If you read my post last week about Nicholas “RAS” Furlong, you saw that the 28-year-old has quite the impressive resume, producing and writing for everyone from Avicii and Kygo, to Waka Flocka and Good Charlotte (and the list goes on).
While his success certainly did not come overnight, he did become big fast, and all entirely by his own ambitious doing. The Lake Tahoe native was just another unknown music fan like you or me, and he knew he had to take some huge risks to get his name and music to the right people, while sitting in his living space mixing sounds and listening to “Days Go By,” by Dirty Vegas.
The big 2Pac and EPMD fan opened up to skyelyfe about some of the gutsy actions he took to get where he is today, and I am sharing them with you below:
1. Do Your Research and Be Willing to Make Some Cold Calls
“My favorite story is when I called Ron Fair’s office once,” Furlong recalls with a smile. “It was when Interscope, Geffen and A&M were all one label. Ron was heading up A&M, and it was right around the big Pussycat Dolls surge. I got his phone number from one of those stupid websites where you pay $10 and you get everybody in the industry’s numbers. I called Ron Fair, and I said, ‘Hey, this is so-and-so from David Massey‘s office. I have David for you.’ Ron got on the phone, and I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t really work with David Massey, but will you listen to my music?’ And he was like, ‘That takes balls. Yeah, send me whatever you want. That’s cool that you did that.’ And then later in life, I told David Massey that story and he thought it was hilarious, too.”
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Aggressively Utilize Social Media!
“[I used] MySpace,” Furlong says. “I used to hit up artists and songwriters, like Andre Merritt. He co-wrote ‘Disturbia’ and Chris Brown’s ‘Forever.’ I knew of his work, and it was before [any of his now-biggest songs]. We used to go back and forth and just talk on MySpace. And Brian Kennedy and J.R. Rotem. It was back in those days when I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing. I didn’t know who to talk to. I was just happy to talk to anyone who would fucking pick up the phone.”
3. Take the YOLO approach
“I think you kind of have to do that [risky] shit though,” Furlong says. “If you don’t throw yourself into the fire and you sit around and wait for the right time, it’s never going to come. Just do it. Just go and do it.”
All of Furlong’s hard work has been paying off. Aside from industry peer recognition, he is now able to help launch the careers of other stars on-the-rise. He recently launched his AttaBoy record label and has signed his first client, a country-rock artist, Lindsay James.
“I just finished producing her first EP, and she recently opened for Kenny Chesney,” Furlong says. “I’m fine-tuning her as a performer. As an artist, she’s great, but she’s a little rusty in performing. I get to be a part of the artist as a whole, in this regard. It’s really cool to develop the sound and the direction and the look and presentation.”
As for what’s next? Furlong’s got a lot of exciting content in the works with Krewella, Dimitri Vegas, Good Charlotte and Nick Jonas (just to name a humble few). And, of course, be sure to check out his produced track “Game On” from the Pixels soundtrack, featuring Good Charlotte and Waka Flocka.