So what's really going on with the music business today?
Quite often I hear, Danie, the music business is dead. Really? Is that why Rihanna just sold 100 million downloads? & independents who are investing in their music career, are making an incredible living from it? Today's business of music means you must invest in yourself & your craft. There is more opportunity for independents today, than there was ten years ago. Are you doing enough? do you know what to do? 99% of musicians, artists, bands out there today are independent. Back in 'the day' you sought out backers, labels, percentage deals. If you still have that mind set today, get out of the business because you will never survive it. Today you must builda name for yourself, your name becomes your 'business'. Your business must be promoted. Your fan bases become your 'consumers'. You are slowly developing a brand.
Ultimately you must respect all media ( radio DJ's, PR people, publicists, journalists etc. ) because it is THEY that will reach your needed audience. To have 100,000 followers means nothing unless those people are 'true' fans, buyers of you, your shows, your music. I find that people, today, are too focused on social media numbers & not on 'normal business dealings'. Traditional methods must be applied. Invest in your 'career' just as you would by opening up any business. By invest I mean hire a publicist/PR person.
Does it take courage? YES. Because the true question to ask yourself is this, do I feel confident enough with my music, my talents to put money into the promotion engine? How much do you really want this? If this is a hobby for you, invest nothing. If this is your 'calling', your 'life', get ready to promote & on a long term basis, not on a one/two time promotion. It's a big world out there. Our world has a home for all styles of music. The key is finding that outlet which many cannot do on their own. This is where a publicist comes in. Stay positive, think logically. Envision yourself already there. Build your TEAM.
Danie Cortese for Country Music News International