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Thursday, August 2, 2018

#Musicproduction: How To Ruin Your Career (Part 1 of 3)

Before I pivoted to artist development and music production, I spent a long time as an artist. I was a musician in a band, singer/guitarist in another, and eventually went solo as a singer/songwriter, fronting my very own band. Since I didn't really result from an extremely musical family, I learned to be always a do-it-yourselfer. Although there were lots of great things that I learned as a DIY'er, I missed out on a lot more valuable information, which hindered my success at the time. I failed to take advantage of the years of experience and knowledge from lots of the industry contacts that I could have met, because I didn't fully rely upon their advice. As an emerging artist, this may prove to be a dangerous career move. Sometimes the insecurities to be an artist can manifest themselves in self-sabotaging ways.

Ruin Your Career - Way 1 of 3

I once caused an artist that had all the proper stuff at the ideal time. They certainly were young, talented, attractive, hungry, and ambitious.  They worked hard at an obsessive pace for a number of years and were eager to prove themselves. This led to a major management company getting behind the artist, and eventually led to a bidding war amongst several labels, with one of the biggest labels signing them.
Like nearly all major record label deals, this is only the starting point. Whenever you begin to element in all of the things that can derail an artist's career to the most effective, it's a wonder that anyone can make it happen at all- even if success seems imminent.
This artist was against the launches of what turned out to be some of today's biggest pop stars, so the surroundings was very competitive.  Despite these headwinds, this artist still managed to truly have a minor radio hit and amass over a million fans and critical acclaim. But, the economy during the time was tanking. And major labels being the publicly traded companies they are, shareholders must be appeased- and many artists got pink slips. Even some multi-platinum artists got canned in the thing that was turning out to function as the Great Depression No. 2 (although the media would only go so far as to ever utilize the word ‘Recession').
When this artist got dropped from their label, things became uncertain. A young artist, confronted with having their dream so close however pulled out from under them (or at the very least having this perception) is not typically prepared for these kinds of emotional ups and downs. It's precisely then that an artist should rely upon the ability of these team. Where this artist was seeing failure, there clearly was also opportunity.
The timing of capitalizing on any success, regardless how limited it might be is important, and a plan to help keep the momentum of the artist's popularity currently during the time, would've been the smartest play. This was not to be though.
This artist, in a reactionary state of mind, took too much time to produce additional material and keep carefully the group of followers engaged. Together with that, when new material was released, it was a substantial departure from the style, genre, and quality that generated the first success through collaboration. This squandered the opportunities that have been created, and the artist started at fault everyone around them, in place of brushing themselves off and taking responsibility for his or her failures, regrouping their core team and soldiering on. Sometimes the runway of success is narrow and short. When things aren't moving in your favor, you have to be resilient and steady. The music industry is really a game of staying power.

Links to all three articles: (every day one article)
How To Ruin Your Career Part 1
How To Ruin Your Career Part 2
How To Ruin Your Career Part 3

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