The music business is still the far west – here’s how to be an outlaw.
Music promotion to grow your career as an artist is the hardest thing to do on earth (trust me, I know).
I think that growing a startup is the second most difficult thing (I know something about this too).
For some reason I was lucky – or crazy – enough to try both music and startup. It turns out that it’s much easier if you learn from both.
Both require constant GROWTH. This eight-letter word can not be ignored in any career – be it creative or business. Or creatively business.
Here’s what I learned, and you should learn too:
It may seem obvious, but let’s face it: musicians are not the best in thinking ahead.
We live in this moment. And that’s okay.
But a bit of foresight can do a lot. Especially when it comes to the life cycle of recording, releasing, promoting and going on tour.
Every good startup has a program – or, in terms of a musician, a long-term plan (hello dreams!).
It also has a short-term plan (reality!). Just do not be afraid to be flexible – because when life flows, you have to know how to adapt.
Think of it this way: spend 3 years working on your first record. But then you realize that your style of obscure underground music is not well seen by anyone.
The music changes at crazy speed, it is the internet that decides the speed of tastes and consumption.
So how to be on the crest of the wave? Easy. Publish your music while you’re creating it.
Post it on SoundCloud. See what interests your community, your audience, your friends.
Store various feedback and make more music. Your community is a super support lab where you should test any stuff. In doubt, head!
If something works, do it again
– but better. If it fails, let it go.
Release constantly and listen to your audience. It will guide you towards your best work.
Be hungry, be concentrated
Do you remember the program of your original plan? Use it.
Take 5 minutes a day to let yourself be inspired by your dreams and hopes. Do not be afraid of being hungry. Sacrifice yourself in the name of your art.
Work in the present and remember first of all why you started making music.
Stay home and work on your projects instead of going out. You will be repaid sooner than you think.
Fail first, fail often
This saying is brought up constantly in business but is essential for fast growth.
People are scared of bankruptcy. But as the startup gods have taught us:
failure is fantastic!
It sounds strange but think so: you learn a lot but much more from a failure than mediocrity.
In mediocrity you give pats on your shoulders, you do not learn anything and you do not grow up.
In bankruptcy there is no choice but to look for what can be done better, collect the pieces and do it all over again, knowing what must be avoided.
Startups are not afraid of technology (probably because they are too busy creating it).
But often musicians are. Do not be afraid. There are loads of very useful and creative music technologies in development right now.
Get used to the idea that good technologies exist to improve your life.
They open you to a world of possibilities.
Native Instruments, Ableton, LANDR, SoundCloud and Echo Nest are just a few examples of technologies that are crazy to help you.
And with the new musical technology that comes up every day there is no sign of slowing down. Either you get involved or stay back.
Think of Jobs and Wozniak – to Lennon and McCartney. In Kraftwerk or how Kanye manages a team of hundreds of people.
You need people around. You need them to bring out the best in you, and you need them to bring out the best in them.