Artists are perfectionists. And their own worst critics as well. The world just keeps demanding more and more content while not supplying your pockets with the funds to do so. It’s almost better to be unknown in this day and age until you get your budget right and then you can get to pumping content. Whatever position you’re in as a musician, there are some actions that you most likely perform on a frequent, if not daily basis, and no one is giving you a tap on the shoulder for it. And you may be shocked to know, but you actually deserve more encouragement, admiration, and appreciation for these things. Let’s count them down and give yourself a mental Bravo! with every thing you check off the list.
10. You listen to other artists’ music.
Especially if they’re independent, you deserve major props for giving your own time and attention to artists that have yet to be acknowledged by society. The fact that you’re investing time in people who are not guaranteed to make it, speaks volume about your heart being in the right place. Also it means you’re open-minded and that you KNOW everybody could become somebody sooner than later. Bravo!
9. You stay away from jumping on mainstream hate trains.
That means you have an independent mind and like to make your own conclusions based off your own observations. In the past years everyone loved to hate Iggy Azalea, then they moved on to hating Nicki Minaj, and now they’re hating on Doja Cat. And that’s just famous female rap artists. In just about every genre, yearly, there’s a persona non grata. Seems like for every artist we help get the number one spot, we also have to tear down another. Sort of balancing our love and hate out. Weird. So if you actually decide on your own who you like and who you don’t, you are more mature than you think. It takes courage and confidence to like an artist in times when everyone else is hating on him/her.
8. You abstain from defending your own music.
The ultimate sign of a star-in-the-making is when you know your music’s substance and you accept that it will be both liked and disliked by different people and that it is NORMAL to be in that position. Nothing is cringier than seeing some independent artist going down in flames in the comment section engaging with hateful commentary in order to defend their music. You turn off even people who do like your music when you do that. Let people be people and let them love and equally hate your music. It is part of human nature and you will NEVER be liked by everybody. Not in your lifetime and not even after you’ll be gone. You also have to respect people who don’t get your music. At least they’re giving you enough of their time to reach that conclusion. Let’s not forget that Justin Bieber’s Baby became viral thanks to… haters! They are very valuable and will put money in your pockets if you let them. If you don’t filter out comments and let the public do its dirty work, you sir, are on another level of badassness.
7. You stay creating even when not rewarded.
With everything this Earth has experienced in the last year alone, people have come to prioritize financial security more than anything. Individuals who didn’t even know how to work a computer are now full-time employed from home. Times are changing and monetary compensation for one’s work is the number ONE priority in the world atm. So my dear reader, if you’re an artist that keeps writing, recording, promoting his music when everyone else is solely focused on getting that cash, you are dedicated to your music beyond worldly needs. You are committed body and soul and you deserve a huge BRAVO with fireworks included for putting out music even when you’re not getting compensated for it.
6. You put in the time and effort into bettering your craft.
Unless completely tone-deaf, most artists sound relatively good when first starting out. What makes the difference between temporary artists and legend-status is the will to improve, evolve, and transform over time. If you get up every day, do your vocal runs every day, or play those damn boring scales every day, you are light years ahead of the competition. The learning and growing never stops. Ever. Good f*ckin’ job if you’re consistent in perfecting your artistry.
5. You know who you are and are sticking by it.
In your career, you will encounter a very annoying typology: people who think it’s okay to throw in their two cents telling you what you should be doing in order to make progress in the music industry. You might even receive comments like “you should do more Tik Toks”, “I think you’re lacking diversity in your music videos”, “you need to put out more dance tracks because it attracts a bigger audience”, “you should dye your hair blonde ’cause everyone loved Marilyn Monroe”, etc. I know, dumb folks. If you’ve been around for a while, you’re used to these comments and simply ignore them. If you’re fresh on the scene though, any idiot saying such loud opinions so confidently, will have you scratching your head and give weight to their words. Stop right there. Don’t. If it does not resonate with your brand identity, DON’T DO IT. A big hug for you if you’ve grown thick skin and are completely ignoring opinionated flies.
4. You invest your own money into building your brand’s credibility.
It is easy to gamble with someone else’s dollars. Much harder to invest your own hard-earned income into your art. But if you’re doing it, that just shows you believe so badly in yourself that on a subconscious level, you know one day it will all pay off. A huge thumbs up for you!
3. You are immune to rejection.
Being told NO is a big part of a musician’s career. If you haven’t understood that by now, you will soon. You MUST be comfortable being rejected as it is the only way you will ever get those few YESes that will bring your dreams to fruition. You deserve a damn medal if you’re taking NOs like a champ. That is Steve Jobs type of determination right there.
2. You keep your faith and hope even when all sh*ts hit all fans.
It’s one thing when one sh*t hits one fan. But when everything goes haywire, that’s when true patience, stoicism, and resilience come through. Your music video got removed overnight off YouTube, there is no way to contact them directly, and you find out you are locked out of your account. I do not wish that upon any upcoming artist. But scenarios like this are extremely real and you will need some iron resilience to start decluttering and fixing things you can one by one. First, you make the appeal, report the incident in detail, prove you did not remove it, then wait over a week to hear back from YouTube, then start your recovery process. It usually takes over a month. It would be much easier to be like F*ck this, I am starting a new channel. But when you’re about to lose 20k subs and over 1 million views, you STAY and you FIGHT! If you’re tough to crack, you deserve a cookie. There! Imagine you just got one 😆
1. You take care of your physical wellbeing.
Nothing, I repeat, nothing, absolutely nothing in this world will drain your bank account faster than health issues. How do you prevent that or at least minimize the risks? You stay away from vices like getting high, smoking, or drinking, you sleep 7 to 8 hours, you eat healthy, you work out, and you give your body time to rest. You may not see your dollars going up in value when you’re taking care of yourself, but you ARE prolonging your career and likelihood to make it in this music business. You could have done an entire professional music video had you not needed that root canal surgery. What could you have done to prevent that? Brush your teeth twice a day, stay away from sodas and excess of sweets, and of course, floss regularly. THAT SIMPLE! You sir, or ma’am, deserve a special place in heaven for taking care of your health before anything else.