Ayebee shares five things she’s learned as a young woman in the music industry.
By Brianna Salinas, Photo courtesy of Ayebee
Annabella Brown, also known as Ayebee, is a 15-year-old music producer and native Austinite. While balancing high school and being an active member of her school band, Ayebee also writes, records and produces her own music.
“SXSW is super cool, just to know that there are artists performing every second of the day,” she says. “Every time I watch somebody perform live, I’m like, ‘I want to do that, I want to do that so badly.’” This year, Ayebee was able to live up to that dream and perform some of her original songs live for the first time at SXSW during a showcase for the platform EqualizeHer.
Growing up in this primetime of the digital age, Ayebee has used the internet to her advantage when it comes to producing her music. (Which you can find on major streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.) Her YouTube channel includes covers of songs and originals, showcasing her talent for playing instruments.
Although she is just getting started in this industry, she has already learned a lot. When looking toward future college endeavors, Ayebee notes, “Music is the only thing that I really enjoy doing. I haven’t really found any passions for anything else besides teaching music and music production. I’m definitely going to try to major in something having to do with music.”
Her natural skill, paired with her enthusiasm and passion, indicates that she will be prosperous in whatever musical avenue she pursues in the future. Ayebee shares five things she’s learned as a young woman in the music industry.
You don’t need equipment.
You can put into software any instrument you want, because the internet has all of them. [There are] tons of videos on YouTube on how to produce in GarageBand, an app that comes with your iPhone. I started with my laptop and began typing [music]notes. I eventually got a microphone and an audio interface. But even without that, in this modern day and age, self-producing has become so simple that anybody can make any music they want. Production apps are so advanced and have so many different instruments and different things to play and presets. You really don’t need anything too fancy; you just need the drive to want to make [music].
Everyone can create something amazing.
Example: Clairo’s “Pretty Girl.”
This song was produced and recorded on GarageBand. It’s one of the most popular pop songs of this decade, and she had no equipment. If Clairo can do something like that, why can’t others? Clairo is a huge inspiration for me, especially because she plays such intricate music.
Production is not a planned process.
When I started producing, I really thought I needed an entire outline for a song, [that]I needed to write it all down. But then I realized the songs I was making, where I was starting from scratch and just putting stuff down, those songs sounded better because I’m just going with the flow of what I think is going to sound good. Usually it does sound good, sometimes it doesn’t, but you just take it out.
Learning to produce means you can be a perfectionist.
I’m a perfectionist when it comes to music. I’ll spend a few hours recording one riff to make sure it sounds good. To make one song, if I get really into it, can take me three hours to just sit down and finish. Or sometimes it takes a few days. One of my songs took me a month. Some songs take me a while because they have more instruments than others. It can take a really long time because I either don’t have creative flow or I want it to be completely perfect.
Production increases your musicality on everything.
I’ve always had a passion for songwriting, but I also have always had a really big thing for trying out different instruments. I play the trumpet, the bassoon in band, the guitar, the piano, the bass and the ukulele. Knowing so many different instruments, matching them together and making actual songs that I enjoy listening to is a super dope experience. Knowing all of these different instruments has me in a good mindset of knowing music theory, knowing how to piece things together. Since I know all these different ways of playing, I can put all of that knowledge together to learn a new instrument. Especially knowing piano theory, I can play anything I want while producing, because you can play anything as long as you know how to write notes.