Music is something everyone instantly connects to. But have you ever wondered who’s behind the most memorable tracks and albums decorating your music collection? Where the vocalists usually get all of the notoriety, it is the music producers who have over the years pulled the strings and influenced the sound of popular culture. One such producer is Adrian ‘Anno Domini’ Boeckeler, a young German musician blazing a path through the US record industry and influencing not only the musical landscape but also the world of music business, through his technology upstarts Anno Domini Nation and Modern Producers.
You are widely recognized as Anno Domini. What’s the significance behind the name?
I get asked that a lot! In Latin “Anno Domini” means “In the year of our Lord”, for example “In the year 2020 A.D.”. I wish there was a deep-seeded and meaningful explanation to why I chose that name but honestly, my name is Adrian and my friends have always called me AD, so I figured I’d go by Anno Domini since it sounded cool and mysterious to me.
You realized your love for music during college. Tell us about your struggling phase
I got into making music out of love. There was no second thought about making money or getting recognition in those early days, so in a way I didn’t go through the traditional “musician’s struggle” phase. When artists did start contacting me to buy my production work, I just saw it as a cool bonus of doing something I enjoyed doing anyway. When I did start to professionalize and decide to do this full-time though, the main struggle was getting connected to the music industry. I grew up living in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere in Germany. No connections, no contacts, I didn’t even know a single rapper. So trying to network with Hip Hop artists in the United States seemed like an impossible task. Luckily I had the internet, and through sites like MySpace and MP3.com back in the day, I actually started to make my first contacts and even land some placements.
What are your best works to date?
Asking that of a producer is like asking them to pick their favorite child! Our beats are our babies. In all seriousness though, simply because it was my first major placement with an artist I grew up idolizing throughout my youth, I have to say “My Story” by Vinnie Paz is one of my all-time favorites.
Any advice for aspiring artists in the music industry?
Get into it for the right reasons, and you can only win. Making it in music is tough so I suggest building a solid foundation by creating a business that has recurring revenue. If you can do that, then you’re solid. If your end goal is to land a major placement, get a record deal or win a Grammy, you can focus on that later. If it becomes your sole preoccupation in those early days, chances are you’ll run out of motivation, out of money and out of time. That’s when 9 out of 10 musicians fail. Be smarter and think about your sustainable income first!