Normally, if you clicked on that article because of the title and you are a Music artist (singer, songwriter, beat producer, band…), you should be already pretty pissed and hating on me.
Well, we are going to take a deep breath… Very good, and we are going to carry on as responsible adults.
I admit it, the words are pretty harsh, some would say that they are clickbait and so definitely, they may put your blood pressure through the roof.
Before you feel like I have no words to say in this matter because I am a Music Strategist, Advisor and Marketer, just for your personal information, I am a jazz singer that used to be in a rock band as well, I am just putting my career on hold to educate and share my views of what is left of the Music Industry.
Therefore, I am not criticizing just to criticize, I am simply giving observations that I see on a daily basis and I would have totally included the “me of 2 years ago” in this.
Music artists, a rare specimen
In all other fields, all other jobs, all other activities, you’re on your own.
You want to be a lawyer? Well, you’ve got to go to college for several years, take internships here and there, not being paid (depending on the cases), pay back your student loan (if you have one) and at the end of the whole student era, you will start your career as attorney and look for clients.
Let me take a closer example to music artists: actors.
The percentage of actors that take acting classes is sensibly the same as singers, musicians and beat makers taking classes.
The demand is just as limited and the offer is just as enormous.
The paychecks on very successful careers are also sensibly the same.
The notoriety and fame it brings are also the same…
However, music artists don’t want to consider doing anything on their own.
They don’t imagine a single second doing anything by themselves. They need: a promoter, a manager, a merch guy, a strategist, a marketer, a composer, a lyricist, a tour manager, roadies, staff executives, sound engineers,…
Here is the kind of comment I have on a daily basis:
I️’ve spoken to several music industry professionals in all fields, and the one thing all of them, even those who have been touring artists, agreed that you should never diy this kind of stuff. It takes a LOT of work to build a successful career and doing all of this stuff on your own is basically shooting yourself in the foot.
A LOT OF WORK!
That’s the part that always makes me cringe. You have no idea how this part makes my bones quake.
You would think that it is anecdotic to hear about that kind of comments, let me be frank with you, that’s 80% of the people.
I wrote, in the past how the Music Industry was dead and that we would have to count on ourselves, artists, to self brand and manage everything on our own because it’s just the way the market is evolving and it became incredibly simpler to bring awareness to our music with social media.
The internet is at scale and we don’t even comprehend how much potential we have with social media. The amount of people you can reach with your smartphone, for free is insane.
Yes, it takes time.
Yes it will take 24 months, everyday, being on your smartphone taking 3 or 4 hours socializing and bringing awareness by offering your songs to anyone who follows you, eating dirt.
But why did you take that path? You wanted it easy? Nothing is easy.
No one had it easy.
Overnight success? Oh, you mean 10 years in the making?
Is Music a plan B?
Recently in France, there was that somehow famous talk show celebrity on National TV (France 2), that, talking to a singer, said that “being an artist, was a plan B. A thing we do when we failed at everything else.”.
You can guess what was the national reaction on Twitter and later on in daily discussions… It went viral and ugly.
The whole system sees artists like lazy people that failed in their original choice of career. For a few reasons :
- They are pissed that some people can actually live their passion
- Successful artists are not numerous
- Artists complain on a daily basis that it’s hard and it requires work
I never heard of a doctor complaining that he or she needs anyone to make it as a doctor.
I never heard of a secretary complaining that he or she needs anyone to make it as a secretary.
I could go on and on.
But artists? That’s everyday:
- I don’t have money to record
- I don’t have the time
- I don’t know how to use that software
- I don’t have the right microphone
- I don’t have great lights to make videos
- I don’t know how to use social media
- I don’t have a manager
- I don’t have a promoter
- I don’t have merch
- I don’t have music to show to people
I could go on and on.
Excuses never bring results
So here are my 2 cents on that situation, as an advisor, I can tell you that you are living in the best time possible to make music and to be successful on your own.
Never has music been so approachable and easy to make, record, distribute and promote.
You wanted that life, you’ve got to put in the work.
Understand that in 2018, there are kids hitting millions of views on Youtube being paid $70,000 a year in product placements in their music videos because they have been on the grind for the last 5 or 6 years, uploading content every single day.
Understand that in 2018, not being on social media and complaining that algorithms and people don’t give a damn is making excuses.
If you don’t swing that bat, who’s gonna do it for you?