You think you love doing music, and probably you do, to a certain degree. But do you have all the financial and mental tools to actually pursue your passion full time? Check out the following 5 questions you have to give an honest answer to if you’re thinking to seriously pursue music.
5. Am I okay with no income for possibly years to come?
Whether you’re a singer, a rapper, an instrumentist, or a producer, chances are, in the beginning, you’re not making a dime. And won’t. For a while at least. There’s this myth about performers that they have access to various resources, and that they’re rich just because they’re on a tour for example. But do you actually know that over 90% of new artists usually don’t enjoy any income off their 1st tour? Buses, vans, trailers have to be rented or bought, staff has to be paid, dancers, costumes, makeup, hair, lights, stage equipment – all have to be paid for. And not to mention, hotels and food. So make sure that you ACCEPT the fact that you’re not gonna see any dollars any soon.
4. Can I handle being alone in a different state/country for an extended period of time?
In case you didn’t know, most artists have to deal with living completely alone in a brand new city, or even country, at some point in the early stages of their career. Because you see, for a club to book you and pay for your travel costs, is okay and doable. But for them to pay for your manager AND your dancers AND your photographer, usually a big no-no for independent artists. You’ll have to promote your act as much as you can and I can almost guarantee you will have to also survive alone in a new place for a while. Let’s not forget that in the States, for example, the top recording studios are in Atlanta, and artists have to rent out an apartment or a house for months at a time, just to be closer to the sound engineer. And when you’re in that position, you can not ask all your friends and family to come with you. Everybody can not and will not put their lives on pause just to follow you. So can you ‘thug’ it out on your own?
3. Do I depend on positive comments and encouragement to keep pushing every day?
Because if you do, drop it. Those who make it in this industry, are very self-reliable and are okay with being bashed online or in person. Even Drake got booed off stage while at legend level. I am not saying you shouldn’t care at all, otherwise it wouldn’t even make sense for you to create music, but do build an unshakeable inner core that no hater can touch. You have to be so convinced of your talent that no matter what anyone says, you wanna keep going.
2. Is my health in good conditions?
When you get serious about your music, chances are you’ll have to move around a lot. And that implies constant exposure to all kinds of bacteria and loss of energy. Every country has its own food specs, its own particular ways of cooking, its own unique ingredients, its own water, etc. You also have to be able to pack and unpack in record time along with sleeping in a new bed every day and eating on the run a lot. If your health condition is not in top shape, you’ll struggle physically first and mentally second. So think hard, really hard about this one. Your insurance may not even cover the area you’re going to. So how are you gonna deal with a tooth cavity that keeps you up at night while you’re on the road? Or food poisoning, or a broken leg? You GOT TO STACK CASH way before this day comes. Because it will.
1. Can I control my temperament?
From angry promoters, asshole drivers, drunk fans, empty venues, to depressed bandmates, and low-quality food, you’re gonna have PLENTY of reasons to get upset. Like really upset. If you’re on a short fuse most of the time, pick up meditation and exercising. Or go to anger management classes. Over the years you will learn to just be like ”whatever” when things don’t go smooth, because they never do. You will discover that at one show your mic might abandon you mid-performance, at another show, the bass player got too high too soon and now is out of sync with the rest of the band, another time your pants or skirt is gonna rip while on stage, or the lights provided by the venue may not be functional, etc. You have to be JUST FINE with things not going perfect. Otherwise, you’ll end up on meds sooner than you’ll end up on Top 100.