I remember starting out on my music journey, thinking; All i need is "this"......And "this will lead to "that", which will in-turn lead to "these".
Well, it didn't quite turn out the way i envisioned! Whilst we all have unique paths, there are some mutual truths we all live by, like, breathing, eating, sleeping etc.... Likewise in the music industry.
There are an overwhelming majority of musicians who think they can't do much until:
- They get a certain number of followers
- Get a major record deal
And those, plus more are not true.
From personal experience, I'd say only about 20 to 30% of people that attend my shows follow me on social media.
With the above in mind, I have listed what i am calling "four truths about your music journey" below:
1) The unrealized most important skill, People skills: This is probably your number one commodity!
Some musicians have been honest enough to get a Manager who will deal with the liaising, relationship building and business side of their music, knowing they are not as strong as they'd like to be when it comes to their people skills... And this is not a bad step to follow if need be. That is not to say anyone with a manager lacks people skills!
Relationship opens doors in the music industry, and some doors are not always recognizable initially. Be nice, you never know who you are speaking with! You never know who they know that could be an asset. I have met music contacts in non music environments. Make time for people!
2) Your press kit is the you that is seen online: The sad thing is, if you are pitching online, you could be the nicest person in real life but..... that may not come across over an email. Creating a web page, an email that reflects you, using pictures that paint the right picture to the relevant person you are pitching to. This is so important. Remember, most radio producers, promoters etc... have a job to do... They need content to fit a bill.
3) Your headline gig is easier to organise than you think!: As one who has toured a lot, headlining almost all my shows, and that with the help of a small team, it is safe to say headlining a show isn't as hard as you think! The truth is, many signed musicians don't play their own shows, they actually struggle with the concept of selling tickets! Many pictures you see on social media showing large crowds, have pitched themselves as festival acts, meaning they are playing to a crowd that have come to attend an event, not necessarily meaning the crowd have come to see them!
I hope to do a detailed session on your headline gig at our I&U Artist Celebration event on the 25th of November, so if possible join us then!
4) The Industry does not care about talent these days, it is all about ticket sales and buzz creation! You can sing? great! However, gone are the days when talent paved a way... These days, you have to, I mean have to approach music as a business if you are to see any kind of success in the industry!
What do businesses do?
They think about how they can reach more people and return their investment.
They think about their brand...... I personally struggled with this initially but, it's the way things are and if you are going to make your journey work, you have to treat it like a business.
The pointers listed above have been written from a place of care, whilst understanding the industry. If you would give diligence to them, you will surely move to the next level of your music career!
Until next time!