Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Don't underestimate the people you pass on your way up.

When I do consult missions with different artists, I usually get claims and dreams from them that are from the past. Things that are no longer relevant. I usually say that the audience that is really young and update is in front run the people inside the music industry that are on conferences are one or two years behind what is really happening. People that are working in the industry and not going to conferences are usually four to five years behind. Artists are around ten years behind. The general public many times over twenty years behind. Of course, this is individual, and all is about how interested you are.

So, what do I mean by being after? I had a conversation with a friend that I the general public, he is middle age and fairly interested in music. One of the artists I work with just had released a new album and he asked when the CD was out. I explained that you didn't do CD: s any longer. But in his world when he was a young witch is in the 90: s the release is not real until you have a physical copy. On top of that, he also claimed that the big artists like Taylor Swift released her music on CD!

And they do that! Big artists have such a big fanbase they even release cassettes or minidiscs, but it's in small quantity and it's just to satisfy that part of the audience that is even beyond twenty years. Still this I can see in artists over thirty just using Facebook, they always ask about releasing on CD, but since CD is really out they also go back and try to do vinyl since it has a better and warm sound. Vinyl has that if you have done the recording in that way. Unfortunately, these people have a budget recording done on a computer with extremely poor mics and with a sound engineer that is totally used to work to get the music on to the digital channels. In the end, the vinyl will sound crappier than the song on Youtube. No, the pressing is because the artist is still in the world that if the product is not in something that you can hold in your hand, then it's not finished.

It's about dreams, I guess. If your dream and picture in your head have been to hold a printed record in your hand, exactly like your childhood artist-hero. You haven't fulfilled your dream buy just putting your new song on Soundcloud.

Here we have the newer generation the artist that is twenty-five and up. The ones that are laughing reading the text above. Their goal is to get the song on Spotify and get many streams. If your song has a hundred million streams, you’re a star. This is proven wrong time after time and the industry in the front has already left this number-crunching because of the new statistic tools. But the artist is still there, looking at how their idols during 2010 just went online and got a million streams the first day. That it was all cheating and that it was just one platform they don't want to hear. When you work with them the only thing that matter is how many streams they get. They are also very centred around Spotify. That you can compare numbers against Youtube or that Apple is already bigger than Spotify in USA goes by deaf ears.

I had a funny conversation with a young punk band. First, I was commenting on that their music sounded like in the beginning in the 90: s. They were very flattered because they really embraced all those punk bands from that era. I explained that those band had developed the punk sound from the late seventies. And they need to update their sound to today instead of trying to sound like some 50-year-old dude that is still up there doing punk songs from the 90: s. 
Nope, they wanted the whole package. The next goal was to play on CBGB: s. I just had to explain that CBGB: s had closed several years ago. It was like killing their dream. They had seen themselves going into CBGB: s and play. I just had to tell them that the early punk bands didn't play on CBGB: s because it was cool. It was the only place they could have a gig on. Then they made the whole thing cool. When I spoke about CBGB: s with these bands like Ramones, Television and Blondie they were looking out and wanted to go beyond CBGB: s. 

This is part of the problem I have when I consult. In many cases, the dreams can't be matched. Today you as an artist must create the new CBGB: s if it's online or in the physical world. The problem is to have clear goals since the industry is changing very quickly. Right now, for some of us, it looks like Spotify has been there forever it just ten years. Ten years ago, we had MySpace and you think that is old. 

Jumping trends though never work. Right now, everybody is talking TikTok. At the same time, we see the stars of Snapchat dying. Also, each platform contains its generation. Facebook is for people over forty. Instagram for people over 25. TikTok for people just become a teenager. Then you have Twitter which is only if you are famous in some other field. So, jump from your fanbase at Facebook to TikTok, nah it won't work.

It's all about the dreams that you have in your head. The older you get the older the dream becomes, or should I say expectations. In reality have the dreams it's what keeps you going. Still have in mind that the things that you create will be someone else's dream. This crappy gig place or festival might later become legendary. No CBGB: s or Woodstock was not cool when it started, it has built its legacy.

So, to be able to make it you need to see the smaller outlets as the next thing. That blog, that radio station might be big in a year or two. Don’t just aim for the big shows or the big outlets, that is already done and are reserved for the big ones. Don't underestimate the people you pass on your way up. And don't just do the things that you think is cool. It's a big chance that what you think is cool is already out.

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