Tony Vitti, Music Strategist, Advisor and Marketer

Why Singers Should Never Sign For A TV Show

February 7, 2018

I did a thread on Twitter and I plan on doing a video on my vlog as well this afternoon about that matter but I know some people may read this and prefer that format, therefore, let’s talk about that on Medium.

So many singers are very attracted with the fairy that shows like The Voice, American Idol, America’s Got Talent or more recently The Four have to offer.

Indeed, it is always incredible : millions of viewers, eternal life on social medias, the buzz, the famous people, the dream of the record deal (that you should never sign either by the way)… All this is pretty crazy for any kind of artist.

Many people start to know me as a Music Strategist, Adviser and Marketer but few know that I actually started as a performer myself (jazz singer).

The truth is, as a performer, I have been on one of these shows in France, when I was living there, in front of 3.5 Million people. That was an incredible experience but I would never suggest my clients to do the same.

Unless they have a strategy.

Let me explain : TV shows for singers and performers are a whole business. They are not made to make any talents on the long run and mostly not to take care of you.

Therefore, you may want to go there to have a career and signing deals after deals, being famous and go from there : that will never happen.

First of all, don’t audition, it is pointless because they have their own “A&Rs” searching and searching the web for people with exclusive talents or characters and they will call them directly before the show even starts casting.

The people you see in line and who get picked up are already aware of being selected, weeks, sometimes months before it happens. They know how to act.

Now, let me balance that last statement, because sometimes, these head hunters can not find every body and so yes, auditions allow them to make sure they didn’t pass that eccentric Goth singing Opera.

This being said, for those who have the “chance” to be featured on the show, ask yourself if it is worth it, emotionally.

So many people don’t understand what it is to be an artist and especially a singer. If the mind is not at that, then what is the purpose of being a singer. Mental health issues are very common amongst performers and this is a serious problem that these TV shows will never take care of.

Instead, they will make you sign a non disclosure agreement so you never speak up about what happened during the show.

Is it worth it ?

You come as a product to them, the problem is that you leave 99% of the cases as a crushed product.

I mean it : you may think that your career will go amazingly because people are recognizing you in the street, offer you stuff, it may be cool to write you are a The Voice contestant on your Instagram bio, the truth is : it will fade away in a few months and you will feel worthless.

In terms of actual strategy, just like a business, I tell my clients to be careful about that. Is the show bringing you something meaningful to your career ?

I prefer that you take 5 years starting from 0% and reach 100% that you can maintain with an actual fanbase that trusts in you, than being blasted on a TV show at 100% when you had no following and try to maintain that insane status.

Not only will it drive you crazy but the haters will be even stronger in you ears because they’ll have matter to discuss about you and your loss after a TV show. This plus That equals Unhappiness.

Now, if you are a well established performer, you are already doing tours and selling merch and you have some kind of crazy voice or persona, you may agree to participate. This is called strategy because you have nothing to maintain or lose from such a show. This is very important when considering signing this agreement.

Have you ever have that experience ? Talk about it, respecting your NDA and let me know how it happened.

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