Christian Friedrich Johannes Büttner, known as TheFatRat, shares the opportunities available in gaming for music producers.
Christian Friedrich Johannes Büttner, “TheFatRat”
DJ, Record Producer and Musician
Tell us about yourself and how you started a career in producing music?
That was a long time ago – about 20 years! I’ve been a producer for about 10 years before I decided to make my own music. In my early days I ghost produced for DJs and made ringtones for mobile phones. I transitioned to pop and went to LA, where I produced acts like Lupe Fiasco, Wondergirls and Kat Graham. But the politics in the music business threw me off. Some of the best tracks I made during that time were never released and some of the worst got deals because they were made with the right people. So, I moved back to Germany and did my very own thing. Without label, manager or publisher I started self releasing my own songs. It wasn’t an over night success, more a steady growth. After a row of remixes becoming number one on HypeMachine, I released my first original songs which soon went viral on Youtube and within two years I had built a following of over a million people. The music I made didn’t really fit in any of the existing genres, but it was very well received in the gaming community. And soon mixtapes with “gaming music” popped up on YouTube and they were usually full with my tracks.
Many people haven’t realized how the gaming industry has expanded, with opportunities like game music composition. How has the relationship with gaming and the music industry grown? How did you start to intertwine your love for music and gaming?
Music has always been an extremely important part of games. And with the enormous growth of the gaming market came a ton of opportunities for musicians, especially producers. Games today are not fixed products that are just one-time-sellers. They are platforms that change and expand constantly. This makes it possible to place music in already existing games and create revenue but also awarenesses as an artist.
Why is it important to you for your music to be completely free? How does that impact gaming?
The main reason why I want my music to be free is very personal. I simply want my music to be accessible to as many people as possible. I don’t know, and also don’t care if that is beneficial for me in the long run. But it definitely has positive sides. In my tons of gamers have picked up the music and got creative with it. Some simply used it as background music, some made collages and music videos. This has definitely helped a lot to grow my reach.
How would you describe the diversity in music composition in gaming? What improvements can be made?
Overall, the diversity in gaming music is huge. It draws from all sorts of other genres. Right now, I’m aiming to make it more acoustic and less electronic. I feel like the very electronic stuff has been done a lot and it’s refreshing to hear more organic instruments but with the same energy as electronic tracks.