If you think it’s money, you’re wrong. If you think it’s a flashy music video, wrong again. If you think it’s connections, wrong for the 3rd time. There’s actually a MAJOR factor which overrides quality, quantity, and looks. That my dear readers, is THE CONTEXT IN WHICH PEOPLE FIND OUT ABOUT YOU. If it sounds confusing, it won’t be anymore withing the next 3 minutes.
I want you to think of the last song that left a lasting impression on you, that deeply impacted you. I am most certain that you have paid particular attention to it because SOMEONE ELSE told you that it was worth your time! The songs we like most in this lifetime are usually a direct result of a friend, or family, recommending it to us. Some music afficionados get their favorites from dedicated magazines, Billboard, MTV, or the radio. The one common denominator for ALL these instances: a third party introduced you to the song, to the artist. So it was pre-approved, even if you didn’t think so at that moment. That ladies and gentlemen, is called context. Let’s take a look at the definition: ”the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood”. One real life example: Person A doesn’t care about modern music but he reads with regularity Website X. Website X writes an attention-grabbing article one day about a modern artist. Usually Person A wouldn’t care BUT, because he is loyal to the website, now he takes an interest in Artist Y. Person A, after a couple of replays of the song of Artist Y, finds he likes his music BUT he is not aware he was pre-conditioned to like it thanks to Website X, so he becomes a fan. If we flip the coin, the opposite is equally powerful: person A usually likes pop music and Google suggests he should listen to Artist Y, because it matches his taste BUT Website X has written a negative review of Artist Y, so now, no matter how good the music truly is, Person A will carry the negative opinion in the back of his mind when listening to Artist Y and will never become a true fan. THIS right here, is WHY celebrities pay fans to stay online 24/7 to shift and control the tone of the conversations online about them. This is why politicians care so much about what people have to say about them, this is why they donate to charities, why they publicly do ”noble” deeds, why musicians do interviews constantly, why scandals lead to lawsuits, why someone gets offended just because they got named in a song, why Cardi B threw a shoe at Nicki Minaj’s head at a public event. What others say about you matters MORE than what you say about yourself. So if you’re constantly talking about how great your music is but NO ONE ELSE is confirming it, you look like a weirdo and people tend to dislike you even further. If you pay for good music videos but are not paying journalists and blogs to help you push your image to the masses, your efforts will mount to ZERO. A friend high in the music industry once told me: it’s nice when you talk good about yourself, but even nicer when someone else does it for you. You have to understand how important it is the way in which your music is introduced to the consumer! The more influencers, blogs, websites, press, magazines, reporters, journalists say your song is FIRE, the more people will actually believe your song is FIRE. This is that widely known term called BUZZ or MOMENTUM. THIS is what will make you or break you. Imagine another scenario: your Facebook friend does music. But you never even bothered to check his songs. You don’t care and he’s been spamming you for a while now. And yet, you wake up one day and your Facebook friend posted a link in which SOMEONE ELSE says he’s the best thing since sliced bread. You’re shocked, or at least curious, and now you HAVE to check out his music. You never cared until SOMEONE ELSE spoke about him. This is the whole music industry marketing in one sentence: You MUST get third parties talking about you. It is the ONLY way people will ever care about you or your music.