Our roster is filled with artists who’ve defined their own place in modern music. With Custom Music, you can now use their talents to build your sound from the ground up with a simple process that’s light on the logistics and heavy on the creative. As part of that process, we’re highlighting our Custom Music Artists’ backgrounds and styles so you can find the perfect composer or producer to create your next soundtrack. Here’s visionary composer/producer Joshua Crispin (a.k.a Generdyn):
Composer Joshua Crispin’s story is a unique one in the music industry. Instead of spending decades “finding himself” and edging his way into a place of prominence, he cut straight to the chase. He knew what he wanted and, well, he did it. Of course, it helps to be a genius in the studio with a knack for drawing audiences into a story but we think there’s a bigger takeaway from this artist. His mindset is a case study in focus on a few different levels.
Joshua’s music, regardless of the project, is razor sharp and cuts directly to the core of the story: It’s powerful, but not overwhelming, intricate but not muddled. On an even deeper level, though, his story is a case study in focus.
A Clear Path
At a relatively young age, it’s evident his commitment to the craft is unwavering. For many creatives (or people in general for that matter) lack of direction is a curse. It takes years to whittle down to our interests or skillset — and, if we’re lucky, find a career at the intersection of both. But, for Joshua Crispin, he simply needed to hear the sound of a guitar.
“When I was 13 years old my dad broke out a guitar and starting playing campfire-esque songs,” Joshua told us. “I remember thinking, I have to do that. I picked up the guitar at 13 and just religiously played six hours a day. I became obsessed with it. I’d play it watching movies. I’d play it at the dinner table. There were times I’d fall asleep with the guitar in my hands.”
His connection with music evolved from listening to creating and there was no going back. To be fair, it wasn’t that long ago — he’s only 23 years old — but it doesn’t speak to his level of commitment. His conviction for being a musician runs deep, deep enough that he stood up for it when his father asked him to join the family’s web development business and give up on trying to make a career out of music. He tried web development for a year but knew he wasn’t built for the work. So, when he told his father that he wanted to make a career in music work, he gave Joshua an ultimatum.
“He said, ‘I don’t know anyone who makes money out of music. I’ll give you six months to show me how you can make money out of it. If you can’t, then you need to quit and focus on doing something useful.’ I was honestly stoked I could make music for six months straight. So, I emailed 100 different companies after I found out that I could make money licensing my work — and one company got back to me.”
“They offered to do a 50/50 deal with me or buy the song outright. That was a big turning point for me. I took the money, showed my dad, and he said I could keep going. Fast forward five or six years and dad works with me now — we don’t even do websites anymore. He’s my business manager, so I eventually converted him [laughs].”
Joshua skipped over quite a bit when he said: “fast forward five or six years.” For a composer at any age, much less his, he’s become one of the most recognizable and requested artists in advertising and cinema — his film work includes supporting music for Star Wars, The Avengers, Creed, and Sicario; not to mention commercial work for National Geographic, Volkswagen, Canon, and dozens more.
A Collaborative Career
When his dad gave him the ultimatum to work on his music for six months, he wasn’t just offering him a path towards a creative career. He was also offering him a new perspective on music. The traditional path — one involving bands, managers, tours, etc. — lends itself towards a self-centered universe, as Joshua described it. But, with a career oriented towards others, he’s able to not only make a career out of his work but also bring other people’s visions to life and help them connect with audiences all over the world. Once he saw that music could be useful to others and help them tell their own story, he saw that there’s a much bigger world out there for artists and composers.
“It helped me realign and re-focus on things, give me the right priorities. When I started off writing music for fun, it was all about me and my ideas and what I could show people — me, me, me. With my dad pushing me, I realized that my music needed to serve a greater purpose. I realized that the best music, to me, served a bigger picture than just existing. It was serving the film or the client.”
Now, working from his studio in Australia, Joshua’s work is a balance between creation and investigation. His client work involves extracting their tastes and decoding what the project needs, which is easier said than done sometimes. By working with some of the best in the industry, and having an eclectic taste in music from an early age, he’s become adept at taking the sound in a client’s head and making it a sound in reality.
“A big part of it is my varied interest in music, just trying to listen to every genre of music. I need to figure out why I like it and why other people in the world may or may not like it. For example, there are a lot of people who like country music, which I didn’t necessarily like growing up, but I do now. I felt like it was important to figure out why people like it because if I can’t then I can’t know how they connect with it. Within that lies the answer to how I can make my music better.
“I’ve worked with a lot of great people, they own sound-design companies or trailer houses. When they have projects that come through, it’ll be a big, epic trailer that needs to be bombastic and exciting. The next project may be a more chill, ambient style for a VR project. I think you have to learn why the client likes what they like and reverse engineer what’s good about it. Then you’re able to create something fresh within a genre.”
Decipher and Deliver
It’s easy to draw connections with Joshua’s music, but difficult to make direct comparisons, and that’s due to a few different reasons. First, his body of work is so varied that he can’t be pinned down to a style. It may be described as modern, but range in execution from classical to electronic and everything in between. Second, his influences are as diverse as his projects. He grew up listening to Van Halen and The Eagles but then found his way to EDM artists like Deadmau5 and modern composers like Hans Zimmer. It amounts to an amalgamation of styles that are uniquely Joshua Crispin’s and no one else’s.
So, how do this work with a client? Well, through a process. First, it’s about digging into the project and asking the client to describe it — generally through a few simple adjectives. Then, he gets to work, digesting the project and applying it through his “toolbox of sounds” as he puts it. Regardless, it always needs to work from a place of inspiration.
“My process is similar to how I’ve heard Max Martin approach it, what he does with pop songs for Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys. I approach composing in that way, where there’s a moment of inspiration or an idea and then you go into toolbox mode, digging into a wide array of different options.”
“It has to be inspired, though. Every time I sit down to write a song I need to be inspired. You can try to sit down and just work it out, but the product isn’t as good, you know? I have to be able to hear it.”
You can use Joshua’s prodigy-level creative process to create your own song or score from scratch with Custom Music. We’ve made the process simple — heavy on the creative, light on the logistics — so you can get the perfect sound for your project.