Finding Your Sound as a Composer

A YouTuber and pianist wants to inspire young composers to share their sound with the world 

Sheila Arellano // Arts & Culture Editor 

The journey to finding your sound and your audience as a musician is hard, but it’s not an impossible quest. Mexican pianist and composer Pablo Arellano has had an interest in music since he was five years old. He played with his father on the tumba and the bongos, and had his first public concert appearance when he was just eight years old. “I had the rare privilege of being supported [in my] desire to learn music, so I did my first paid job for Nivea at age 15,” he said.  

Arellano has had numerous professional jobs in music since, including film scoring, TV, advertising and composition for theatre. “People responded extremely well, everybody felt something deep and profound, and that became my calling,” he explained.  

To fulfill that calling, he uploaded the music he composed to YouTube, and, to his surprise, people responded. “This really took off,” Arellano said. “Some songs have reached 15 to 20 million views.” Before YouTube, Arellano didn’t think he could publish his music online and be successful. But his wife, Natasa, was the one who pushed him to publish his music. 

For young composers, Arellano suggests not being afraid to explore your talent and try new things in order to grow and thrive in the music scene. To find your sound you have to find a niche audience. There are many niches to pick from, but as a musician, yours has to be specific to what you like doing the most so you remain motivated. “Find a niche audience that you like and [that] you are passionate about. And then focus on creating everyday, and being patient,” he explained. A lot of the success in this field comes from being consistent, keeping your motivation alive and entertaining your audience while being careful not to create the same content. Instead, it’s important to find new ways to innovate within the niche you have chosen.  

Another crucial aspect of projecting yourself as an established musician is believing in your talent. Confidence will carve the path towards new and exciting opportunities within the music industry. This can be hard at times but, with time, all your hard work can come to fruition and become something you are proud of. Remember “music is an immense universe where you are always learning. There are many possibilities, so exploring is very rewarding as a musician. As well, co-creating with other artists is incredible, and practicing everyday is crucial.” In music, “relating with like-minded people who can aid you in shaping and bettering your art is the best way to learn and understand what your sound is,” he said. Arellano stressed the importance of “focusing on what comes naturally” in order to create work you enjoy and share with the world. 

“If you like music and it is a part of you, don’t have fear, everything will come to you naturally,” Arellano concluded. If you are passionate and consistent and act towards your goals “life will take care of you in very surprising ways,” he said. When Arellano first published his guitar improvisations on YouTube, he started with no audience and within two weeks had 250,000 views. He didn’t know why at the time, but now he knows that when you follow your true sound and work towards bettering yourself, the world will feel what you feel through your music. Share your work, keep an open mind, and, in time, life will provide you with an orchestra of opportunities.  

For any further questions or advice, visit www.pabloarellano.org  

 

1 Comment
  1. We use your father’s music during Patricia Jean Fleming’s guided meditation in Barcelona, Spain. It adds so much more to our experience. I often hear his music in my mind while going about my everyday life, and for this I say Muchas gracias , thank you very much.

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