2020, what a fucking year! A year marked by the virus, the lack of shows, quarantine, etc. But not everything was bad. More than ever we have seen artists emerge in the midst of adversities, thinking outside the box, doing stuff instead of crying “Why me?”

This is what 2020 taught me: where there is determination, there is always a solution! Next, I will show you 5 ways where you can apply your art and your music project, and make some extra money that will allow you to put food on the table, even without shows. Remember: we are living this pandemic situation but these tips will be useful even when, in the future, you go through a bad moment in your career where shows are scarce. Let’s do it!

1. YOUTUBE CHANNEL

The proof that YouTube is a great source of income is youtubers. Nowadays there are thousands of content creators who live their lifes and pay their bills just by using this platform, and music artists are no exception! In the end, we are also content creators. We make music. I’m not getting into much detail on how to create a successful channel but you can follow the tips I wrote in my post “7 ESSENTIAL WAYS TO GROW YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL (FOR MUSIC ARTISTS)”, by clicking the button below.

2. MUSIC RELEASE (SINGLES, EP’S, ALBUMS)

When COVID-19 exploded, the big question DJ’s started asking was: “What can I do right now?”

The answer is: record music at home and put it out.

Don’t underestimate your work, seriously! You can make more money on Spotify, Apple Music and Beatport than you might think. Obviously the numbers need to be big enough so you can have a proper income that allows you to live exclusively from that, but it can be a great help.

There are other factors involved besides the quality of your tracks: the way you release your songs, the labels involved, the promotion & marketing plan, etc. I advise you to study a lot about marketing and promotion, especially in the music industry. 

Because here’s the painful truth: the success of your project depends a lot on the way your work is promoted. 50% music quality. 50% marketing & branding.

If you want to feat your track on my Spotify playlist “Played by Hozho”, send email to contact@hozhomusic.com to discuss further details.

3. MASTERCLASS VIDEOS

Just a fancy name for tutorial videos. But certainly we saw many well-known artists during this pandemic offering their knowledge to anyone who wants to learn more about music production: ANNA, Victor Ruiz, Alex Stein and Khainz, to name a few.

Obviously you need a certain knowledge and technique to create this kind of content but if you feel good about yourself and you have the confidence that your work is really good and your music has quality, here you have a good opportunity to make some extra coin.

4. MERCHANDISING

Currently, there are several online platforms where you can sell your products (physical and digital) without any initial investment. How does this work?

At Teespring, for example, if someone buys one of your products, you receive a percentage and the company receives another. The great advantage of using Teespring is that you can associate your products with your YouTube channel and increase your exposure. Take some time to learn more about design and Photoshop, or talk to a friend that knows how to do it so you can create unique designs that people really want to buy.

“But Doc, why would I sell merch if no one cares about me?”

Well, work your ass off, make music, keep learning and make yourself recognized. There is no magic formula for success. In fact, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

5. CREATE A LABEL

How about a way to make money on other artists? You need a great knowledge about the music industry but creating a label goes beyond that. It involves a great entrepreneurial spirit. This is something I’m still learning, that’s why I haven’t created my label yet, but it’s definitely one of my plans for the near future.

Some things to keep in mind when creating a label:

Find your niche: what is the musical style? What is the philosophy of your label? What makes it unique?
Know more about distribution: distribution platforms, royalties, contracts, etc.
Be trustworthy: pay the artists what was agreed in the contract and in the right time, you don’t want to be famous for being an asshole who only thinks about money. You need 100 positive reviews to give credibility to your project but sometimes a negative review is enough for you to lose everything.


If you are a music producer and your style is Melodark / Melodic Minimal Techno / High Tech Minimal, send your promos (unreleased tracks) to contact@hozhomusic.com

I’m selecting tracks to play in my upcoming sets and maybe release them on my future label, with a release scheduled for 2021.

Remember: you are doing this for the love of music! Income is just a consequence of your good work. Keep grinding 💪


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“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don’t even start.”

This was the quote that inspired me to compose my latest single – Full Measures. This track had been in the making process for about 3 years. Back then, the structure of the track was already more or less assembled: the melodic idea, the bassline, the back vocals and the mood in general. But I felt that something was missing and as it often happens to me, I left the project on standby and I started producing other tracks, the same tracks that would later become part of my first album Yin Yang.

It turns out that I was almost to delete the project permanently. In fact, I deleted it but years later when I was organizing my stuff on Google Drive I saw that the project was still there and I decided to restore it again.

Almost every producer knows this cycle:
1. Start a new project
2. Spend some time and effort to build the first loop with the main elements of the track
3. Listen to this loop infinitely because it’s fucking awesome
4. Start developing the track
5. The song no longer makes sense because after all it doesn’t sound so fucking awesome
6. Back to step 1

And one day, maybe weeks, months or years later, we listen to this project again and we say “Hey, this shit is awesome”. And that’s what happened to me in this case.

So I decided to finish this track. I was developing the track very well, having good ideas but still I felt that the “story” of the song was missing. The name of the song was already defined by the time I started the project, three years ago (maybe more).

You probably know that I’m a big fan of Breaking Bad. The name “Full Measures” came from the name of one of the episodes. Basically, Mike tells Walter White (Heisenberg) a story in which the moral of the story is that he chose a half measure when he should have gone all the way. And he concludes the sentence by saying “No more half measures, Walter.”

So that was the story I wanted to tell in my track. We all want something, we have our goals, but for some reason we often don’t get what we really want. We only choose “half measures”. And I was angry because I wanted to change. I was sick and tired that the life and circumstances we are experiencing right now across the planet were dictating the direction of my life.

And when I was researching more about this kind of mindset, I discovered Bukowski. Charles Bukowski. A writer, a poet, an inspiration.

Charles Bukowski

I don’t see myself in his behavior at all: he smoked a lot, drank a lot, he just wanted “putas e vinho verde” as we say in Portugal. In the end, he had self-destructive behaviors…

… but, his philosophy of life is simply fascinating. His poems “Roll The Dice” and “The Laughing Heart” are the most inspiring for me. In a shitty year like this, discovering Bukowski and especially these poems, was a breath of fresh air.

The voice you hear in “Full Measures” are excerpts from the poem “Roll The Dice” (click here to read the full poem).

“If you’re going to try, go all the way”, said Bukowski.

“No more half measures, Walter”, said Mike.

Different quotes but the same philosophy. As you can see, it’s not so much other songs or other producers that inspire me. Moments, quotes, moods, philosophies… These are the kind of things that inspire me. Melodark is simply the way I tell the story.

“Full Measures” is available on all major digital platforms and you can listen here:

Go all the way!


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Yeah, yeah… You just started reading this post and you must probably be thinking “Why read books when Hozho’s tracks can tell whole stories in 7-8 minutes?” Well, probably you’re right. I like to think that I’m a storyteller, but I chose FL Studio instead of the pencil and paper to tell my stories.

In any case, much of the knowledge I acquired about music theory came from books: techniques, creating good habits, marketing, etc. He who does not neglect reading and learning will always be one step ahead.

But be careful! Don’t confuse knowledge with information. You should have the wisdom to distinguish what an author says is important from what is REALLY important. It’s all about putting it into practice, knowing what works for you.

The truth is… whenever I read a new book, I consider it an event in my life because, in one way or another, it changed me and I discovered a new way of looking at things, even if sometimes I disagree with them.

Following, I present 5 books that changed my paradigms, not only regarding my musical knowledge but also my life philosophies.


1. The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, by Bobby Owsinski

For me, this book is the ultimate bible about the mixing process in music production. Regardless of the music style you produce, this book gives you fundamental tips about several mixing styles, rules about arrangement, some secrets about EQ, as well as tricks to add effects such as delay, reverb, compression, etc. You will realize that with the basic tools at your disposal in your music software you will be able to improve the quality of your songs, with the best quality for distribution on digital platforms and others. Definitely a “must” to have on your bookshelf or in PDF on your phone, whatever suits you better.

2. The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

If I had to go to a desert island and could only take one book, this would be undoubtedly my first option. The Secret was a life changer for me. Before reading it, I saw life in a completely different way. I lived according to the paradigm that I didn’t have much control over my life and that in order to have good opportunities, they would have to show up to me, not the way around, i.e. I HAVE to create the opportunities. Focusing essentially on the law of attraction, this book shows you that you can have whatever you want in your life, as long as you keep your thoughts and beliefs in the right frequency. You are no different from the best producers and DJ’s out there, you haven’t had less opportunities. They simply believed it was possible and succeeded. As Napoleon Hill said, “whatever the human mind can conceive, it can achieve.”

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

Regarding to the mindset of creating good habits in your life, this book is one of the best, if not THE best. It’s not just a personal opinion. There are thousands of people around the world who share the same opinion, including the most brilliant minds, the most successful entrepreneurs and the top athletes. The author of this book – Stephen R. Covey – believes that winning or failing is the result of seven habits. They are the ones who distinguish happy and successful people from failures and those who sacrifice inner balance and happiness to achieve success. Good habits form our values and our values determine our destiny.

4. Getting Things Done, by David Allen

Looking back on what I said in my last post about perfectionism, I felt the need to share this book with you. In fact, this was one of the books that introduced the motto “Done is better than perfect” in my life. David Allen’s premise is very simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are in the right place can we achieve good results and unlock our creative potential. For an overthinker and perfectionist artist like me, this book has helped me to overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety and being overwhelmed.

5. Introdução à Engenharia de Som, by Nuno Fonseca

Like The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, this book also gives you important tips on everything related to sound engineering, from effects, equipment, acoustics, terms and music theory, etc. The only problem is that it’s only available in Portuguese but since I found this book super important, I wanted to share it too. Who knows, maybe it’s an opportunity for you to learn this beautiful language spoken by about 250 million people worldwide.

BONUS BOOK – The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss

Because a healthy mind in a healthy body is one of the fundamental rules for living a better life, I would also like to share with you a book about health and body physics. However, we know that the life of a music producer can be very busy and it’s sometimes difficult to find time and motivation to take care of our body. And this is a HUGE mistake! You see, our body is like a machine and if we don’t take care of it properly, how can we get the best results? In The 4-Hour Body, you will realize that with just a few minutes per week you can achieve good results and consequently feel healthier and happier, even more creative. Your life is your life, obviously, but you don’t have to be the typical music artist or DJ always smoking around, taking drugs, neglecting the body. Say yes to some pleasures, life is too short but try to keep your mind and your body in shape. Trust me, it’s a game changer.


In the end, you can’t buy happiness but you can buy music and books, and that’s kind of the same thing. So… headphones on, listen to my new track Time To Move On that is OUT NOW and enjoy life, always with a book by your side.

No boys, Playboy doesn’t count…


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After a year without posting anything on my blog, I decided to start writing again. I felt the need to do it because there are things that you just can’t write on music. Some people say that when words fail, music speaks. But when there is no capacity to finish a new track, we need to go back to words – the basis of a communication that still manages to be objective.

Many of you wonder why I haven’t released new songs for more than a year since Yin Yang. The answer is in one word – perfectionism. And I’m not talking about the positive version of perfectionism. I’m talking about a version capable of causing chronic unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

We’ll return to this in a moment. First I want to share with you a brief summary of what was my experience before the pandemic.

My expectations were high after I released the album Yin Yang in June 2019. I believed that this was the “game changer” that I needed in my life to be able to achieve international recognition with my music. It took a while, but after a few months the email account started to fill up with booking offers and finally – my first world tour.

India, Russia, Egypt, South America… I was on fire! A guy from a small portuguese village called Rebordinho was touring around the world, make a living from music. What I always dreamed of when I started this project in 2015 was really happening. It’s impressive the support and love I received all over the world – fans who made thousands of miles to see me playing, who offered me gifts grateful for the impact that my music had on their lives… DAMN, fans who made tattoos with my logo and my mask. Unbelievable!

Hozho @ Montevideo, Uruguay
Hozho @ Montevideo, Uruguay

And yet, I thought the feeling was going to be different. I wanted it to be different, more intense, more lasting. I worked so hard to get here, it couldn’t be just that. I achieved so much and still it’s not enough. It reminds me the introduction song of the TV series Vikings:

This will never end ’cause I want more
More, give me more, give more…

I was on tour and I was just thinking about having a free week or two to be able to work on new tracks because I felt I was already being too repetitive on my sets, that the audience wanted to hear something new.

And then… the pandemic, the quarantine, the long days at home. I thought “Yes! Finally I have some time to produce new songs. When I get back to the gigs I will have a new set full of new music to present.”

“But not now. It looks like the pandemic is here to stay for a few months so I’m going to relax for a week and then I go back to the studio.”

A week has passed. Then two weeks. Then a month. No new songs were finished.

I felt inspired, I always did. My creativity has always been there, I can’t complain about that (learn more about tips to overcome creative blocks). The devil was in the details – the kick that didn’t sound right, the bassline that didn’t balance with the kick, the melody that didn’t have enough presence in the song, and when I realized I was clicking on the “Open New Project” button. It was easier to start a new project than to repair the old one. And then the cycle was repeated and I couldn’t get out of it. I was trapped.

Perfection – something that I had always seen as a good thing now wasn’t letting me finish a song. And I really believe that the song was good. You would probably hear it and say “Wow, this is great!”

But nooo! The kick wasn’t right and the bassline didn’t fit. At some point I thought “Am I getting commercial? Am I really good?”

Fucking stupid plague doctor…

Plague Doctor Quarantine

The great irony of perfectionism is that despite the characteristic of great motivation to achieve success, it can be exactly what prevents an artist from being successful. Perfectionism is strongly linked to the fear of making mistakes and self-sabotaging behaviors, such as excessive procrastination.

In fact, perfectionists usually perform very well. But in my case, there was a price to pay. In a way to try to reach the stars, I ended up chasing the wind.

And I know that I’m not the only one. Unfortunately, we are no longer a minority in today’s society that demands the best; we need to be number one in everything. The problem is that perfectionism can lead to much more complex mental problems and it’s sometimes difficult to get out of them.

If you are a music artist, or simply a perfectionist, you must be identifying yourself with everything I’m saying. And I’m not writing this post with the aim of saying that perfectionism is a bad thing. But it can immobilize you. In the end, done is better than perfect.

Which brings me to the last topic of this post – the release of my new single Time To Move On. Finally!

Inspired by everything I said so far, I decided to create and FINISH this song, regardless of the final result. Good reviews, bad reviews… it doesn’t matter! I just composed this track in a positive way of getting around the situation because there is no point in focusing on the doubts. It’s time to look forward. It’s Time To Move On.

Hozho - Time To Move On

Many emotions on this track, beautiful melodies, different beats, intelligent construction and mesmerizing vocals. In the end, it reflects the true concept of Melodark – the mix between light and darkness! You know… for me, music is not just music. It’s a story.

There is a female vocal during the song that says some of the following quotes:

  • You cannot get out of this.
  • Nothing is wrong with you.
  • Accept the situation and move on.
  • Guilt can only truly come from within.

All of these quotes are wake up calls for me. This is a song that motivates me and I hope it motivates you too during this atypical times.

Time To Move On is OUT NOW and you can stream or buy it here:


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You are an amazing producer! Your songs are mental! But for some reason, no one invites you to perform at clubs or other events. You begin to ask yourself: Am I really good? Where am I failing? Do I need more marketing?

One of the biggest challenges for rising DJ’s and producers is to find their place in the market and music industry, and consequently, playing in clubs, festivals, weddings, whatever your thing is. I’m not here today to tell you if your music is good enough to start playing in gigs. You need to have that acuity to understand if your music is worth playing in a good club sound system. Trust your ears!

So, how to get more DJ gigs? (more…)

I decided to write this post after seeing a TEDx Talks session from one of my favorite speakers that has inspired me throughout my artistic journey. His name is Simon Sinek and in this session he presents his speech called Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action (you can watch it on YouTube). If you are a music artist, I believe this post will help you how to get more fans and inspire other artists. (more…)