Like tell the old tell the young again and again through childhood – LEARN A TRADE. This can be made as oblique as you will. If your trade is being a musician LEARN YOUR TRADE.
Now; if you came here hoping to hear about the easy ride to the big time please leave now unless you are willing to adapt because thankfully it no longer exists. This is the current state of things.
The industry does not work like it did ten years ago, technology has changed everything. The success stories of today and the future years will be those who are doing it themselves and doing it for the right reasons. Those stuck in the old model will not rise as labels do not have the money to throw around that they used to have. There are so many different mediums to discover new music now that no one knows where to go! It used to be you either listened to your chosen radio show, read a magazine or turned on MTV. Now we are overloaded with too many channels, radio stations, magazines and online social networks. This does not mean there is more good stuff out there now as music is recycled much more quickly. This is why sometimes the depth of something REALLY good can be overlooked. People don’t have time to let the dust settle.
If you are willing to work very hard then things could pan out for you now as for the first time in a long time the music world revolves around the strength of the artist and good songs. Sure if you have a good team around you it helps to build an act but fandom will only last if the music is of an outstanding quality. Listeners don’t need average songs anymore we can find millions of them on national TV, radio or on the net. What we are on now is a level playing field where everybody suddenly has a voice – not just the acts with the most £££’s behind them. Production can be done on a minimal budget with every other musician having a home recording setup. Promotion is free these days so long as you have access to the internet. Distribute your music online using a vendor you don’t need a record deal to do that.
Critics aren’t important: remember they are only voicing their opinion depending on their current mood, take anything constructive on board and dismiss all the pointless unsupported jargon in between. The most important people to impress are the people who enjoy listening to your music and coming to your shows. They will always be loyal to you if you do them the same courtesy. Build a community amongst your fans and make them feel part of the journey too. GATHER DATA at your gigs whether it be email addresses, facebook names or text numbers. Learning how to utilise all this properly once you have it in place is an art in itself.
Don’t get caught in the chase for a label, manager or agent. This is all secondary and they will form a queue when you are ready. The aforementioned will know about you when you are ready because you have built enough of a core fanbase that people are talking about you and recommending your music to their friends. FRIENDS ARE THE ONES WE CAN TRUST when it comes to finding out about new music now because the rest is all just a whirlwind of marketing strategies.
If your act is 100% ready to go then my advice is PROMOTE YOUR OWN SHOWS, RELEASE YOUR OWN RECORDS AND BLAZE YOUR OWN TRAIL! Yes I know you are the artists and should be able to just focus on making music – if only life was that simple. No one ever said this was going to be easy. There are people who can help you along your way and do it very well in fact but chose your team wisely or you will never get paid enough. You need the right people working to develop your act. No one else wants this to happen as much as you do. Take pride in watching your fanbase will develop, maybe not as fast you would like it to, but it WILL grow – keep spoon-feeding those who are with you.
The ones fit for the fight here are the ones with a punk spirit who know how to survive – by having a strong work ethic in place. It doesn’t matter where you desperately need to be just feel satisfied knowing how far you’ve come. Someone said to me once the hard-working acts appear like swans; moving gracefully on the surface but under the water their legs are paddling like crazy.
This image stuck with me.