Building a successful career in the music industry is not easy. The industry is brutally competitive, among many other challenges, making it tough to reach the top. But this has not stopped celebrated music producer NGO from making his impact in the industry. How did he do it? Here is his inspirational journey to the top.
Calvin Ngo, known by his artistic name NGO, is a US-based music producer and the owner of BLNDR record label. Since he broke into the industry, NGO has gone on to produce great hits, among them “Just For You”, “Levitate”, and “Stay”. NGO was also the brains behind the viral remix of the song, “Too Good”, by Rihanna and Drake. This remix went on to gain over 15 million streams and was a trending sound across the various social media platforms.
The “Too Good” remix was what catapulted NGO’s music career, and he even started getting deals from record labels. But this was not the start of his journey in the music industry.
According to the 22-year-old Vietnamese-American producer, he started his journey in the music industry long before his big break. NGO uncovered his passion for music at a young age. He loved listening to music and finding the next big hit, which inspired him to dive deeper into the music industry.
NGO wanted to learn more about music, specifically music production. However, it was not easy for NGO to get started and follow his passion. NGO’s parents are Vietnamese immigrants who risked everything to move to the US and give their children a better life. His pursuit of a career in the music industry meant his parents had to potentially dig deeper into their pockets to pay for his music classes and he did not want to place that burden on them. It was too big of a commitment when he was starting out, as he was unsure if it was even the path for him or if he would be able to get far with school taking up a majority of his time.
NGO could not afford to pay for a music production course himself, and he couldn’t live his passion unless he knew how to produce and create music. But he wasn’t ready to give up. Undeterred, he began learning on his own when he could, watching YouTube tutorials, and performances by other producers. NGO then tried to recreate the songs he liked on FL Studio, sometimes even remixing tracks to his vision. He did this for several months and continued to perfect his skills until he became better and confident enough to work on original and collaborative projects.
NGO has produced several notable remixes and original works since then, including a remix of “All We Know” by The Chainsmokers which amassed over 20 million streams and gained the support of The Chainsmokers themselves. His original collaborative track “Levitate” was signed to the dance music giant Spinnin Records and went on to get over 5 million streams. He has also recently had the honor of creating an official chill house remix for the legendary T-Pain & O.T. Genasis of their song “A Million Times”.
“Reaching your goals is not easy. Countless obstacles will try and stop you”, says NGO. But that doesn’t mean making your dreams a reality is impossible. He explains that your mindset is more so what determines your success as that is what keeps you moving even after failure.
Many who do not know about NGO’s journey might consider him an overnight success. But this was not the case. It has taken NGO over six years of hard work, perseverance, and determination to break into the US music scene and get to where he is now. As he continues to thrive, his incredible journey to the top reminds us that nothing is unattainable if we put our minds to it.
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