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Carolyn 1 Million Streams

Julian Guba | 8. April 2023
Carolyn, 1 Million Streams. From Demo to 1 Million Streams: Julian Guba about Producing Your Own Hit Song

Carolyn, from Demo to 1 Million Streams: Julian Guba about Producing Your Own Hit Song

As an independent singer, songwriter, and producer, I never expected my single “Carolyn” to reach almost 1 million streams on Spotify.
I did not have the backing of a record label, but I had something much more powerful: passion, dedication and fun.
In this article, I will share my journey to producing a hit song completely on your own and provide tips on how to realize when a demo can become a full song.

Carolyn by Julian Guba

Carolyn by Julian Guba

Julian’s Journey to Producing “Carolyn”

I have always had a passion for music, starting with creating amateur mashups from various pop songs when I was just 8 years old.
As I grew older, I began to experiment with creating my own music, trying different genres and styles, and just producing for fun – never went to school a single day for it.
However, it was not until I fully honed in on making electronic dance music that I found my true calling.

The inspiration for “Carolyn” came from a terrifying drug-related experience I had to go through.
I channeled my emotions into that song and personified them into the character “Carolyn”, not only for others to see the message more clear, but also, so it would speak more to people who had been in similar situations.
I started with a simple melody on my favorite chord progression.
It was only a full year after I had created the demo, that I went back to the project and revamped it anew, creating the final version of “Carolyn”.

However, the production process was not without its challenges. As a one-man team, I had to learn all sorts of different music related skills and techniques.
Either through trial and error, or from tutorials on YouTube, ranging from mixing and mastering to sound design and arrangement.
There were times when I really felt like giving up, but my passion for music kept me going.

Realizing a Demo is a Hit Song

One of the most critical aspects of producing a hit song is identifying a catchy and unique demo.
There are several elements to look for, including a memorable melody, a distinctive sound or instrumentation, and a relatable theme or message.
For “Carolyn” specifically, once I had made the melody, I just felt that I had something special.

To identify a potential hit song, listen to your gut instincts.
If you find yourself humming the melody or tapping your foot to the beat, chances are it has the potential to be a hit.
You can also ask for feedback from friends and family, they played a giant part in all of my songs’ creations.

Producing a Hit Song Independently

Producing a hit song independently has its advantages and disadvantages.
On one hand, you have complete creative control and can bring your vision to life without any compromises.
On the other hand, you may lack the resources and connections that a record label can provide, making promoting your music or even just finding the right production sound more of a challenge.

Personally, I could not have imagined creating “Carolyn” with somebody else.
It probably would have turned out completely different from what it ended up being! Furthermore, I enjoyed the process of learning and experimenting with different sounds and techniques just too much.
Bringing my vision to life without any compromises was and still is the most essential for me as an artist.

Marketing and Promotion Strategies

Marketing and promoting your music is essential to reach a wider audience and gain more streams.
I shared my music on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, and reached out to music bloggers and online publications for reviews.

However, one of the biggest and most effective marketing strategies for my song “Carolyn” was getting it featured on Spotify’s weekly playlist.
It was roughly half a year after release that the song started being frequently added to these playlists, which helped it reach a wider audience.
The exposure from that helped to increase traction to my Spotify Artists page so much that I feel like it was kind of career defining.
It was an incredible feeling to see my music resonating with others and connecting with them on a personal level.


Producing a hit song independently is not an easy feat, but it is possible with dedication and passion.
My journey to producing “Carolyn” taught me that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and your vision.

If you are an aspiring musician, my advice to you is to never give up on your dreams.
Keep honing your craft, trust your instincts, and maybe your next demo will have you reach 1 Million Streams on Spotify!


  1. How long did it take Julian to produce “Carolyn”?
    The initial demo for “Carolyn” took me a few days to produce.
    A year later, I started reproducing it into the final version, which took me like 2 weeks at most.
  2. Did Julian face any obstacles in promoting his music without a label?
    Yes, I faced some challenges in promoting my music without a label, but with patience, my hard work had finally paid off, and the song got the recognition it deserved.
  3. Can anyone produce a hit song independently?
    Yes, I believe that anyone can produce a hit song independently if they have the passion and dedication to do so.
  4. How can musicians identify a unique and catchy demo?
    You can identify a unique and catchy demo by looking for memorable melodies, distinctive sounds, and relatable themes or messages.
    But most importantly, you will feel that the song is special.
  5. What advice does Julian have for aspiring musicians looking to produce their own hit songs?
    My advice to aspiring musicians is to never give up on your dreams.
    Keep honing your craft, trust your instincts, and maybe your next demo will have you reach 1 Million Streams on Spotify!



Written by Julian Guba


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