Being successful in the music business
Updated: Jul 1, 2019
There's no one way to be successful. Actually it is a hard work that most possibly never fulfill your dreams. It's a constant struggle that will give you massive headache or deep depression however that is what makes it so fascinating - at least for me.
Being successful means many things. You might become a world famous DJ/Producer, you might be a producer/sound engineer/studio producer that makes music for various clients on the daily basis, you might be a hit solo artist. Which path you are going to choose is up to you but there are some things that are common in all these careers.
- You have to start somewhere - either you are a DJ, producer, studio producer, a songwriter or an artist, it's the music that defines you. Your target audience or your clients will notice you due to your work, your songs and your productions. That is why you have to make them as many as possible and as best as possible.
- Quality over quantity - some say it's the golden rule but I disagree. At least a bit. Of course quality is a must. You can not sound worst than your competition. However don't believe in this "one hit to open the gates of heaven" theory. All artists made many many many tracks and songs before their sound became acceptable by the industry and people noticed them. I always say you might do 100 songs and the 101'st will be the hit you've been waiting for. That is why the more the better. That will not only make you a credible producer and artist but also due to a lot of content more noticeable in this over crowded industry.
- Don't get discouraged - Send your demos to the record labels, post your songs on social media, get noticed. Don't think your first works will be accepted or you gain a lot of likes or views. Put yourself into the shoes of a listener or A&R manager (artist and repertoire person responsible of choosing the songs for the label). They are flooded with various songs every day. A&R managers must listen to thousands of demos, normal listeners have thousands of songs to choose from on Spotify or Youtube. Do you think they will put their attention on you just because you are special? They will if your song is exceptional, your music video eye catching, your initial idea surprising, your lyrics get into their hearts, your songs create strong emotions. All of that comes with time, experience, building your position and fanbase.
- Your previous works will get you new ones - People will want your next song, your next production, your assistance because they heard your previous works. As simple as that. It might be a record label that liked your previous track and they want another one, it might be the recording studio or production company that you already worked with in the past and they have a new artist that needs a new song, it might be your old client that liked to work with you, it might be someone new that heard about you from someone who said "this producer is great, work with him/her".
- Work with the best - Your first tracks or songs will definitely not be accepted by the big or famous labels. You will not be able to work with the best artists in the beginning. However always try to reach a higher level every time. Start with your local artists (singers, songwriters) and small independent labels. Next time you will ask some better artist to work with you or send the demo to a better label. Eventually you will work with the bigges and the best in the business. Remember - It's a path with no shortcuts.
- Don't cheat - Some people think there are shortcuts they can take. Working with ghost producers, hanging around people from famous labels, big artist agencies or industry sharks, buying likes and views. Sometimes it works but it is not that simple. You either need money or already have some position in the industry. Nobody will work with an unknown person unless you can offer them something in return. If it is not your talent and great productions it will be something else. Your money, your millions of followers, your successful brands (parties, products, social media profiles), your contacts or access to some other revenue stream. Music business is no different from any other - it is all about money.
- Take your fate in your own hands - that is why education and hard work is the key. That is why I made this website. Also that is why I always advise to build your own small empire. It can be your local target, party people, listeners, fans. You can start your own independent record label. You can offer your services to your local clients. You can build your local recording studio that will offer various production and recording services. You can start to organize your own local parties or concerts. Build your position in social media. Use your achievements in your future strategies. Meet with people. Spread the message. Once you become a star in your own territory, more people will be interested in working with you from other places or countries.
Don't wait. It will not come by itself.