Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two Things You Must Consider When Building Your Team

Every band and artist needs a team of people around them to make things happen. You cannot do it on your own because there's simply too many things that need to get done. Besides, there's always going to be certain tasks that you and your band mates are just not good at. Having said that, I do think that artists should always be very much a part of everything that's going on with their career, but you do have to learn to let go and hand over the reins.

Whenever you're hiring an individual or a company to perform a service for you, there's two very critical things you need to look at before you seal the deal.

1. The first thing is that the person/people you're hiring must be into the aspect of your band for which they were hired. For example, if you're hiring a producer to produce your music, make sure that person is a fan of the music you're making. If not, the end result could be disastrous. If they're fans of your music, they'll better understand you and vice versa. They'll be more effective at contributing useful ideas and helping you achieve your creative goals and they'll likely have more patience for the project throughout the duration of the process.

I've seen some indie artists enlist the services of big name producers because they figure if Band X had mega success after working with him/her then they will succeed to a similar degree. This is obviously not usually the case. In fact, more often than not, the artist winds up forking over an exorbitant amount of money for recordings that are mediocre at best. The quality tends not to fall within the realm of your favourite bands because top shelf producers are used to working with very large budgets, so what may seem like a lot to you is not really much to them and that will reflect in the amount of effort and attention they give to your project. So make sure every aspect of your band's career gets the attention it deserves by hiring people who share your enthusiasm for what you're doing.

2. The second thing is that the person(s) in question must be professional. Again, using an example within the recording realm, if you opt to have your buddy record your music on a small Pro Tools rig in his basement because he's looking to get some experience and he's offered you an unbelievable flat rate, then the likelihood of you reaching the level of quality you're after is slim to none. This also sends a clear message to others in the music industry that you don't think your music is worth much. They'll figure if it was really that important to you, you'd find a way to afford better.

What would you think of a restaurateur who hired his buddy to be the head chef because he was looking to improve his skills as a cook and is therefore willing to work for cheap or free? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be making reservations at that restaurant.

Surround yourself with the best you can. Make sure that everyone you let into your circle deserves to be there and is truly adding value to what you're doing. Attitude is contagious so be certain you're always spreading the positive variety.

Cheers to your success!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Will 2012 Look Like On January 1, 2013?

So what's on your to-do list for 2012? What are the things that are most important to you? The things on which you're going to focus your energy? A year seems like a long time, but it really isn't. It's going to be important for you to prioritize things so that you don't get overwhelmed trying to do everything that needs to be done over the course of an entire music career during one relatively short stretch of time. Be methodical and don't worry about things like being picked up by a manager or a major booking agency until you have something tangible to offer.

Being in a band or being a solo artist is a ton of work and it's work that will never end. There will always be something on the table that needs to get done, so it's essential that you understand your goals well enough to know where you need to put your focus now and over the next twelve months so that when January 1, 2013 comes along, you'll be looking back on a very productive year. A year that brought you to a new level, a year that has set you up to take the next steps that will be required to move you toward achieving your ultimate goals.

If your band is just starting out, I'd suggest putting your efforts toward writing and recording songs, playing as often as possible to create a strong live show, developing your image and recognizing the strengths of each band member so they can be utilized to contribute to the greater good. This is assuming, of course, that all the members of your band are on the same page professionally. If this is not the case or even if you're not 100% sure that it is, then begin there.

If your band has been around for a year or more at this point and you haven't gotten this far yet, then it's time to sit down and figure all this out. Don't spin your wheels any longer, get a solid plan together and start taking action. These are all the things that professional artists have given a great deal of thought to and that is, in large part, why they're successful.

The main message I'm trying to get across here is for you to not just let things happen to you all year long. Decide what's going to happen and then take actions to make them happen. Here's to a successful and prosperous 2012!!!