Its amazing what independent artists in today’s world are able to accomplish. I think it’s a lot closer to the old industry model than what our industry is used to seeing in today’s world. A lot has been lost over time in the way of artist “support” (ie: development, resources, money going to the artists’ pocket, etc), but I think we’ve evolved well. My girl, Christy Paige has started what’s to be her own label, and my buddy Keaton Simons is doing the same. Eric Clapton is kicking ass with his new record and label… Hell, Keb’Mo, Justin Timberlake, even my friend Tony Lucca is signed to the illustrious Adam Levine’s new label. Artists helping artists – I love it. I think it’s an amazing new wave this industry needs.
So, what does this mean for up-and-comers? The young ones that are looking for advice on how to “make it” in an industry that has always seemed to only support the careers of a small percentage of people at an upper echelon level? It’s not realistic to think that anyone without proper experience or education could make a record label for themselves out of thin air – and thin air could make it hard for even those artists with the experience needed. However, the pursuit of a career in music is where it starts, and you gotta know the industry first, so my message to the young’ns: “Don’t stop believin’!”
Here’s a little pick-me-up for up-and-comers. I recently read an article about a study done in the UK to prove whether or not a musician carrying a guitar, or guitar case will actually get you a date easier than – well, other options I guess. As much as I have always said, “no, just ‘cause I’m a musician, doesn’t mean I’m getting more chicks that other guys,” I have been proven wrong.
You can read the full article here… But basically the article states that next to the “jock” type carrying a gym bag, and the average Joe that carries nothing, the guys carrying the guitars and the guitar cases seem to have no less than ⅓ more positive reaction from the girls approached. The craziest part of this study for me came later in the post when they carried it over into social media networks to see if guys with guitars in their profile photos received a higher rate of friend request approvals. Evidently, over twice as many requests were accepted when the profile photo contained the man holding a guitar.
The researchers believe there are links to beliefs that men who play instruments are more intelligent, or can learn or are willing to learn new skills and hobbies. They also think that the media plays a part in the perception that holding a guitar may be a sign of wealth and status. I’m not sure that it’s time to bring back the “hey baby listen to my new song” pick up line. Honestly, for me that’s probably worse than, “welcome to the gun show”… The point is, it is so interesting what is perceived of a man that plays a little guitar. It’s a crazy instance to have people think you’re “bigger than you are”, or the adverse – that you’re “not as big as you think you are”…
The simple observation here is that media has completely skewed our common public perspective so much, that (for the sake of this article) our cultural definition of “being a musician” is solely related to fame and fortune. Well, as much as it would be awesome to be the next Justin Timberlake, and I think everyone of us (whether we admit it or not) is trying to get on that train – there’s only one JT, and the industry model has only supported that kind of success for a very small percentage of recording artists… Until today.
You can go as far as you want to go in the industry today, and there are many options for fame and fortune for multiple artists to garnish on many levels. I don’t know that the appeal of musicians will ever waiver, it’s such a primitive and instinctive attraction, but the reasons for it will, and I think they should. The perception that all people with any level of fame have money is absolutely ridiculous, and can be detrimental to the mental health and career of artists. As of now, this is the case. This, for me is one of the biggest reasons people may feel they “have to” make it to the top.
Again, I say, “don’t stop believin’!” Practice hard, and get yourself a job as a roadie, a light tech, a studio assistant, or go to Belmont… All of these options are ways to not only get your foot in the door, but learn as much as you can about the business of music. Just don’t ever forget that it is a business, and it is competitive, but it’s also a supportive community of people just like you that can and are willing to help. There’s more room being made at the top every day.