Why having “talent” doesn’t mean success will happen for you.
How many times have you looked at an artist that has what you want; a contract, tens of thousands of fans, Money and so on and asked yourself, Why them?
We’ve all had those moments. I remember watching bands on MTV back in the late 1980’s and early 1990s and thinking, “this is bullshit, I can play better than that.”
Well, get over it buttercup… Do you honestly believe that your talent is unique? Do you believe that your songs are better than anything else out there right now? Do you honestly believe that because you’ve been out there in “the business” playing out and busting your ass for years to make it that you should be handed the recognition you believe you deserve?
Well… I’ve got some bad news for you, None of that matters!… I am 100% in agreement with Justin Wang’s Commentary on Danielle Bregoli ( The “Cash me Outside” Girl ) Getting signed By Atlantic records. In the real world the music industry is, in fact, a popularity contest. And as Justin said, The record labels are a Businesses, NOT an arts endowment. Label reps and execs often get into the business because of their love of music but once they get into these positions they have to consider and protect their company’s Bottom line. That is the nature of business. The sooner you learn that the better chance you have to make the necessary choices to get your own music career moving in the right direction.
Some things you need to understand about the Music Business
The first and most important thing you need to understand is that this is a business and your artistic integrity doesn’t matter much to anyone but you. That being said, artists can still maintain integrity, But you need to maintain control in order to accomplish this. This is why as an Indie artist you HAVE to put certain things in place to protect your own Bottom line.
The second thing you need to understand, Your success and musical destiny is 100% up to you. and you need to have a way, a compass, so to speak, a method of determining if you are the correct path for you. when I work with artists and bands I begin by recommending that every artist establish a Minimum Viable Business Plan or MVBP. This plan does not have to be overly complex, it is primarily comprised of a “compelling vision” and a set of goals that relate back to that vision. Artists or bands can adjust the plan as they see fit.
The third thing you need to understand is, In this post file sharing version of the music business, What I call the Music Business Version 2.0, That the music consuming market has changed but the industry has struggled to learn from these changes and keep up. The Music industry 1.0 sentinels want to find a new way to control the Market they way they used to in 60’s, 70’s and the 80s. But The cat is out of the bag and I don’t see that version of the industry surviving, new players have stepped up to take advantage of the big labels weaknesses. Services like cdBaby, iTunes and other Indie distribution services have established themselves and many artists have accepted these services as the new standard in the music business But most artists don’t recognize these services for what they are, just a remodeled version of old school industry middlemen. These services cut into artist profits by charging sign up fees and profit sharing on sales without actually having to take the risk that a label might take in signing an artist.
The Forth Thing you need to understand, all those things I mentioned above in the opening statement, your “unique Talent”, your “Great songs”, your hard work and your “Dues paid”. all of those things put together wont get most of you one step closer to your dreams. Your “unique Talent” isn’t as unique as you think it is. There are literally thousand, Tens of thousands, of artists out there that can play your instrument or sing or make beats just as good if not better than you. Just browse through You tube sometime. You’ll find some kid half your age that plays whatever instrument that you do as good if not better. Maybe you do have some great songs But, that doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to get them heard by the right people (The Fans) And all your hard work and years in the business don’t mean you know what your doing when it comes to PROGRESSING your career. In fact if you have been in this business for more than five years and you can’t honestly say you make your living entirely from your music, Then you are doing something wrong.
A Final word
If you Take anything away from this post it should be this; The Music industry is NOT fair and talent and hard work wont take you all the way. What you need to succeed is a way to ENGAGE your fans that is unique to your own personality and to build a musical identity that your fans can identify with while at the same time building a solid business plan that doesn’t rely on anyone else but you to succeed, one that also suits your unique needs as well as those of your fans. I want you to watch the video and read my words and recognize that this is the way the industry does business, The “Cash me outside” girl will get her fifteen minutes of fame. So what… In a year or two she will be just another memory in the music industry hall of shame. And let this be a reminder that the music industry doesn’t care about the quality of what they endorse. The industry is desperate to hold on to what little influence they have left. The real shame here is that some artist on the Atlantic label roster is going to be put on the JV team while they milk every penny out their new one trick pony.