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My Five: Top 5 Self-Produced Musicians

Nate Fenningdorf
Pictured: Verzache

There's an inherent feeling that accompanies self-produced songs – an essence of intimacy and character, due to the artist having full control over the piece of work. Unfortunately, it's a phenomenon we don't see as often with many industry trending artists. With production being so frequently outsourced, many musicians tend to focus on one aspect of the music-making process, their vocals. Self-produced artists are a breath of fresh air, so here are five of our favorites.

1. Verzache


DAW: Ableton


Zach Farache, professionally known as Verzache, has achieved incredible feats through his young career. The 23-year-old artist's success, however, did not happen overnight. Verzache has incessantly been producing music since he was a young teenager. Now, with over 300 million streams and 3.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, the Toronto artist’s music has become well known around the world. Receiving praise from outlets like Earmilk, Atwood Magazine, and Complex, Verzache is widely respected in the industry.

The viral phenomenon has even been called “The King of Bedroom Pop,” speaking to his influence and the originality of his music. With mainstream success from songs like “Needs” and “The Loser,” you may not know the name Verzache, but odds are you know his addictive melodies and unique production.

The entirely self-produced artist uses the DAW (digital audio workstation) Ableton to create his unconventional music. From the outlandish production on “Think About It,” to the simple yet sophisticated production on “January,” Verzache’s distinctive creations always end up as authentically crafted masterpieces. The 'genreless' artist is coming off the release of his album, My Head is a Moshpit, which is fully self-produced. So far, the album has racked up over 16 million streams on Spotify.

Verzache will inevitably continue to make captivating, genre-defying music. The immensely talented artist has consistently released mesmerizing music since 2016, and he has no plans of slowing down. If you’re not already a Verzache stan, start getting used to him because you’ll be one soon enough. – Nate Fenningdorf

2. Still Woozy


DAW: Ableton


Still Woozy – born Sven Gamsky – has become a wildly influential artist. Through his “psychedelic bedroom pop” music, the 29-year-old artist is now regarded as one of the most talented musicians in the industry. Drawing inspiration from Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy, and even “crunchy blues music,” Still Woozy has created a sound unlike any other. His music is extremely sonically pleasing, making it a laid-back easy listen every time.

Still Woozy tagged his name as an ode to who he is. Describing himself as “always kinda woozy,” Gamsky felt no choice but to call himself Still Woozy. He believes that he is out of the flow of life, which interestingly translates to the spaced out, foreign nature of his music. Since his 2017 release of “Vacation,” the idiosyncrasy featured in his music has remained the same through the years.

From his garage in Oakland, California, Still Woozy produces all of his music. With songs like “Goodie Bag,” and “Habit,” Gamsky shows how making all his music in-house creates music that is far away from what is considered standard. Still Woozy has proven he can go mainstream through his atypical style. – Ian Hansen

3. Blanks


DAW: Logic Pro X


Hailing from Vleuten, Utrecht, Netherlands, Blanks’ rise to popularity has been extremely unprecedented. Starting a YouTube channel from his home in 2013, the now 24-year-old unexpectedly began his career in music. As Blanks’ YouTube channel grew, his music began to rise with it. Today, with over 71 million views and 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube, the upcoming artist has used his knack for making YouTube videos to assemble a far-reaching fan base. Media outlets like Clash Magazine and MTV have voiced their support for the multi-talented musician, legitimizing Blanks' music, past his YouTube fame.

In one of his YouTube series called “Styleswap,” Blanks – born Simon de Wit – recreates popular songs to make them sound like they are from a different era. In his first ever attempt at this type of recreation, he made Post Malone’s “Better Now” sound like an “80s Hit.” Three years later, his off-kilter rendition of the song is just shy of 20 million streams on Spotify.

The self-produced artist uses the DAW Logic Pro X to create his feel-good music. From the crisp pop production of “What You Do To Me,” to the summertime indie production of “Higher,” Blanks shows his hit-making ability on each song he releases. Coming off the drop of his most recent EP Never Have I Ever, Blanks has shown his promise as an artist.

Since 2017, Blanks has regularly released music to Spotify, resulting in a discography that features numerous noteworthy songs. While the self-titled “overexcited music boy” has not quite reached the mainstream music sphere, he is well on his way there. – Nate Fenningdorf

4. Remi Wolf


DAW: Various


California native, Remi Wolf, has already lived an eventful life. At the age of 25, she has been a contestant on American Idol and competed for team USA in competitive skiing, even racing at the Youth Olympic Games. Now, Remi Wolf has turned to music, with her creations gaining widespread support across the industry.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Wolf began developing her “funky-soul-pop” sound from a young age. Starting a band at 14, her sound has been developing for over a decade. This explains her unapologetic, experimental music today. Whether it’s vocals that make you feel like you’re hallucinating or extraterrestrial sounds repeating throughout a song, Wolf shows her unforgiving artistry through each release.

Remi Wolf tailors her production to ensure there is no empty space in the mix. Her most popular song “Photo ID,” demonstrates this. The whirring synths, echoed harmonies and glitching leads combine for an improbable product. Wolf just released her debut album, Juno, an ultramodern work of art. As she continues focusing on heavily organic, synthetic sounds, and distorted guitars, Remi Wolf will continue to thrive. – Ian Hansen

5. ODIE


DAW: Various


Growing up in a Canadian-Nigerian household, numerous genres of music were played through ODIE’s childhood. As the young artist began his musical journey, his sound quickly blossomed into a genre-fusing collection of music he listened to as an adolescent. As ODIE’s sound evolved, the rising star has caught the attention of millions with his one-of-a-kind releases.

As a kid, ODIE was enthralled by artists such as Coldplay and Kid Cudi. Derivatives of their music can be heard through his 2018 debut album, Analogue. Since releasing the album, the 24-year-old artist has only released three songs, leaving his fans waiting in anticipation of his next drop.

While ODIE is not entirely self-produced as he works with frequent collaborator Bare, he plays a large role in the production on each of his songs. With songs like “North Face’' and “Story” featuring intricate, unconventional beats, it is no surprise that ODIE has accumulated over 170 million streams on Spotify alone. His boundary-pushing sound can be heard on every song in his discography.

The versatility of ODIE makes his music shine. The singer, songwriter, and producer who tends to stay out of the public eye, has been relatively quiet through 2021. Fans of ODIE are hoping that he begins releasing music more consistently at the start of the new year. Assuming his next songs come soon, his irresistible music will continue to push the envelope of current musical norms and will gain further traction online. – Nate Fenningdorf

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