Artists need to learn to change the dynamics. These guys forget that the power is in their hands and that the ball is in their court.
There is no label without the artists. There is no industry with out artists, which means you have what the label heads want and need to keep a lucrative business. If you’re really a “dope artist” and you take the time to determine that you have that power, then your success is as far as you would like to take it.
You have to put in the necessary work and build your fan base. If you can’t tell me where your fan base is, or be in the position where an event promoter can put your name on a flyer and pack out a venue of thousands, then why is it that you want a deal?
As an artist you have to understand that your fan base is everything. You can be the most talented individual in the world but if you don’t have a foundation or a mass of people that create a demand for you then you have NO leverage. You’re not going to be a priority in the entertainment industry. Labels only want what they think will make them money.
Now, building a base all starts with being a good artist. That’s key. Then you have to start building your brand and promoting that brand to the people. That means making sure you’re on the road and out in the public making your face and presence known, as well as putting on shows that leave people feeling like they’ve connected with you. That is what will drive people to love what you do with your music. That adds to your “celebrity”. People admire what they or others can’t do. If you’re simple and put little effort into your craft the people will notice that anyone can do the same.
It’s evident that a lot of so-called musicians put little effort into their craft now a days (and that means more than just songs). Your image has to be right. Your stage presence & performance have to be on point, and your media etiquette must be polished.
Many of the up and coming don’t realize that they can end up getting signed to a label and sit on a shelf, finding themselves in the position where they’re doing the same things they could’ve done as an indie. Now they’re contractually obligated and the label gets a cut of the money they’re already struggling to make.
Your brand equates to your image. It’s your way of doing things, your style, your “swagger”, your message, your notoriety.
How do you want people (the consumer) to perceive you? As an indie artist, impression is everything. Pay attention to detail and realize that you can’t cut corners on everything. You have to be willing to invest in yourself or at the very least link up with someone who can do so. Quality attributes to your brand. What would you think of an artist who hands you a CD with their info written in permanent marker as opposed to an artist who hands you a packaged CD, or at the very least one with a printed label?
You’re going to take the presentable package more seriously, maybe thinking that they have money behind them or are important enough for you to pay more attention. As indie artists, we’re not competing against people in our neighborhoods or our cities or even states—EVERYBODY IS A MUSICIAN THESE DAYS, and to make it you have to consider yourself to be up against the top in your field. If the person at the #1 spot is doing it, you have to be doing it better.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to STUDY YOUR CRAFT! That is what will separate real artist from the simpletons who just “do” music just to do so. Your awareness of your craft is a big part of what determines whether or not u get into the game, as well as the longevity of your career—how well of a position you’re in when you step into a major platform.
If you don’t do your research then it’d be wise to make sure you have a GREAT team around you and that you trust the hell out of them, because in most situations you will get pimped.
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