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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

a new dawn

It's an exciting era for independent artists. In the past, as well as the present, multi-national corporations controlled mass media and pop music. They have done so before and they always will. There will always be some powerhouse company, or three, in control. It goes back to feudal days. There will always be the need for quick "hits" for music and "big opening weekends" for movies as it's motivated by money, by power and by business. The music business is about business. It's not really about music at all. Don't be sad about this. It is what it is, and I guess many artists choose this path thinking that this is the only way to be heard. They waste years waiting around hoping to be discovered by a company, and spend their working lives constantly proving themselves. Most give up, or are tossed aside.
But the path I prefer to talk about is called the self-empowerment path. My first book, "I AM A Professional Artist - the Key to Survival and Success in the World of the Arts", focused on the idea of artists taking control of their own careers, getting out there on their own and making it happen for themselves. I believe in defining success on one's own terms, not by some fading notion of commercial success that is just defined by others. What we have in our hands today is the opportunity to get out on the street. New music ideas have always started on the street before reaching the board rooms. New internet opportunities allow us to use grass roots methodologies of spreading the word through "friends", fans and link exchanges, whilst record labels are dying a slow death. They are just not getting their sales volumes.
All we need to consider is this: 1. Create great music. 2. Market the music. Whether you are an independent artist, or a major label, the 2 principles still apply. Indie artists may not necessarily have the same amount of money to market, promote and advertise the music, but they are more and more having a quicker and keener sense as to what are the latest marketing tools to use. Blogging, podcasting, websites, link exchanges, forums and discussion groups, press releases, promoting online and on the street,.. are all just pieces of the puzzle, but for the first time ever, the pieces are now in the hands of the artists to do what they want with it, rather than in the power of "they/them", (you know those people who live behind dark veils, keep the money and keep us in the dark.)
I'm chomping at the bit every day when I discover a new website or promotional tool that will help get my music out there. There is so much, but it takes some sweat, some fortitude, a lot of passion and a keen desire to do this for the rest of your life.
 It's the Art that should come first, so don't let your business affairs make you unhappy. Being business minded, disciplined and organized, means taking risks and focusing yourself in channeling your creativity. All this provides opportunities. Be mindful that opportunities come when you least expect them, so keep the door open and be ready in wonder.

Opportunities aren’t always far a field either. They can be in your own backyard. You just have to look for them. Many people will say to you, “oh, you need big bucks to make it or you’ll fail,” or, “you need to do this, this and this in order to be successful otherwise you won’t make it.” Ignore these people who say your dream is impossible to reach. Being conscientious at what you do, working toward financial independence and creative freedom ON YOUR OWN TERMS is the ONLY way.

Stay positive, optimistic, keep organized and opportunities will come your way. Besides if you are a pessimist, you will only see the failures in life. So, put a smile on your face, get your house in order and make steps to step outside.

Optimism + Organized = Opportunity

It's time to JUST GET OUT THERE.

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