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Why Patience Is The Only Virtue You Need In the Studio

By: Lauren Royer

I watched it. I watched ‘Eyez’, the newly released documentary for J Cole on TIDAL. You can check it below if you haven’t found your way to it yet. It’s quick- only 40 minutes, but there is a lot of importance in it. Now, majority of the hype around this has actually been due to one of the two songs delicately dropped in the documentary: ‘False Prophets’. Apparently there are ‘lyric dissection experts’ (that’s really a job? Okokok) on the case and that’s not why I’m bringing the documentary up here.

‘Eyez’ is a reminder in patience- something many young independent artists neglect learning. It connects growth, progression, sections, and levels into languages anyone in this industry can understand. Patience, at any level of the game is all you need to fuel your passion, your career, and your connection to others. What comes from patience is always something wiser and better quality.

Since I’m kind of a closet film lover, I had to open this up and make a link for patience with studio work. Here’s what I’m connecting out:

You may be the star, but it takes a whole studio to make a song
There are quite a few frames where J Cole was nowhere to be found and you watch pianists, violinists, mixers, audio engineers, and others playing their part. One piece at a time they help create what he envisions and they all are just as invested as he is. If those who are helping you aren’t on that level with you, it’ll reflect. Be patient with them and respect their opinions too.

Be picky, fine tune, and repeat
Repetition and fine tuning are a damn process where your head has to be just right. J Cole is seen throughout looking for preciseness in each part of his music. Aiming for perfection takes patience; a shot that hasn’t been carefully lined up means you miss the mark. Listen to every piece and don’t be afraid to say how you really want it to sound. Practice patience by tweaking the same bars over and over until they hit their mark.

Don’t jump in the game without stretching first
What seems like a random scene, J Cole stretches on a court before shooting some hoops. Slowing down and preparing your muscles before flexin’ is a super good idea. Same applies to the craft of music. I know you’re excited to rush in and play but if you took time to stretch and warm up it’ll keep you loose and you’ll play better. Don’t pump out quick music that is stiff because that equals game over. Slow down, spend time warming up the quality key elements in your sound until it’s good and stretched out (heyo!). Once the song is done, everything will happen quickly after that.

The grind is time

Everyone in the documentary looks exhausted like they’ve been pouring everything they can into this project. One dude is found asleep in the studio in the film and you’ve all probably had those nights. It’s hard work and it takes so much time. It’s like time will go by so slowly you’ll want to fall asleep. This is part of the process though. If you find yourself watching the clock, get out of the studio and don’t go back until you’re prepared to lose some real time. Stay awake fam.

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