Generally when an artist gives away an entire album for free there’s usually a good reason: it’s not very good. Can anyone of you remember Felix Da Housecat’s album he gave away via a Mixmag cover CD a few years ago, no? Precisely.
Well, there exceptions to the rule and Bart B More’s free album ‘Satnam’ is one of them. His debut album comes at a time when many people in the music industry are beginning to question the importance of the album format. The way he sees it is though, is a little different: if you sign to a label then you’re album is designed to sell, and therefore you’re not necessarily making it for yourself but making it to make sales – and therefore the album’s message can often get lost once a label gets their hands on it. There’s nothing wrong with selling music, of course, but if your label are only concerned about sales things can quickly unravel.
So with that in mind Bart B decided he’d make an album for himself and then just give it away. A noble strategy, sure, but it just so happens that his debut is very good. With no pressure he’s been able write an album’s worth material that really stands out. It’s a cacophony of electro, house, italo and everything in between. It’s not chasing sales, trends or likes, but simply music he wanted to make and then give away.
Bart B More goes into detail on his reasoning in an honest and eloquent post on his website explaining why he decided he’d give his life’s work away which you can read below.
It’s finally here. I’ve released my first ever album (!!!) It’s been quite a ride for me to get to this point, and to be honest there were many times where I thought I would never get here. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a great career in dance music so far, something I’d always wanted as a kid. I’m doing what I love most and get to make a living out of it in the process—an absolute blessing that I’m so thankful for.
Back in 2010 till around 2012 there was a point where I had reached a lot of momentum; my music was getting quite some attention, and I was playing at almost every big festival, traveling to every corner of the world to do so. I was, as they say, “on top of the world”. And then a lot of things started to change. As music is ever developing (which in my perspective, has always been a great thing), the music around me started to go in a direction where I grew to resent it. When I first landed on the scene in Holland, there was this huge boost in the amount of parties and club shows. I myself played 6 or more parties every weekend, and while at first this was a great opportunity, I began to notice it all becoming a sort of ego race. Every DJ wanted to out-do the DJ playing before or after him or her; and so they would usually play the sure-shots, too afraid to wander off and take risks for fear of losing the crowd. In the years to come I saw the same thing happening on a global scale, and it’s one of the reasons why the term “EDM” is so ridiculed these days. Every set needed to be bigger and crazier than the last, to the point of ridiculousness.
By that time, this factor had affected the joy I always experienced when making or playing music. There were times when I noticed that I too, was trying to keep up with the rat race, trying to stay “relevant”. After all, I was playing these big stages and my music was heard by so many, and it was something I didn’t want to give up on. It took me quite a bit of soul searching before I realised that I would only find happiness through joy of doing what I love most, and so I decided to take a step back. I needed to go back to the core of why I do what I do, and I desperately needed to rediscover my love for music. What followed was a period of sound searching and trying to find inspiration from different angles when I couldn’t find it in my surroundings. For me, this album is the collective and also the closure of this period. The music might not represent any current musical hype or trend, and might not fit into a specific genre, but I simply enjoyed making these tracks too much to not share them. “Happiness is only real when shared” is a famous quote that I really resonate with. With every single person who experiences some of the joy I had while making this music, I’ll become a little happier too.
This was also one of the main reasons to make this album available as a free download. Don’t get me wrong, having financial gain from my music is so great and much appreciated, but particularly for this project it is not a priority, as it possibly could have been a distraction from the album’s message. By sharing this album I’ve gained on a much deeper level; the gain of shaking off peer pressure and being able to create from this joy within me. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the music, and if you do please share it with your friends or come say hi and have a good time at one of my shows. It’ll mean much more to me. Thank you to each and every one of you who has supported me through the years. There’s no greater gift than the feeling of support and love for my music.