If you’re an artist waiting to be “discovered” or hoping to be given a record deal based on your perceived talent or the “uniqueness” of your sound, it’s time to educate yourself on the basics of the music business. The belief that major labels are LOOKING to sign new artists because of their talent is very far from the truth, and the sooner a person who desires to be an entertainer learns this, the better.
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Entries in success (9)
I am a pretty level headed guy, but I do wonder sometimes if some people inherit something “extra” at birth! People like Quincy Jones, for example seem to achieve magnitudes more than most of us do … but why?
Rejection. It can sting. Whether it is a promoter or a record label who doesn’t want to give you the opportunity to shine or it is a critic who writes a bad review of your music, the reality is that sooner or later, you’re going to face rejection. How you deal with that rejection can ultimately determine your success.
One of the most advantageous relationships an artist or band can have is with a promoter. At the local level, there seems to be a mystery as to what exactly the promoter does. “Does the promoter promote? Shouldn’t the promoter be responsible for bringing all the people if I’m putting everything into the music end?” These questions resemble those I hear from local artists on a semi-frequent basis. While that logic may seem like it makes a lot of sense, it can ultimately hurt the artist in the long run.
To answer the question; yes the promoter promotes. However, the promotional push varies at different levels based on the expected effectiveness. For example, a large national act or regional touring band has a recognizable name. If I’m promoting a show with a headlining act with a solid fan base, investing in print ads, radio spots, and other means of advertising may make a lot of sense. The average concertgoer will see that name and make it a point to go to that show. The context of the promotional push is much less important at this level. Whether you see a facebook post from your favorite band or a flyer at your bus stop, you’re going to that show regardless of how you found out about it.
Multi-platinum music producer, educator, and book author, Sahpreem A. King shares music business advice on how to become successful in the music business.
A bit of light-hearted fun as the festive season hots up and the New Year fast approaches.
Imagine you are thinking about your year over a nice cup of coffee or a beer in the quiet corner of a bar. Tick the statements that accurately describe your thoughts (statements use ‘we’ and ‘our’ - if you’re a solo artist think ‘I’ and ‘my’). Be honest with yourself.
o Over the year we generally only found new fans around gigs.
o We haven’t got round to sorting out own web page.
o We don’t have a fan email list yet.
o If you look at the sites we use, it’s not very easy to get what we are about.
o We spent a lot in the studio this year and feel disappointed with sales.
o We tell our friends about our gigs but we’re not very good at communicating with our fans to create long lasting loyal relationships. In fact, if we’re totally honest, we’re not sure who our fans are.
o We’re not very good at listening to anyone, particularly our fans (and also each other).
o We do have a tendency to put our music out there and hope for the best.
o We have a vague idea of where we want to get to.
o We haven’t tried anything new this year so we are getting the same results.
o Quite honestly, we don’t work well as a team; solo artist: I don’t stand up for my vision.
All/most ticked – You feel despondent and hopeless. Nothing seems to work. You seem to be going nowhere fast. Everything is a struggle. Fans have not been at the top of your priority list. You want someone to discover you and do all the work for you so you can just be left alone to make music. But you know the music industry has changed and you feel left behind and frustrated. You feel like you’re always banging your head against a brick wall. You know you can do better.
Bitter Ruin are on a mission to get their music into the UK charts on Sunday 9th October.
“We all want that so what’s new”, I hear you say.
Well of course it’s not new but what’s different is Bitter Ruin are seeing the results of a very good piece of planning that all indie musicians can learn something from. Plus there’s the fact that they’re unsigned and doing all of this themselves with grace, enthusiasm and a good pinch of strategic thinking.
Bitter Ruin formed in 2007 in Brighton when Ben Richards and Georgia Train met at music school. Although they understood each other musically through their classical training, they had dramatically opposing music tastes. Georgia listened to Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and The Talking Heads whereas Ben preferred rock and bands like Metallica. The result? ‘Contemporary Expressionism’ with passion and musical intelligence at the heart of what they do. Their songs are about the darker side of life and their innovative performances come alive with theatricality, strong sparing vocals, harmonisation and raw instrumentation.
Many people (more than you realize) have a distorted view of the entertainment business. Sure, everyone knows it’s tough in the beginning. But once you catch your break, once you’re discovered by the right gatekeepers, it’s nothing but groupies, parties, and private jets…right? Wrong. Those lifestyle trappings are out of reach for the vast majority of people that make the pilgrimage to New York, LA, and Nashville in search of stardom. And of those who can attain that level of success, there are even fewer who are able to maintain it for more than a relatively brief period of time.
I have found myself commenting (ranting?) on various posts on Music Think Tank a lot recently, normally versions of one theme, which can be summed up by a phrase borrowed from Timothy Leary, the psychedelic guru/grass, who nevertheless had a way with a catchphrase: ‘think for yourself and question authority’.
What bugs me are the posts that state or imply that there are routes to success available to any artist who follows certain rules.
Hardly any provide proof of any kind.