Yes my friends, you can make it!

I got an email yesterday from a guy and he says that I am having a pessimistic approach analyzing the different aspects of the music business in my blog. That got me thinking that he may be right; however, I understood that I should have make it more obvious that, through everything I write, I just want to give away info, so those who are interested can benefit.

And, as I was lazy in the last little while (actually I wasn’t, but I got very busy), I decided to try to put together a few ideas on how to deal with the bumps of the industry. It seemed to be easy in the beginning, but the more I was reflecting at the subject, the more difficult it became. And the conclusion was actually pretty simple: there is no recipe for success!

So, you have talent, you’re willing to work big time, you have the looks, you have great songs (and this it the most important!), but:

-       the record labels started to disappear one by one;

-       Steve Jobs and his counterparts managed to create a system through which they sell and make most of the money investing next to nothing in music;

-       Streaming pays squat;

-       Everything is upside down, and, more importantly, change fast like the stock market.

Is there an answer out there? Hello?

Yes, it is. But it is up to each one to find it! Being musician is not really enough anymore, you have to be creative in the business (or get somebody on your boat that is), as much as you are when you’re doing the music. Find way that nobody else uses, or use what’s in place that fits the best what you’re doing. 

The most important aspect, that almost nobody wants to talk about, is that, the same technology that took the business model down gives you something unique and unheard until now: the ability to communicate directly with your fans, the means to create the fan base and to pursue a long career! Interesting enough, done properly, you can reap the benefits for the years to come! This is not about hitting it big once, or getting rich, if this is what you want than you’re in the wrong business. It is about to build a career like you build a house, brick by brick! And you have to look positively to this, it is a great process, which will make you feel good and allow you to do what you like. 

So, you can communicate with the fans! Do you understand this? REALLY? Think that before there were the labels creating an image (they still do today to a large extent, but now more to support the concert tours, as the sales plummeted), and the artist was never in control! They knew how to sell an image; you do have to sale yourself, by being yourself! Isn’t that great? Now, the danger is that who you are and your music may not be what people want. But then as you do it, you evolve with the people around you, you have the direct contact and can act accordingly! And the costs are peanuts today! The studio costs dropped, the video costs dropped, the website costs dropped, the Internet reach is huge! It is up to you how you want to build the fan base, you can do it in steps, in your town, than expand… not difficult actually!

Browse the Internet and you’ll find tons of articles about how to do it, that is not what I want to tell you. But there is something I really want to tell you: you need to grow up into the mature person that understands what’s important, you can’t live and build something with the attitude that you’re so good and wait for the others to ask you to play for them, and provide the living! That is plain BS! You need to act seriously, identify what can you do, what needs to be done, where do you need help, and what kind of help you need, so you can bring the right people in the picture! 

I heard too many times from people that came in my studio that they were unhappy with the previous studio! But they did not have a producer and most of them didn’t have a clear idea of what exactly do they want, so blame is the name of the game. I have news: it not going to take you far! Or constantly complaining about the others you work with. OK, they may not be good enough, but you were supposed to know that when you did some work with them. Or being unhappy at a gig you were invited, as the outcome was not really the one you thought you are entitled! It doesn’t work that way period!

Which takes me to another fine point: talent, work, being organized and having business acumen needs to be doubled by something else, and that is the right attitude! Look for the positives from every endeavor, there is always something to learn, and you should be willing to do it and have the eyes opened every time.

Musically, the guys closest to my heart (my Gods if you want) are Bach, Beethoven, Miles, Paco de Lucia and Prince. They all had the right people around, and, most important, they all had something to offer and share. Do you? Sharing is a key word here: we live in a world of sharing, and music is a language that knows no barriers, so you do it for the love of it. Music is about giving! Music will never belong to the top 1% or somebody else, it is for everybody! All the rest will come eventually, if the proportion of all the ingredients is right.

And here is the good news: the road is fantastic, it’s life at its finest!

Saty tuned,

Flo Fandango    

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