Most independent artists look at A listers with a kind of envy and respect that would make kings of the past jealous. Difference is, kings were born into royalty, while most modern celebrities had to go through hoops and loops to earn their spot, or in other cases: steal it. Let’s dive into 21 curious things A listers will go to great lengths to avoid talking about.
21. They had lots of help along the way.
Whether it was a cousin interning for a record label, or a mother who pretended to be their agent in order to book gigs, every single artist is where he/she is because MANY people helped along the way. Take notes and ask people who know more than you, to give you a hand in achieving your dreams.
20. They use tons of songwriters and producers.
In simple words, when your hours are literally calculated as investment, usually with a minimum of $50/hr, you can and will pay $20/hr someone else to produce the same outcome: a hit song. So you get a banger that will make you even more money, while still making a profit of $30/hr with NO TIME invested. Now you know that we can make more money, but never more time.
19. They take credit for more stuff than they actually deserve.
What impact will have on your perspective of Beyonce, if she admitted she used a total of 30 people to produce one hit song? yeah, not too shiny now, ay? So they trumpet their own names and take credit for plenty of things (costumes, scenery, choreography, video directing etc) usually at the recommendation of the SAME people that bring them to YOU: the record label.
18. They hire full time fans to keep their public image under control.
I bet this will be a shocker to many of you. Celebrities actually pay their biggest fans to continue supporting them FULL TIME, so it is indeed a job to be a super fan. They are in charge of defending the artists on forums like reddit, shut the haters on scandal websites, and ”leak” information to platforms like TMZ, that will actually favor their celebrity, like a secret donation to a prison or a charity.
17. They are very afraid of being irrelevant.
Few are those who rely on their music ONLY to keep making that money. They strike strategical friendships with key people, and do collaborations with new artists in order to always stay on the front pages of the media. It’s really simple: out of sight, out of mind. So they do their darnest to stay in your face all the time.
16. They have hundreds of unreleased songs.
For every hit song you hear, there’s another 5 tracks who didn’t make the cut. I like to call them: second-hand quality songs. Not bad but not great. I remember when Shakira admitted in an interview that she had recorded 64 songs in one year, in order to put out an album of 10 songs. Oh, and make no mistake, these songs will be entirely taken advantage of and monetized, most likely when they pass away. Hint: Michael Jackson, Tupac, and every artist that had post-mortem albums. Some vocals are even sold to newer artists for post-mortem COLLABS. It’s a business 360. After life included.
15. They fight very hard to own their own songs AFTER they’re famous.
There’s 2 things here you must learn: 1. They play nice and are label muppets until they make it. 2. Once they are financially stable and have a good team on their side, they start the fight of getting back that same product that made them famous: their songs. With streaming being another reliable source of income for major artists, they want that long-term passive cash. It truly is all about the money.
14. They would love to make a career in acting instead.
Acting is easier. It just is. And much more rewarding mentally and monetary. And if you’ve been paying attention, many musicians once they’re past their top shape days, want a more tranquil lifestyle thus start actively auditioning and diving into the world of acting. They’ve already been acting for years if you think about it, some even for decades, so you might as well switch off sometimes and separate the actor from the real person, all while getting paid for it. A sweet deal indeed.
13. The music they’re doing now, is NOT what they initially set out to do.
You may not like this BUT… you TOO will change your music continuously IF you want to stay in the industry and make money while at it. It is just inevitable. We’ve shifted from the whispering voice of the 2000s, to the 2010s’ electric piano synth, and to eventually the current 2020 ASMR-infused tracks.
12. They didn’t know if it was gonna work out or not.
Tired of hearing musicians saying they just KNEW it was gonna happen for them sooner or later? good news. They’re full of sh*t. Even the cockiest pop star breaks down when her only hope is shattered in a matter of seconds. If you are not familiar with how Lady Gaga’s audition went with L.A. Reid, I highly suggest you google it.
11. They have deeply rooted self esteem issues.
I’ll quote my pshycologist here: ”You can NOT be a normal person AND WANT to be a star. The need for attention, the craving for applause, the comfort you get while in the spotlight, usually harbor Borderline Personality Disorders, Narcissists, or Bipolar Disorder. And that’s okay. The world would be a very boring place without entertainers. But they’re not the norm.” ‘Nuff said.
10. They use booze or benzodiazepines before getting on huge stages.
Again, this comes from a first hand interaction with a psychiatrist who assured his patients that it is absolutely normal to be on meds if you’re in the music business. And even more so, if you’re on tour and you got tens of thousands of people waiting to see you LIVE. The pressure is insane.
9. They usually did some dumb sh*t in their quest to become famous.
Funny thing though, this dumb stuff they did, 100% of the time is NOT what made them famous. Z rated commercials, cringey sex tapes, awful auditions, some YouTube gimmicks, photo ops with very dubious people etc. Stuff that usually they hire hackers for later on to obliterate.
8. Their life stories are seldomly mind-blowing.
So the label and PR strategists INVENT ONE. Case in point: Rita Ora’s Wikipedia page says she participated at Eurovision where she got the attention of Jay Z and that THAT is how she got signed to Roc Nation and moved to the States. While on America’s Next Top Model, however, she’s telling a model that real life is much more cruel than a safe, under-control contest, and that she had to wait tables and audition a whole lot when she was 17 years old, alone in NYC, fresh from Europe. I actually believe the part that it was Rita who went searching in NY for her fame, but it sounds like the label told her to go back, go to Eurovision (ps: she was throwing the Roc Nation sign during her Eurovison performance), get some exposure, and start her story fresh, with a clean slate.
7. They don’t open up to people who are not in the industry because they’re afraid for their own safety.
The sh*t that goes on behind doors… Luxury escorts, male prostitutes, orgies, unhealthy preferences of barely 18-year-olds over the very-talented 24 year old, ridiculous drug abuse, gun trafficking, so forth and so on. They all know it, and they all keep it shush. While they’re all making money and making music, they don’t bother with snitching over to the feds or the media. It’s too much energy and negative one at that. Risky too.
6. And they decide what the paparazzi will publish.
Trust me when I say, you know what THEY want you to know. To get the truth, you’d have to actually be around that person, running in their inner circle of friends. You get roughly about a tenth of the truth. Many celebrities suffer from mental ilnesses, physical diseases, and secret relationships you and me will never even hear of.
5. They do charity for their egos.
Very few are the artists who actually care. Most just want that social tap on the shoulder for having done something that is deemed as admirable and noble. The critical need for approval, honestly, is the number one leading factor in a famous musician’s choices.
4. They buy their friends.
Because, again, deep inside they don’t feel worthy of a true friendship, those personality disorders and mental problems are more of an issue inside a star’s head than anyone is giving credit. It’s almost like they’re conscious of people wanting to be around them for the money, so they keep feeding the pirahnas in order not to lose them. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather eat alone than risk being EATEN by the sharks around me.
3. They fantasize about their death.
There’s a well known fact in the industry: status legend comes when one dies young. And that is true. Mediocre artists have been labeled as legends just because of their untimely death. So often artists romanticize death as the ultimate check off the list to be the shiniest eternal star. Deep conversations can get real interesting and real creepy when talking to a famous musician. You’ve been warned.
2. They have issues staying in shape.
Funny and ridiculous at the same time. But think about it: they are restricted every single way possible because they’re famous. They can’t just go to a random restaurant and eat out. That date will turn into a selfie session and autographs on napkins. While it may be fun in the beginning, it is very irritating after a while. They can’t randomly pick a movie and go see it at the cinema. They can’t just wear the first pair of jeans from the closet and hop on a bus. They can’t even strike genuine conversations with random normal people. What you are taking for granted, they CAN NOT do it. Most of the things that make you happy, are unavailable to them. The downside is that the human brain needs to vent. Needs to be free. And one of the few things available to them without restriction, is FOOD. So their brains are like: I can’t to do X, Y, Z but I CAN EAT ALL I WANT. And they binge eat and gain incredible amounts of fat in a very short time.
1. They’re afraid of being uneducated. Very afraid.
Because most of them have dropped out of high school, they have an incredible fear residing in every corner of their brain, that people will think they’re stupid. They don’t realize of course, that it is more their own paranoia that may induce such beliefs in others, but it does take a toll on their self-esteem and social interactions. Why do you think Kanye West craves the company of Donald Trump? of Mark Zuckerberg? Why Jay Z has lunch with Warren Buffet and Beyonce supports academical feminists? Why a lot of musicians offer to pay tuition for smart kids and some even go back THEMSELVES to finishing their studies? Because it is ingrained in their mindset, just like it is in mine and yours, that a person without proper education is ignorant. However, with Covid19, all of that is gonna change.
Have fun realizing how normal you are compared to most celebrities.