You have talent, an amazing voice, you play guitar like Jimi Hendrix and you sing just like Adele. But what do you really need to be successful as an artist?
Of course, it involves a whole lot of luck, and maybe a little bit of "being at the right place at the right time" but I've noticed that the most successful artists I've worked with didn't get to where they are by chance. So here is my top 5 list of things I look for in an artist.
1. The artist who invests in their own career.
Artist Development is and has always been a hot topic in the music industry. Nowadays very few record labels invest money and time in an artist. Instead, they are looking for an artist who has spent their own money and time into developing themselves. We will talk about this topic a lot more in future posts, but the short end of it is: Are you spending enough time developing your sound, your voice, your brand and your language? If you want your music to become your full-time business, you gotta at least spend the amount of time of a part-time job into creating that startup.
2. The artist who uses social media.
This sounds like a no-brainer for some of you, I'm sure. Everyone has a facebook page, Instagram, snap-chat, etc. But believe it or not, for some artists, it's incredibly hard to keep a consistent profile going. Unfortunately, music has become something we look at just as much as something we listen to, and you can gain fans by having an engaging social media presence. People want to know who is behind the artist, what they like, what they do, what they think. Use your social media as a way to talk to your fans. And if you hate posting those social media posts, use some of these handy apps to help you plan your posts, like: Later or Loomly.
3.The artist who gigs.
It's so easy to be an artist online today that you might forget to spend time planning a show. Trust me, I know how hard it is to look for a band, rehearse all your songs and get everyone there, only to play a 20 minute set in front of the local pub and only your parents showed up. Why not just put a cover song up on Youtube right?? But think about this, what if you have that song that goes viral, what if the record labels start calling and managers are knocking on your door?? They want to see an artist who can go on the road and open up for Bruno Mars. The only way to get there is to play those local gigs, play the talent shows, interact with other musicians and feel comfortable on that stage.
4. The artist that can be a communicator.
Do you write, produce, sing and play every instrument under the sun? Probably not, and nobody expects you to either. *sigh of relief*. This is why we have musicians, producers, songwriters, so they can help you be the best you are. But, you, as the captain of your ship will have to find a way to communicate to all those people in your team what it is that you are looking for. What do you want to say, what do you want to sound like? Be the leader of your own team.
5. The artist that is the eternal student.
"A true master is an eternal student." - Master Yi.
As you get older, your stories will change, the way you look at the world will change and your sound will change. What you are now as an artist is not who you will be 10 years from now. Expect to change and keep on learning. Buy a new instrument and learn how to play it, so you can keep inspiring yourself to write something new and fresh. And artist who is actively learning will never run out of things to say or songs to write.