This week we’re joined by Lucas Estrada, an artist who has amassed millions of streams under his own name and also one of the founders of the new label Loudkult! After just 3 weeks since launching, Loudkult is already averaging 1.2 million monthly listeners! Find out more below!
Who are you and what’s your background?
Well for starters I’m half Mexican and half Swedish. I was raised in Mexico. I started playing the piano at an early age, but I didn’t really like it so I stopped… I started to get interested when I was about 12 years old. I started uploading my stuff to MySpace and I didn’t get any views. I didn’t have any contacts back then, I just uploaded my tracks and sent them to friends… But I was making music with some friends and I was happy, you know? I didn’t get that much traction back then so about 12 years I just uploaded songs and got maybe 10,000 views in 10 years. I was doing it for fun and actually I was very happy just making it for myself and my friends. But then 2 years ago I uploaded a track on Spotify, and all of a sudden people started taking it more seriously because back then it was considered a little more professional to have your stuff on Spotify.
Do you remember what the song was?
Yeah, the song was called ‘Now You’. I spent a lot of time on this track and the reaction was great, people started to listen to it every day. And it wasn’t that much, I was getting about 200 streams a day. Now I get around 80,000 streams a day but at the time, for me 200 meant a lot!
But how and when did you get your big break as an artist?
Well honestly I’ve never had a big break, there hasn’t been one song that has gone more well than the others. Honestly it’s just been hard work. It’s all up to you. Labels will do their best but in the end its up to yourself to always be doing new tracks and believing in yourself and taking a chance, you know? You need to take a chance.
Tell us about how Loudkult started?
So basically I’ve always been good at sales and for many years I used to work in a telecom business and was actually one of the best salesman in Sweden. With that knowledge I built up a network of people in the music industry and also a really big network of playlists. I also built a knowledge about what service is about. You can’t just take, take, take… you always need to find ways how to help other people and I think this is very important. I’ve been trying to help a lot of people a long time, getting their music out, giving feedback, mixing, distributing… I’ve been trying to help people a very long time and that’s why I decided to do Loudkult. Because I felt that I actually could help people get their music out and give feedback to optimise the tracks.
What does your job consist of on a day to day basis?
It’s a lot of promo work, but it’s also listening to demos and getting the pitches right, we pitch to all the big streaming platforms… I’d also like to mention that we’ve been getting a lot of support on apple music. People tend to only think about Spotify but Apple Music is going really well for us.
What do you enjoy most about it?
When we listen to demos, we don’t listen like any other label. We always listen to the feeling the track gives us. It doesn’t need to be the best mix or singer in the world, or the best production in the world, we listen to the feeling the track gives us and if a track has a good feeling, we believe in it.
What do you look for in a song and/or what would advice would you give to artists wanting to be on your label?
Every time we listen to something, we try to find something that’s different and something that gives us a feeling. Spotify creators are getting 40,000 songs a week pitched to them worldwide, you know? But if you get a special feeling about a track and it sounds different, its gonna stand out and that’s what we’re always keen on trying to find. We’re trying to just find that little gold coin.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement today is that I have so many friends and have gotten to know a lot of people.
Any tips and tricks that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I had believed in myself sooner. For almost 12, 13 years I didn’t believe in myself. Now every day when I wake up, I take it very seriously. You can’t take this not seriously. That’s also what I would say as a tip… take it seriously, it’s a full time job. Right now I’m putting time and effort into everything I do when it comes to my work.
For the readers looking to pursue a career in your field, do you have any advice for them?
My advice is that everybody is unique and everybody has a big value. For starters, you need to work hard. Working hard is key. I don’t know how to answer the question with one line, there are many ways to do it. Working hard is definitely the most important ingredient, organising yourself and having daily goals and monthly goals. Put yourself in a 100 step program and do small goals and be happy about the small goals that you have achieved.
What do you do then on days when you have no motivation and how do you overcome that?
The thing is I’ve never had that problem. Now I work in a job where I sell what I love so every day when I go to the studio I’m super happy and motivated. I’m so thankful that I’m doing this that there’s no way I can’t be motivated.
Do you have any personal tips or actionable advice for success (either in music or life in general)?
Work with small daily goals, monthly goals and yearly goals. Make sure you write them down. Make sure you have a plan and try find you path. It’s very easy to be all over the place, don’t go back and forth, just stick to the plan, believe in the plan and after your first month, evaluate what happened and try to learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
I listen to all my artists on Loudkult. Those are the ones that give me inspiration.
Any recent announcements and/or upcoming stuff you would like to announce to the readers?
We’re gonna start getting more people from the U.S. releasing with Loudkult and we’re expanding. More and more people are starting to hear about us and also we’re starting to get more and more artists from all over the world. We’re trying to be global and we’re gonna be more global in the future.