As a recording studio owner I have the opportunity to work with a plethora of solo artists, bands, and producers everyday. Although they may differ in genre and experience level the vast majority of them are all trying to "make it". But in 2018, what the f#$! does that even mean? For some "making it" means going on tour, for others it means getting signed to that ever elusive record label, and for some it just means finishing the damn record! Although, none of these goals are without merit, it is my personal belief that they all lack one thing... vision.
In our formative years most of us fantasized about having a career in something. Maybe that career was a fire fighter or an astronaut, maybe it was a politician or a librarian, it doesn't matter. The point is that at an early age we all had the vision to become something far beyond ourselves, something exciting, bold, and true to ourselves. Hell I wanted to run a chocolate factory and be a part time lifeguard, talk about aspirations! So what happened to those goals?
The short answer is we grew up! Becoming a fire fighter is dangerous, the chances of becoming an astronaut are astronomically slim ;) , politics suck, and librarians don't make enough money! Every step of the way life has told us "NO YOU CAN'T". The real tragedy in all this is that most folks have bought it, hook, line, and sinker. They went and found careers in boring, unfulfilling jobs and chose the path of "GOOD ENOUGH". But what about those of us who picked up guitar or drums as kids and are still trying to make a go of being a full time shred specialist? Again, vision.
I say vision because as with any serious career path we need to have our sights laser focused on the end game. As previously mentioned, finishing the album won't cut it because that's relatively easy to do. Any creep with a laptop and a ripped version of Ableton can make an "album" but chances are he's not leaving mom's basement any time soon. Defining that vision for musicians can be difficult due to their heightened emotional sensitivity. So me being the brutally sadistic producer I am will define it FOR you. YOU NEED TO MAKE MONEY! There I said it, now go cry in a corner. The harsh reality of building a career in music is that in order to pay the bills and expand your music's reach you NEED to be a cold, calculating, unapologetic motherF when it comes to the dough.
In future posts I will start to break down the multitude of concerns facing bands and artists trying to build a life in music and what to do about them. Keep them lids peeled, it's gonna be a wild ride baby!