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Money from music

DJ Fuzz is pointing others in the right direction when it comes to monetising their music

17 Sep 2020 / 09:36 H.

WHILE he does charity work now and then, DJ Fuzz (born Farzwa De-Attaher Emir Farit) does not focus on one particular social cause, unlike his former Teh Tarik Crew bandmates Altimet and Mizz Nina.

DJ Fuzz produced his first solo album Mixology in 2005, and has composed music for artistes such as W.A.R.I.S, Mark Adam, Juzzthin and Wani Kayrie.

This prolific musician, DJ and composer has also written seven books in Bahasa Malaysia teaching budding artistes how to monetise their music. Among them are 101 Tips Untuk Artis Baru Nak Up, and his latest, #DJ Fuzz Secret.

Referring to #DJ Fuzz Secret, he said: “The book is about how to become a composer and maximise your income by becoming a songwriter.”

He explained what spurred him to write this particular book. “There are a lot of newcomers who are very misinformed about the industry.

“There are many people outside the industry who are indoctrinated with the idea that you can’t make money out of music, and that music is not a viable career.

“With the book, I was trying to explain to people that you can actually earn a good income by just being in the music industry. There are many avenues that you can monetise.”

– COURTESY OF DJ FUZZ
– COURTESY OF DJ FUZZ

DJ Fuzz said there is a big difference when you compare the music industry of today to how it was in the past, such as during its heyday in the 1980s. The competition today is more intense.

“Not everybody will make it. About 20% [of the artistes] will made 80% of the revenue.

“First they will increase their profile and branding as an artiste. They may be able to monetise [themselves], but in order to go further they will have to start a business. The business doesn’t have to be [related to] music per se. With their personal branding, they can market their products.”

He said that an artiste cannot have a number one song all the time, but by using their personal branding for their business, they will have another source of income.

The past few months have been a mixed bag of sorts for DJ Fuzz. He lost his father Farit Ismeth Emir (a famous newscaster for RTM), and the performance side of his business has slowed down.

However, this accounting graduate has been busy composing jingles for various SMEs that have managed to survive the current economic climate.

“Our business is divided into two sides. The record label side, and the advertising side. The record label side is slowing down, but the advertising side is picking up.”

He said they newer artistes seem to be more informed than their predecessors, and know how to find multiple sources of income.

Indirectly, DJ Fuzz is helping newcomers to the industry by pointing them in the right direction through his books.

– COURTESY OF DJ FUZZ
– COURTESY OF DJ FUZZ

“If you become an artiste, there are many people who will show you how to manage your money in the long term,” he said. “If you are self-employed, you [may not have] the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) to take care of you when you are older. So you have to go the extra mile.

“You have to put in your own effort. You have to create your own retirement fund. In order to do that, you have to educate yourself more than other people.”

He said those in the entertainment line have to take it upon themselves to attend classes or webinars to learn how to manage their finances, so that they won’t end up repeating the mistakes of artistes who have ended up broke once they stop working.

“Musicians today need to be more financially informed and educated so that in the future, they have some [savings] when they decide to retire. That is what I am trying to do.”

However, he cautions: “I am not qualified to advise people on [their finances]. They have to go to the right people. What I am trying to do is pass on the message.

“Instead of teaching them, I am sharing with them where to go to learn how to manage their money. The only thing I am [qualified] to write about is [related to] the music business. That I why I write books on the music business.”

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