It’s relatively easy to figure out things that are not working, but how do you get that much-needed reassurance that you’re going to make it? After all, fans can encourage and love you as much as possible, but they are not experts, nor are they in the loop about the real music business. Fans see what artists want them to see and hear what labels want them to hear. Without realizing it, they are just the consumers. But getting to that point of power where you are part of the massively distributed product, takes lots of patience and dedication. If you answer YES to ALL 10 questions, it is only a matter of time until you get to the top. Good luck!
10. Are you releasing music consistently?
You see, it does not matter how famous or how unknown you are, but when a new fan finds out about you, they need to consume ALL of you. Just one or two songs won’t cut it. You need to release music consistently in order to develop a strong fanbase. Good example: Hopsin.
9. Do you put out a minimum of 2 professional music videos per year?
As much as your music might be fire, unless people see you and connect with you as a person, not just as an audio creator, you’re not gonna be able to put in motion the snowball effect. The way it works: one music video makes the fan want to see more of you. The 2nd music video reinforces his belief about you that you’re serious and worthy of his time and money. The 3rd music video hooks him completely. The 4th music video forces him to share your videos with his friends and family. Music with no visuals is short lasting and a waste of time and effort.
8. Are you comfortable performing live at any given moment?
Truth is, you never know who you’re gonna meet. You have to be ready to belt out a song or spit some rhymes at any given moment, day or night. When an opportunity presents itself, it is not going to wait on you to get dressed in your best suit and warm up your voice for an hour. It will be right THEN and THERE. So be prepared at all times.
7. Have you invested in performing equipment?
You simply can not rely on the assumption that X club or Y avenue will have good performing gear just waiting on you. Often a cable will be missing, or the mic battery will be out, the whole turntable might not even start up, or the DJ is coming in late and you got no one to hook your songs. You MUST have your own microphone, amplifier, cables, laptop, and in some cases, even your own speakers. You are NOT ready to be an artist 24/7 if you’re missing the basics.
6. Do you have a minimum of 5 famous friends in the music industry?
Success leaves traces. When you have friends who are more successful than you, undoubtedly, you will shift your thinking and behavior to catch up with them, thus your chances to succeed are incredibly higher. You know the saying ”show me who your friend is and I’ll tell you who you are”? Absolutely true.
5. Are you invited to industry parties?
When that starts happening, you got your foot in the golden door. So many endless networking opportunities. And if you ever took notice, lots of artists are rocking with the ”cool crowd” quite a while before they get noticed by the public. All that time you and me didn’t know of Travis Scott, he was making connections and befriending other acts like Migos and showing up in their music videos.
4. Do you need a calendar to keep up with your artistic activity?
When you need to keep track of your gigs, interviews, and guest appearances, you are 100% on the right path. You’re in the very middle of that buzz every single independent musician is trying to create. Congratulations and stay hustling your way to the top!
3. Do you have a stable source of income?
It doesn’t matter where that source is from. Whether it’s your parents, your day job, or your side projects, consistent income without music is vital. Music is never guaranteed. And if you depend ONLY on your songs to survive, you are very frail in front of adversity. You need a stream of money unrelated to music. Write a book, start a business, invest in stocks and bonds, in other words: do something that will bring you money continuously even without music in the picture. Look at the times we’re living in: a worldwide quarantine. Who’s hit the hardest? artists and musicians who depend on performing to make money. Don’t be that person. Be smarter.
2. Are you confident you can deal with whatever comes at you?
With new fame and new money, comes new territory and new rules. The higher you go up the ranks, the more responbilities will come attached with it. The difference between a failure and a success is how you deal with it. It’s no longer just about studio sessions and music video shoots. It also now includes security, promoters, publishers, designers, assistants, less time for yourself. Are you afraid thinking about that or do you see it as something natural that you’re ready to learn how to deal with on the go?
1. Are you your own person?
You will not succeed nor endure in the music business if you change your mind too often and are easily impressed. Artists who get it, stay successful because they have their own mind and opinion of themselves. Look at Taylor Swift! Even when Kanye and Kim turned the whole world against her, she kept creating and putting out music. Barely NOW, after whole 4 years, the truth came out that she was telling the truth. And this type of drama doesn’t happen only at the highest levels. It also happens with entry-level artists. Your mind has to be ice-cold and character – unbreakable.