As a producer who also shifts between musical idioms quite frequently, I’d like to ask: How have you thought about your sense of identity as a musician as you’ve moved between diverse musical genres and styles? Personally, I have some insecurities about this issue (and I assume at least a few others here must do, too), and I’d love to hear your advice.
I’ll give some specifics for the sake of contextualising my question. Like you, I moved from being a bass guitarist studying jazz, to studying classical composition (at Goldsmiths, as I believe you did too?) to now being a full-time pop producer (I’m also picking up an art history PhD along the way lol). Within pop production, my projects are diverse, from trance bangers to featherlight singer-songwriter productions. While I love everything I’m doing, there are definitely moments when I wonder whether I’m too dispersed or distracted stylistically, and whether there might be merit in being more stylistically focussed (in terms of both enjoying making music more and getting more clients as a producer, since I’d have more of a defined sound or “brand”).
To the extent you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear you narrate how your sense of your identity as a musician has shifted as you move between, say, your work with Caroline Polachek, your Harlecore project (loved your show in Montreal last year btw), and your work with Alto Arc. Have you encountered any identity crises as you move between these different musical worlds? If so, how have you dealt with them? If not, how would you advise people with very diverse musical projects to think about their sense of identity as a musician?