I was inspired to write this post because I had recently done a performance that went well, but artistically didn’t translate as well as it could due to various factors directly related to the performance such as vocal effects, song tempo, and song choice to some extent.
It reminded me of a music conference I attended where some famous producers told someone in the audience that they should take any and all opportunities that they get. Well, I disagree with this wholeheartedly, and as an independent artist it is important to remember that only you know your artistic vision, and if you are at a point in your career where that is not clear to the public, then you could very well make a decision where you misrepresent yourself, and cause damage and/or confusion that may not be so easy to repair.
1. Not every opportunity is a good one - Irrespective of the money you are being paid or the lineup on the gig, if the fit isn’t right for you then it just isn’t right, so think hard before making any performance decision.
2. Not every song reflects your ability/artistry - Try to select songs that fit your artistic vibe, and if they don’t, then the last thing you should do is perform it as it exists originally. Take some time to take it apart and rearrange it to fit into what you do well.
3. Don’t collaborate with everyone - Don’t let the flattery of being told how awesome you are get to your head. Collaborations are meant to happen between people with musical synergy, and sometimes in situations where the other artist has leveraging potential, aka there is musical synergy and they have more notoriety than you.
4. If your family ain’t feeling it, then maybe it’s not for you - Whether your family likes that you are a musician or not, they still will listen to your music, and they will like some songs you sing and not like others. There may be some benefit in seeing which ones they like. They may have the best idea of who you truly are.
So to all the independent artists out there, remember that all decisions are important ones. It only takes one bad decision to screw everything up, so try not to misrepresent yourself on your artistic journey.
I am Mario Evon, Jamaican Reggae-Soul Singer/Songwriter, Berklee College of Music Alumni, Music Business Junkie and I made it to the final round of Showtime at the Apollo in Harlem without being booed.