Ari Herstand has become a beacon of hope for the new music industry, consistently offering top notch advice based on his experiences as a DIY artist in a way that’s meant to help others, something I hope to do as well, so immediately his site Ari’s Take resonated with me. Learning about the book he wrote lead me to purchase it, and well…. it blew me away. After reading so many books on music business, (which I’ll list recommended ones at the end of this blog) I started trying to sort out which ideas were even still relevant (some of the books were dated), and then how to apply them to this day and age considering the music industry is completely different than it was 20 years ago, shoot even 10 years ago it’s flipped on it’s head, and in the last 5 it’s made even MORE drastic changes.
Today I was listening to the audiobook of Ari Herstand’s book How To Make It in the New Music Business and I almost jumped out of my chair at a quote he had from Ben Folds. Actually… no I did jump out of my chair, except I was driving and the chair had a steering wheel in front of me and…. well anyways here’s the quote:
FUCKING NAILS IT. Book after book, page after page, trying to figure out a trend between the groups of people that progress toward their dreams, and Continue reading
Opening thought: Maybe it’s time for someone to redefine art. Bridge the gap between art, product, and progress, as a society.
Art redefined? Now there’s an interesting thought. What is it to create art? Recently I’ve realized myself that art… is…. progress (I could, and I likely will, get into a whole blog about that by itself, but for now I’ll keep it short). It is the very definition of progress, in my eyes. Realizing this, I found it to be the redefinition I’ve been looking for. But how do I make a living off of this? What am I doing wrong?! Why haven’t I gotten it yet? Well… what I believe to be part of the answer, was elusive, but the simplicity was astounding. I’m not treating it like a business, if I want to make money, treating it like a business is how it’s done. Period. End of story (except not). Now that I realized that simple truth, how on earth do I motivate to do all the stuff that has nothing directly to do with the stuff I love?!
I start thinking to myself “Well, all I love doing is making music and performing music, I don’t want to learn the business stuff, I don’t want to do any of the other stuff, just music and perform”. And the more I learned about that, the more I realized I couldn’t be any more wrong in by not wanting to learn about business, but WHY was I reluctant? Because I would feel like a sellout? Because the business side is a drag? Because the that side does nothing for my creative side? Will I be seen as not a true artist? AHHH! (Head explodes!) Then, Randall happened. In two sentences he blew my mind. Continue reading
Well, we’ve all been at this point. I’m currently here, upon the time of writing this. It’s got me thinking about how Sisyphean the entertainment entire industry is. Constantly feeling like this conversation is happening, over and over:
“I love performing! I just want to play live as much as possible, I love to entertain people”
“I want to be creative, and I want my art to be heard/seen/enjoyed around the world!”
“I want to fund my life with my craft”
To which, life seems to repeatedly say “Oh yeah? Fuck you. Go back where you came from, and give up. Sell your guitar on ebay, and go do something ‘useful’ in society.”
Picking up where Part 1 left off, so now what?
Part 1 might have inspired some despair, but after much research and thought into the whole matter, and more discussion with folks on the radio side of things, I’ve come up with a list of ideas to help you out, at least hopefully get a starting point, in your quest for radio airplay.
While mainstream radio will be the biggest challenge, kind of like the end boss in a way, these are other ways to get your songs heard en masse, and to help get that name recognition I spoke of in Part 1.
Drumroll……………… Here’s some ideas:
OK OK you CAN! But it won’t be immediately anyways, and not to mainstream radio. Also, if you think you can buy your way in via payola, it has become a huge gray area and it’s best avoided if possible, not to mention you’d need more money than you’d ever imagine, best to keep it ethical. The way to get your song on the radio is to generate enough traction on your brand that you’re song would generate more listenership for the radio station than the A-listers. Your song is an ad for radio station ratings, and they know it. Your music drives listeners so ads can be put on the station, so you have to bring more listeners in than A-list does.
From my personal experiences, I was in a band one time that had a pretty good album released. I took it to our local pop stations, and was then introduced to the Operations Manager eventually, because he’s one step away from the big boss, and I like going to the top. Now the way big time radio works
Thanks to a request from my friend and fellow entertainer Laryssa Birdseye, I’m writing this blog. I’m not going to waste any time, but about a year and a half ago I was beginning to think making money with music was hopeless, until I realized that treating my music business education the same way I treated my college degree (as something you actually have to read up on and study if you want to see any kind of progress) was when I started changing my perspective for the better about money and the music industry.
These books helped shape my current, much more optimistic perspective, and I’ll likely re-read them at some point in the not too distant future: