Monday, August 15, 2011

Music: The Dream Vs. Reality

Fame and fortune. The saying goes hand and hand. Some want the fame, there names in lights and all the adoration that comes with it. Others want the fortune, money to do whatever, whenever however they want. And a select few want both, not for greed, but for the sheer opportunity and ability to say they did it, and did it the best.

So let's talk about something that every musician whose ever decided to do this thing we call music professionally has gone through. The question of the dream versus the reality of life and the music business. The dream. That with enough skill, talent and determination you will eventually be rewarded. What that reward is in our business is usually a pretty big gain both financially and physically. Usually along the lines of a house, car, money, jewels, women, status, clout, free everything (almost) and being known everywhere you go.

Most people who listen to these talented individuals would believe that they are right and that these people should be signed right away. If this were the 50's-90's they would be right and all the talented people would have record deals so we could all enjoy the fruits of their labor. The reality. Its hard getting a record label to invest there time, energy and marketing department on a new artist. Especially on someone who hasn't proven themselves through any of the now prevalent avenues. This includes billboard, itunes sales, cd sales, song plays, fan base and a slew of radio plays that the average independent artist can't get without paying for it (one way or another).

This is the reality of the average musician/artist/label owner/engineer/a&r. There are plenty of people who are talented and deserve all the fame and fortune that comes with being in the spotlight. Unfortunately the spotlight isn't big enough for us all and thus the competition for it has begun and only major record labels win, why? Well its really simple, because major record labels no longer help develop talented individuals into mega stars that we want to spend money on. They take the best of the ok and run with them, add on the Internet and everyone thinks they're a star fish in a pool of mediocrity.

I know I sound like a party pooper but these are the facts of our musical life (those with talent anyway). For everyone that thinks success happened over night for all the successful people in our industry are blatantly ignoring the years prior to that success. The nights on the road, the long studio sessions, the process of having a style in the first place and the wondering if people will accept you as an artist. These are all pre-stardom things that the public (and other musicians) sometime forget about,to sum it all up, hard work. This is the step the public a.k.a. dreamers don't see or want to be part of, just the end result.

While the dreamers were sleeping the workers were burning cd's for the public to buy (or give away depending on the workers work). While the dreamers were online writing raps that may make it into songs of there own (one day) the workers were writing the whole song and putting it out for all to listen, critique and download. While the dreamer dreams about the stage in Madison Square Garden the worker is outside Madison Square Garden selling those cd's hoping to have enough on hand to flip it for more merchandise, studio time, equipment, and whatever else that nights money can help with to solidify there careers future.

I want people to look at this article as not killing the dream but taking a realistic approach to achieving it. When was the last time you started and kept up a website dedicated to you and your fan base? When was the last time you took a singing lesson to make yourself an asset as a singer to anyone besides yourself (like to a writer or producer)? When was the last time you even practiced what you will be performing when you get on a stage? What makes you better than the next musician/a&r/label owner/engineer if your just dreaming your real time away? Dream when you sleep and do for your career today what will help you tomorrow.

Here's a read for you

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