Cool Careers: Music Producer11.20.11
Louise Lynn Goffin has built a unique career as a multi- instrumentalist, singer, composer, lyricist, and producer. Having gone on her first national tour at the tender age of 17, Goffin recently produced Carole King’s first ever holiday album, ‘A Holiday Carole.’ Cotton Candy caught up with the melodic maven to learn what it takes to not only survive in the industry – but to thrive in the world of music. In her own words, she shares her professional and life lessons.
Louise Goffin: “I never labeled myself as talented growing up. I was surrounded by so many musicians that I thought being able to write songs, sing and play were the norm. Even years later when I would get positive feedback from friends at school for – say a performance at a school assembly or a song I wrote – it wasn’t a compliment I could own. I still thought I had a very long way to go when I compared myself to the musicians who were making records.
I decided to make a career out of music when I was 12.
I was thrilled to play music on stage [as a teenager on tour across the U.S.] with a live band. Really I was like a little kid. I couldn’t believe I was allowed to play for an audience.
The greatest accomplishment [for anyone] is making something new out of your own life experience and being able to offer it to others in a form that enriches their lives.
Singing is like breathing. Songwriting a spiritual, emotional necessity, and it keeps me young. However, producing is brand new [to me.] I really didn’t ever test myself in those waters, and I was surprised that I’d been developing that skill set most of my life without knowing it.
There’s a level of excellence in the work my family does, a bar set high by my parents work. It was fun getting to incorporate the diverse talents of different generations on one record [Carole King’s first ever holiday album, ‘A Holiday Carole’] and especially appropriate since the sentiments of the lyrics were about family, hope and looking forward to the new.
I’d choose ‘This Christmas’ for my favorite track. I think ‘New Year’s Day’ is my favorite song because the sentiments expressed in it encompass such a universal and hopeful landscape that it seems to go beyond the expected yearly holiday releases. It was intended to have a New Year’s song that could offer hope, where ‘Auld Lang Syne’ takes the cake of the last day of the year, leaving hungry hearts for the new.
I love producing records – bringing out the best in artists, collaborating with them, and helping to make brilliant records.
[If I could start as as young artist again], I would start it with the wisdom I have now, worried less about commercial acceptance, and listened less to other’s advice. I’d know myself better from the git-go and stay the course from an internal compass, rather than an external one.
Don’t give up. Believe in yourself when other people don’t. Keep plugging away. Stay original.”
As told to: Natasha D. Smith