For a few weeks now we have talked to a number of artists who have been struggling on their EP and working hard to determine whether they should create an EP or go full fledge into an album. This week we sat down with DC recording artist Sterling to get his expertise on what it takes to create a great EP. He offered insight not only into his approach but also tipped the iceberg on his upcoming project. Be sure to look out for Sterling’s feature in our summer print edition, “The Rebirth”. For now, Here’ what Sterling had to offer other artists
Q. What does it take to create a good EP?
A. You have to be willing to give your listeners material they haven’t heard before. It should be a preview of what’s to come. This means you have to know your listeners, you have to examine what you’ve done in the past, where you were in your life and place that against where you at the moment of creating that preview.
Q. For those that don’t know, in your own opinion what’s the difference between an EP and an album?
A. I feel the album should piggy back off the EP. Some people use them as standalone pieces, but I prefer to use mine as an introduction; a tease.
Q. Does creating both an EP and an album result in more work?
A. Not really. In many instances, especially mine, some of the songs on the EP will end up on the album as well, and that’s exactly what I do with mine. The key to making a successful transition is to have a structured plan and overall goal. You have to know how you want your EP to introduce your album. When you master that, you’ll be able to use your EP to greater benefit your album.
Q. What is the process you take when approaching your projects?
A. In my case it really depends on what I’m going through in my life. For instance, Room Service came about as a result of my heavy traveling, spending a lot of time in hotels, and a relationship. My next project Bow Ties and Bottles is more of a celebration because that’s where I am at that point. Room Service was a love album whereas Bow Ties and Bottles is more of an upbeat experience.
Q. Would you say to have a successful EP that can follow through to a successful album?
A. Well I think listeners today songs to dance too but that true fans and listeners want to know you. They want to know what you have gone through. Nine times out of ten the person listening can relate to what you are saying.
Q. You have created a very stable platform for yourself through giving us very good EP’s. With that being said, what would be your number one advice for other artists looking to master their first EP?
A. I like to think of EP’s as a mix tape, a promotional piece. Just give your listeners something hot but definitely don’t give them too much. Promote your hottest single