There are many things an artist must have to succeed, and then there are a few things that will make life easier. Today, I am focusing on the necessities. We all know the music business is currently changing, but there have always been changes in the music industry. How we adapt to those changes determines our outlook and success. Perhaps I’m used to change because I’m from the rap world, which was new to music in the 1980s and rap just began making money for the labels heavily in the 1990s–so it’s a relatively new art form. Today, independent rap artists can build successful careers that feed themselves and their families without having to sign to a major record label. Here’s what is needed for that to happen, for rappers and for all artists and musicians looking to build a successful career:
Entries in success (33)
This ariticle originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog
This may be difficult, but try to picture your role in the band. Not just as the drummer or guitarist, but seriously look at your significance in the group. Unfortunately, many musicians find themselves as “cogs” in the system. They show up to band practice, learn the songs just enough to get by, go home, and repeat the same process. While there could be far worse situations, being a “cog” doesn’t make you unique. In fact, it makes you entirely replaceable.
Whether it be a new artist getting prepared for a wave of gigs, or an artist who is seasoned with entertainment experience, a manager can be a useful and essential element is the prosperity of their career. A manager is the business backbone, the organizer and the planner; a band without proper management is restricted from success. This person can be an outside source or a member within the band or group who has a knowledge of business and professionalism. There are some key points to have in mind when you are seeking success for your artist.
Too often, our first instinct when measuring “success” is by the amount of money that’s in your bank account. One year Joe Shmo is making 30K annually, and the next year he gets a raise to 45k. Now he’s more successful, right? However, in music you’ll notice that unlike most other professional fields, “success” is a far more intangible and complicated concept to measure.
FACT: Musicians generally look for the answers to all the wrong questions. What questions am I talking about? The ones that all amateurs or people who have never been in music ask. These questions are based on ignorance, guesswork, fears and self-destructive thoughts centered around how some people think the music industry works. By seeking the answers to these questions, you can only reduce the likeliness that you will ever have a chance at growing a successful music career.
I hate that artist, they are so annoying, their music is always playing, they look so arrogant with all their bling, they don’t deserve success and all that attention. That should be me.”
Why is it that so many of the successful artists see to be loud, outspoken, rebellious people when it’s this same kind of attitude that gets students kicked out of school? That somehow breaking the rules leads to more success than sticking to them.
The time of year for New Year’s Resolutions is almost upon us again, and with it will come fair-weather promises to ourselves to get into shape, cut down on alcohol, and maybe tidy the garage. For many of you who frequent this site, the New Year’s Resolution will be something along the lines of a fairly vague ‘be more successful’, and that in and of itself is fine, but I’d like to invite you to take a step back a little.
At some point, every musician hits a wall. The worst part is, sometimes you don’t even realize it. You’re trudging along, so stuck in the day to day and what you need to do to keep your head above water that any room for growth is instantly stunted. And before you know it, you’re beating your head against the wall trying to figure out why there hasn’t been any real progress in six months.
When a venture is new and everything is still fresh and exciting, it’s easy to get swept up in the potential of it all. But when dreaming turns to reality, and the stress of day-to-day life hits us, we forget how essential it is to step back and really focus on the future – not just the now. So before you go throwing in the towel, try asking yourself these five questions.
People are so weird. Last week, I was at this amazing barbecue restaurant and the table next me to opens up their bags, pulls out some ribs, and asks the waiter: “Uh excuse me, can we get some plates? We brought our own food.” WHY WOULD YOU BRING YOUR OWN FOOD TO A RESTAURANT After I wondered how this …
Hey guys. Today I want to look at one very important music business skill that will greatly benefit you in your quest for a ‘successful’ music career. We all have our own idea of what success is, but if to you it involves getting known on a wider scale then you already are, the below strategy will definitely help.
I’ve already looked at three other essential business skills for musicians, but this additional skill is just as important, if not more so. You should use it alongside the others for a more professional and faster moving music career.
So, let’s have a look at what the subject of today’s guide is:
Leveraging other people and platforms who currently command more influence than you.
With that in mind, let’s get into it!
1. Write, record and play high quality music
It seems like an obvious thing to say, but everything starts & ends with the music. If the songs are poor, the recording is bad, and the live show is dull don’t expect to make a living from music.
2. Continue to only deal in high quality
Some of the best new bands and artists are let down by terrible videos, bad photography and shocking design. Yes it is fickle, but judging a book by it’s cover is a reality. When you are choosing which artist to review, book, or even sign you are invariably drawn to the most attractive presentation. So why not increase your chances of being heard? Remember, you can have the best music in the world but if nobody listens ,you get nowhere.
Seriously. Do you give your best to your art?
Maybe you do creative work for yourself, maybe you do it for others. Maybe it’s a mix of the two. In any case, whatever you’re up to, if you’re not serious about it, it probably won’t amount to a hill of beans.
Sound a bit harsh?
Yes, it is. Go ahead, test it yourself. See if you end up playing Nickelback covers at weddings, or scribbling half-baked sonnets after an awesome night of PBRs. See if you find yourself hanging out at Starbucks talking to no one in particular about the novel you haven’t started yet.
Not the prettiest sight.
But there’s hope.
I’ve recently become intrigued with DIY, Youtube sensation Alex Day. Coverage of his ongoing artistic success has been popping up here and there for the last year and I finally sat down to review and digest the different possible factors that have led to his success in hopes of revealing a path I may be able to co opt for my own musical efforts.
Recent Popular Content
(Updated January 13, 2016)