fully delivering on my defining moment of wanting to bring positive emotions to people through music and to enable other music makers to do the same.
In order to reach my goal and capitalize on my defining moment, I needed help.
It was at this time, I teamed up with Cristian.
While our passion for music and desire to help other music makers brought us together, his journey was much different than mine.
My music-making journey was indeed different and less straight-forward.
My father was a music lover with a passion for electronic engineering and hi-fi gear, so I was lucky enough to grow up around “fascinating toys” like big speakers, turntables, tape decks, amplifiers, and graphic equalizers. This also gave me the opportunity to listen to all types of music, ranging from classical to electronic.
Hip Hop captured my attention in the early 90s. In 1995, at the age of 14, I became part of a Rap group with some of my friends. This was fun for a while and it brought me my first experiences with music writing, recording studios, and live concerts.
By the time I finished high school in 1999, my unrealistic teenage expectations about a music career were not being fulfilled. Despite things going well for our rap group, I fell into the trap of self-doubt, stopped making music, and looked for “safer” ways to build a career.
From an early age, I had an interest in learning about why people do what they do. Then in high school I started getting into graphic design. A career as an advertising creative art director seemed like a good option at that time.
For the next 11 years, I worked as an art & creative director in advertising agencies.
While I had a chance to further improve my skills in how to reach and influence people, something still didn’t feel right.
My wish has always been to influence people in a positive way.
Unfortunately, advertising wasn’t the place to do this because my job was to use my skills against people for the benefit of my clients, who were usually large corporations.
Once I realized that I was getting good money for doing the wrong things, my only option was to quit advertising for good. I had very little savings and no safety net, but a change was mandatory.
From that moment on, I decided to only get involved in activities that help people and have a positive impact on their lives. I started by helping my family and friends overcome their personal issues. However, I soon realized that one on one interactions only allowed me to reach a limited number of people and it was not sustainable. I kept looking for a better way to reach and provide help to more people until I had a breakthrough…
Music! This was it! Music is the best communication channel ever.
Getting back to music now became my main priority.
This wasn’t an easy task. I had no money to spend on making music and I had to learn everything from scratch as I knew almost nothing about music making.
All I had was an old desktop computer, some basic desktop speakers, an internet connection, and the drive to make music.
It took me many years to learn about songwriting, recording, production, mixing, and mastering. Even to this day, I’m still learning.
The internet helped me to acquire knowledge and get in touch with like-minded music makers.
This is actually how I met Daniel, who at that time, was running soundshockaudio.com by himself.
Our common passion for music-making and providing help to others became the foundation of our partnership. Teaming up to take the old website to the next level came to us naturally.
Based on our common goals, we built a new brand from the ground up, with clearly defined Core Values as a foundation. Loyalty to our Community, Generosity, Transparency, Professionalism, and Friendliness & Openness are the pillars on which we started building our new brand.
From this strong foundation and with more than 20 years of combined music-related experiences, our brand’s Core Philosophy was established:
UpstreamSquad empowers you, the music maker.
UpstreamSquad sets new standards for providing value to the music-making community.
UpstreamSquad is built by music makers for music makers and it will always stand for music makers!
Welcome to UpstreamSquad – The Fast Lane for Music Makers! 💜💯
To the Top!