If you’re an artist waiting to be “discovered” or hoping to be given a record deal based on your perceived talent or the “uniqueness” of your sound, it’s time to educate yourself on the basics of the music business. The belief that major labels are LOOKING to sign new artists because of their talent is very far from the truth, and the sooner a person who desires to be an entertainer learns this, the better.
The process of getting “on” doesn’t require a co-sign or “hook-up” from an established artist or record label executive. You get on by building relationships with people who like your music, support it by buying it, and actually listen to it – these people are called FANS. When you get enough fans talking about you and your music, you’ve created a buzz.
If you’re able to create a buzz around your music you’ll first attract the scammers, douchebags and con-men. These bottom feeders are the people who want to “sign” you to a “development” deal, or in other words, they want to pay for your studio time in exchange for owning half (or more) of what you create. If you’ve educated yourself on how the business of music works you’ll be very wary of these types of offers. Today’s artists have NO EXCUSE for getting shafted.
All aspiring artists coming up in this “internet age” have heard of or read about the ways that artists have gotten used, abused, and swindled in the past. From the earliest days of recorded music all the way up to the latest headlines, the music industry has been a place where you lose everything if you don’t know the business. Too many of our favorite rappers who were once superstars are living day to day or paycheck to paycheck because they made the hit music while someone untrustworthy handled the business. You’ve seen it happen enough to KNOW that you need to learn how the business works in order to protect yourself.
Now, more than ever, whether you’re a musician, singer, rapper, producer or other kind of recording artist, you can earn a living doing what you love. Don’t let the desire to be “popular” override the necessity of getting paid. If you’re doing music for fun or “for the love” then these words aren’t for you. I’m speaking to those people who aspire to be professionals in the music industry, the people who expect to be properly compensated for their hard work and talent. Believe me, if you’re making music only “for the love”, there is no shortage of people in this industry who will make sure that you get ALL the “love” (i.e. attention) you desire…..as they walk away with the money.
Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A ScratchyThroat. A Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.