If I were an artist, I’d seek the answers to these questions and have an understanding of how to traverse the industry to make things happen if I really wished to be a recording artist or artist period!
1. What to do to sell my music?
2. Am I seeking fame and fortune with my music?
3. Why don’t major record labels so unreachable for my music?
4. Why can’t I get my music on mainstream radio?
5. What do I do to get more people to come out to my band’s shows?
6. How do I reach outside of my current network to bring more people to my gigs?
7. How does any artist afford to reach larger and larger audiences in order to sell me and my products?
8. Do labels still sign artists? How do I get noticed?
9. Do I want to be noticed by a label in this time?
10. Any avenues for selling reggae music and making a living from it?
Performing live is such a HUGE rush! Many folks who do it are enamored with the blatant love and enthusiastic support by some of the fans who are impressed with the artists’ look, voice, message or presence. As an artist, one loves that validation for their talent. Yet at the end of many a show, artists are headed home with compliments and zero finances. Sometimes not even enough for a $3.00 bus fare.
“How can they love me so but I’m still broke? I better than him or her or those, yet I can’t seem to catch a break!”
Like most entertainment related professions which may include modeling, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, illustration, recording artist, acting, sculpting and so on, the term “starving artist” is probably the most used term in day to day life while we practice those endeavors. Many exceedingly talented people have never been acknowledged for their talents till long after their deaths or never! I’m pretty sure that less than 1% of the folks are the ones earning any living! Within any artistic endeavor most don’t ever achieve notoriety or earn a living from their talent! The real question here is, “who ever guaranteed any artist the ability to earn a living from their talents?” Ok, I know you know the answer is no one but if we are aware of this the above questions should not apply to that enlightened individual! The answers become moot if one actually looks at the percentage of ‘successful’ – meaning that they eat WELL based on their artistic endeavor – artists within our respective genre.
If you are above 30 years old (reality 16 years old) there is a relay good chance that no one is interested in signing you to a musical contract worth millions! That is the real! Stop walking around like you are some kind of star because you used to almost be somebody. It sets a really poor example for those coming up behind you!
If you have a “hit” song because your idrens or sistrens told you that the tune you just composed and mastered yourself in your home studuio was the bomb, please stop posting your tunes every minute of the day on Facebook! If you are the ONLY one posting and re-posting your tunes, it is a good possibility your tune is SHIT! Please stop posting them!
An ‘artist’ is anyone who enjoys the creative process in bringing artistic endeavors forward. One need not be very good to enjoy themselves. I am certainly within that category as a hack illustrator (water color being my favorite medium – and I love to sing along with my favorite tunes but most around me don’t love my extremely off key renditions. Yet, I derive great pleasure in some of my completed works and the fact that I’ll never sell a piece of work does not impede me creating another illustration. Now, even though I am admittedly not a great illustrator, I do love complements from friends and strangers and do not take positive or negative critiquing of my work very well. Art is subjective in most forms and what may be considered a masterpiece to one can be a piece of cow pie to another. But art is within many of us and we are all hoping to hear our tunes on the radio! That is also a massive high, hearing your tune on radio and your phone buzzing from all of your friends who are hearing it the same time as you! It does encourage and motivate. But then what?
Been around the reggae game in Canada and have worked with talented and not-so-talented people but the thing that stands out most to me is the fact that, due to zero infrastructure, and a systemic block put on, none of our artists have an opportunity to have their tunes played on more than one or two mainstream radio stations! No major record label is currently involved in any developmental programs for reggae music. Here in Canada, there isn’t much support for any genre, but reggae is greatly undervalued and discarded.
Nope, I aint seeking no bly from any an dem deh people, we must do so for ourselves. We need fan participation! If the product is good, which many are, come and support the thing. Pay cover charge, buy a couple of drinks and make the bar / establishment happy, purchase the artist’s album, t-shirts, and forward the info to 2 friends and so on… Strange request in this time where there is as much entertainment on ipads, iphones, Blackberry’s etc, where fans can entertain themselves but I do see the faces when we do live gigs and many folks still dig good, live reggae music and don’t know where to get it. A real novelty eh? A fan driven industry!