The Trendsetter Indie.
The mavericks with little or no knowledge about business, turned the music industry on its head with their independent records in 70s and 80s. Indie bands started gaining listeners through labels. They were able to reach out to a wider range of listeners and create a place for themselves in the world of music. While pop and rock continued to rule the hearts of listeners, Indie also started getting recognition. It’s main fan following comprised of people who wanted to listen to something more creative, experimental and original. Indie music got mainstream attention when small bands started performing locally. While the world could think only of international celebrities singing and dancing on radio and TV, it meant so much more to see someone they went to school with, sing for a band, a neighbour’s son play drums or a relative perform live to an audience. The feeling of having personally known them would be overwhelming and attracted personal attention from fans.
You say you don’t want to pay a producer and would rather save that money to buy a new instrument to be set-up in your home studio. You want to do your own production. Did you ever wonder why (most) superstars are not doing their own production? Why are they still paying the producers? Producers charge exorbitantly, true, get them still. They will make sure you are connected to someone who knows more than you about making records. It is always good to know the experts. You get to learn by absorbing all the knowledge and become better at art. You would rather make great records than collect musical instruments.
When you contact a label, it gets you connected with a lot of pros in writing lyrics, recording, business development, marketing, branding and distribution. All of them work together to make your music a success. If you think you know a bit about all of these, know also that it just makes you the jack of all trades. If you think you have made good music and the radio will be able to get you listeners, you are living in a different era, upgrade yourself.
As discussed in my post Indie Music in 2016, the most fundamental aspect of a deal is that signing to a label really means “signing away the rights to your masters”, whereas, today, it means getting access to power and money. Unfortunately, the downside and the meaning of not owning your own masters doesn’t sink in for artists until much later in their careers. It is after about a decade of being in the industry that they realise, they don’t own anything – neither the music that they made, nor the lyrics they wrote. Even if it is only to know how to delegate copyrighting your music to someone else, grasp the basics of these principles. A musician’s most important asset is copyright. It can help you get exposure, turn around your career and make you money, if you understand its concept.
Originally, I had set out to write about all possible ways that indie musicians and artists could look at as alternative means to manage their songs and generate revenue, but this subject turned out to be vast, so I decided to write a few posts only on managing music. In my previous posts, I have laid out the essential concepts of managing the music that you create.
Being an indie artist has never been easy! More so now when every out-of-college kid wants to take up music and tour around the country. It can get overwhelming at times. Today’s post is about a few tips for making it in the music industry as an independent artist. It is not going to be easy and will require a lot of hard work, but in the end, it’s going to be worth the trouble. Remember that this is a full-time job and it is your own business. You have embarked on a business journey that needs to be handled correctly in order to become rewarding. How you avoid fatal errors that indie artists and bands commonly make remains to be learnt. However, here are a few tips to help you with the local scene.
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