It’s one fan at a time — Interview with Trumpeter Jeff Oster

What does it take to make collaborations and how to succeed in the changing scenario of the music industry? What makes an independent artist sell his/her music?

It’s one fan at a time — Interview with Trumpeter Jeff Oster

There is a platter-full of questions that indie artists have to ask nowadays to make sure they are making it happen. otherwise, the momentum may get out of their hands and they may feel disoriented because there so much to take care of.

We talked to Jeff Oster — a trumpet and flugelhorn player, how he does it. Jeff found his groove after becoming a successful businessman and got the chance to dedicate more of his energies towards creating music.

Q1. What, in your opinion, is the most significant quality of an Indie musician?

That’s a tough question to answer with just one word. Persistence is key I think. You have to wear so many hats, and creating the music is only the beginning. Creating the artwork, getting the music out into the world, setting up the royalty streams, playing live…you have to continually learn new things to build your audience and you have to keep moving forward. It never happens by itself, not without lots of effort that’s for sure!

Q2. You have worked with so many musicians. How crucial is collaboration for a successful career?

Collaboration opens new doors on a variety of levels. From the creation of the music itself, choosing who to work with will completely affect the direction of the finished songs.

It also offers the ability for your music to be heard by different and wider audiences. Collaborations with other well-known artists can open up exposure to their fan bases as well.

My current collaboration with FLOW- Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy and Lawrence Blatt is a perfect example of this. Not only have the four of us come together to create music that is different than what we have all created individually, there’s also the added benefit of sharing it with each of our different listening audiences.

Q3. Playing a unique instrument like Flugelhorn, did you ever feel bound by genre or a niche of music?

Throughout my career, I have played many types of music, from big band to jazz to funk, even in a three-piece power rock trio. I have always been known for my tone, and the flugelhorn has such a warm sound.

My collaboration with Will Ackerman and that whole Windham Hill association has led to the genres that I am most well known in today. I never started out to be a “new age“ trumpet or flugelhorn player, I just love sweet melodic music mixed with cool electronic “space music” elements. I do think that “Miles meets Pink Floyd“ says it best!

Q4. How do you think digital downloads and streaming abilities help Indie musicians?

It’s a double-edged sword. It is much easier to get your music into the ears and on to the devices of the listener, but the amount of money paid to the artist for that music has gone down dramatically with streaming. I’m hoping there will be a balance at some point but I’m not sure how that will happen.

Q5. What are the best marketing ways in which a musician can promote music?

In as many creative ways as possible! Beyond a distributor who can get you on to the various digital services, there’s satellite radio and music videos for YouTube. There’s soundtrack and film music if you’re lucky enough to find music supervisors who like your music.

And, it’s really one fan at a time. Saying thank you personally to someone who takes time to write to you, talking to fans after shows, supporting the writers (like Disctopia!) and show hosts who help share your music, it all adds up to a (hopefully) long career in music.

By Patrick Hill on August 16, 2018.