I originally come from a business background and one of the major lessons I learned was to seize opportunities when they appeared. “The music business” is of course no different, although many can have a very romantic vision of what it is to be an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with romance, but at the same time any music promotion and artist development requires ongoing work and application as well as seeing and seizing opportunities. This means thinking long-term, rather than cutting corners. Above all, it means having the commitment and stamina to seize opportunities and see projects through to completion.
“Something comes along and you have to jump on and do it. You can’t stop until it’s done.”
Some opportunities are created of course and I’m amazed at how many artists totally miss what I call “the elusive obvious” I have always advised artists to pay attention to their online presence, social media activity and musical development. In this talent show era, a lot of this seems to be forgotten as many (not all) artists have almost delusional expectations about their musical ascent. Again I applaud anyone aspiring to develop as a performer and to earn a living as a professional musician, but often there’s a lack of strategic thinking at a most basic level. As I blogged previously, creating great music is only one piece of the puzzle these days.
I don’t claim in any way to be an expert, but producers and established artists all confirm the need for relentless focus and perseverance to create any kind of success. A common issue is not completing tasks. This can include websites, songs or replying to live gig requests. In short these days, any artist wanting to reach a wider audience needs to both create and spot opportunities and crucially to act on them. I’ve realised that each person has to find out for themselves that works. I have also given up offering advice and making suggestions about “the elusive obvious” as some folks either really don’t get the need to move on opportunities and/or are stuck in a very narrow way of thinking and not seeing the bigger picture.
One thing is for sure. The way in which music is created, promoted and received is changing at some rate. As I type I just heard that HMV has gone into administration. This is the second time in 6 years, after there was a bail out in 2012. Of course as one door closes another will open in some fashion…