Creative Strategies w/ Matt Shadetek: Stop Wishing, Choose Yourself

In this creative strategies article, Logic expert and Dutty Artz label owner Matt Shadetek encourages you to stop waiting to be discovered.


Creative Strategies: Stop waiting to be discovered

Stop waiting to be discovered. The big-shot record executive with the private plane and the fat checkbook is not going to climb into your bedroom window, open your computer, discover your secret songs, and hand you a record deal.

People love fairy tales. They love the idea that if they just keep wishing on a star, tossing pennies into fountains, and thinking positive, that somehow the thing they want will happen. They don’t know how, it just will.

In one of Drake’s songs, he drops a particularly pointed line:

Ain’t no wishing over on this side / Y’all don’t f*** with us / We don’t f*** with y’all / it’s no different over on this side - “All Me” (Drake feat. 2Chainz & Big Sean)

Drake is a controversial figure, some love him, some hate him. One thing that’s tough to argue with is that he is doing very well at what he set out to do.

Let’s unpack this a little. If you Google “Wish definition” you’ll find this, right at the top: Feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen.

Wishing is Passive

Here’s the point: wishing is passive. You wish that, some day, something will happen. And that’s why it won’t. You need to make a choice. And yes, that’s easy to say, and hard to do. Who would choose me? I’m not rich, famous, beautiful, talented, strong, fast, smart, or tall enough! Exactly.

Everyone wants to be one of the chosen ones. They look at their favorite star and think: “I wish I was like them.” The success they see makes invisible all the failure, boredom, sacrifice, hunger, insecurity, and fear that lead up to it. And many of the same problems still occur behind the glossy surface of success.

No one is born successful, and no one is guaranteed success. People choose to become what they want to be. They start where they are, often with no resources and many strikes against them, and choose anyway. Something inside them gives them the guts to try as hard as they can. They don’t wait for someone to roll out the red carpet and say, “This way Madame, your fairy godmother is waiting.” They look into the uncertainty and choose to try.

Choose Yourself

Choose yourself. You need to decide that you are worth backing. That you’re going to invest time, effort, money, blood, sweat, and tears into your project. That you’re going to try really hard. That you won’t make excuses. And that you’re not going to give up.

Who is responsible for your failure? Who is responsible for your success? Is it other people? Take responsibility for yourself and the outcomes you create. Yes, life is unfair. Some people start off being six foot three, white, male, and free from abuse, disease, and terror. Good for them. That doesn’t change the basic equation: you are responsible for yourself.

The only thing in this world we have a chance to control is ourselves. We don’t get to decide if people like us and our work, or if they are going to give us opportunities. But we do get to decide what we do with our time, our minds, and our energy. You hold the power to decide how you respond to all the unfair things that have happened and will happen. What are you going to do about it?


About Matt Shadetek

Matt Shadetek is one of New York City’s most exciting producers. His live sets encompass contemporary Dancehall, UK Funky, and Dubstep, all delivered with Shadetek’s unique production voice which bridges the underground-mainstream divide. He’s one of the rare DJs who can rock a crowd with sets composed solely of his own dancefloor bangers and remixes.

Matt’s early love for Hip Hop and Dancehall along with edgy electronic sounds led to his Warp Records debut album Burnerism as part of the duo Team Shadetek. While Matt was living in Berlin and touring Europe, the followup LP Pale Fire was released, featuring the underground hit “Brooklyn Anthem”. The hit song kick-started a dance craze in the Brooklyn reggae scene (leading to over 100 fan videos of kids dancing to it).

Returning to NYC, Matt founded the Dutty Artz label/production crew with DJ /Rupture. Shadetek produced Jahdan Blakkamoore’s debut album, Buzzrock Warrior (!K7), pioneering its signature Reggae-Dubstep-Rap sound. In 2009 he also teamed up with Rupture to release the mix album Solar Life Raft (The Agriculture). His latest release, on Dutty Artz, is Flowers, an effervescent solo instrumental effort that references dubstep, UK Funky and Garage. He has toured internationally both solo and accompanied by Jahdan as vocalist.

Connect with Matt on Twitter | SoundCloud | Website


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