Make What You Like.
A young indie artist once asked me “Should i release an album no one cares about?” My answer was, no you shouldn’t. YOU should care about it. And that’s all that matters.
“I am not responsible for the response this crap gets”. No marketing company has the right to say this to you. All you, indie artists, stop listening to all that the marketing guy tells you. Every day I get feeds in my inbox, for a new way to make music that people will like. Most likely the email will have a link that takes you to their website where they coax you into contacting them, to begin on your advertising arrangement.
“It’s imperative for you and your band to look ahead and begin making arrangements for a collection people will purchase,”. No, it isn’t. Make what you want to make. Get all thoughts about selling it out of your head. It will slaughter your imagination and lead to confusion.
In my blog “Making Music With Less Money” I have written about the importance of making a good song. If the song sucks, it obviously doesn’t matter how incredible the video is. However, if the song is great, you wouldn’t require a costly looking video – simply something that does justice to it. The video must improve the song – not spoil it. It should tell the complete story. That story, however, shouldn’t be “a crappy local band that makes music videos because they read on a blog that it’s the in-thing.” You know what I mean!
A lot of times artists keep procrastinating their work, for the right time. It only keeps fans from listening to your music and keeps success away from you that much longer. Remember, time is never right. You have to make it happen now. There have been bands that shot videos on the streets and the world loved it. It is the idea and creativity that sells.
I am not going to drive sales for your album. However, 99 times out of 100, neither will the marketers. The world needs art. Indie artists have the capability to give it to the world. Managers, brand managers and marketing managers are not the right people to decide what will sell and what wont. You are an artist, art should be your priority, not marketing and selling it.
The way to sell art is to create art, not just what sells. While the marketing managers are selling our work, they are constantly trying to influence us with their advice on when to make an album, when to hold a show, where to hold a show and numerous other things to help our work. What we need to understand is that while they are selling our work, they are trying to also make us create only what they know how to sell.
I once heard a marketing manager tell an indie artist that his song was almost “hit material”. This implied that a few changes here and there would make the song a sure-shot hit! Isn’t this ridiculous? A marketing person has no business to alter the art just so it sells. When these guys are telling us what sells and what doesn’t, they are basically telling us “I know how to sell this”. Sorry? We don’t need to make what you can sell. You need to sell what we make!
It will be awesome to see the music industry change to grasp new talent instead of reeling into same old s***. Advertisers aren’t looking for intriguing music to work with. They want to grab only what they are sure of being able to sell.
I understand there are celebs and brand managers and advertisers and such doing great work and finding hidden, undiscovered talent in music. As I keep saying, technology has enabled people across the world to connect with whoever they want, whenever they want. Internet has made it possible for the actual lovers of art, who genuinely want to discover talent, find them, no matter how far and how hidden the gems are. So, if you’re doing something intriguing and different, ideally they will see you and find you. Just don’t let others tell you how to do your work.
I hope this article makes all the indie artists stick to the originality of their creation. Please share your experiences in the comments section and I will write more about them in my future blogs.