Music Production
min read

From Bedroom to Billboard: Success Stories of DIY Music Producers

Published on
May 27, 2024

Can you become a successful musician with only a phone? In life and art, the only constant is change - and the music industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years. With advances in technology and the rise of digital platforms, it is getting easier and easier for aspiring musicians to create, produce, and share their music with the world. 

What is a bedroom music producer? 

Anyone who creates music in their own home studio could be called a bedroom producer, typically using only computer, software, and other digital equipment - but of course we generally use this term for those who started this way before establishing themselves in the industry. Many successful artists started their journeys from the confines of their bedrooms, using their creativity to make art with even basic tools. Here, we explore some inspiring success stories of DIY music producers who made it from bedroom to Billboard.

1. Billie Eilish - producing music with her brother from their childhood home

Billie Eilish is one of the most iconic examples of a bedroom producer making it big. Along with her brother Finneas O'Connell, she started by recording music in their small bedroom studio in Los Angeles. Their breakout single, "Ocean Eyes," was recorded and produced entirely at home. The song's viral success on SoundCloud led to a recording contract, and Billie's debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, became a global sensation. Their DIY ethos and unique sound have redefined pop music, proving that you don't need a big studio to create chart-topping hits.

2. Clairo - DIY music and video production

Claire Cottrill, known professionally as Clairo, gained widespread attention with her lo-fi single "Pretty Girl" in 2017. Recorded using a simple setup in her bedroom and accompanied by a homemade music video, the song went viral on YouTube. Clairo's success showcases the power of authenticity and relatability in music production. Her bedroom-recorded EP, diary 001, further cemented her place in the indie pop scene, leading to major festival appearances and a record deal.

3. The bedroom producer journey of Tash Sultana

Australian multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana started their music career busking on the streets of Melbourne and recording in a bedroom studio. Their one-person-band approach, looping multiple instruments live, captivated audiences online. The viral success of the single "Jungle" led to sold-out shows around the world and a debut album, Flow State, which topped charts and earned critical acclaim. Tash's story is a testament to the power of live performance skills and home recording in launching a successful career.

4. Russ - making beats in the basement

American rapper, singer, and producer Russ built his career through a relentless DIY approach, even rending hotels instead of studios. He began making beats and recording songs in his basement, releasing a song a week on SoundCloud for several years. This consistent output and grassroots marketing strategy paid off, as his singles "What They Want" and "Losin Control" gained massive traction, leading to a major label deal and platinum records. 

5. Producing from an iPhone - Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy, the guitarist for the Grammy-nominated band The Internet, began his production career using just his iPhone. Lacy's innovative use of GarageBand on his phone to produce beats and record demos demonstrated that high-quality music production is accessible with minimal resources. His work on The Internet's album Ego Death and his solo projects have garnered critical acclaim, showcasing how mobile technology can democratize music creation.

DIY Recording tips Tips for Aspiring Musicians

These success stories share common themes that can inspire and guide aspiring DIY music producers:

  • Embrace Technology: Utilize affordable and accessible software and equipment. Many successful producers started with basic setups and gradually upgraded as they grew. Also, instead of using low quality beats or stock beats, you can simply produce and customise beats with our AI music creation software - SOUNDRAW
  • Be Consistent: Regularly create and share your music. Building an audience takes time, and consistent output can help you gain traction.
  • Stay Authentic: You have a story - share it! Emotions have always resonated with listeners, no matter the genre. Don't be afraid to showcase your unique style and personal story through your music.
  • Leverage Socials: Platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube, and Instagram are powerful tools for promoting your music and connecting with fans. Try to regularly update your channels and share your newest creations.
  • Collaborate: Networking with other musicians and producers can open up new opportunities and provide valuable learning experiences.

In today's digital age, the path from bedroom producer to Billboard artist is more accessible than ever. Like the above listed famous famous bedroom producers, even established musicians have talked about using home recording to create music - Damon Albarn has made music on Garage Band, and Oli Sykes from Bring me the Horizon has talked about recording their music from home during the pandemic. With passion, dedication, and a bit of ingenuity, you too can make your mark on the music world. And if you need custom beats in every genre, give SOUNDRAW a try for free now: