Monday, April 09, 2012
Why You Probably Won’t Be Famous
So what is it? Why are you much less likely to be famous these days as a music artist?
It’s because there is so MUCH.
There’s just too much music out there.
It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to find good music they like. There’s iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Bandcamp, eMusic, Pandora, Sirius/XM, Jango, CDBaby, your local radio stations (that play the same thing over and over), and even your DMX or whatever they call the music channels on your cable box.
But you still can’t find anything new or great that you like.
Oh sure, there is Lady Gag (sic), or some other flavor of the week that somebody found on Youtube and we all huddle around a phone or monitor to laugh at it or be mildly impressed.
But is it music we want to “live” with. In our cars, on our iPods, in our hearts!? Um, no.
So what’s the use, you say? Why even try to make music in this crazy age where there’s so much music that there is no good music?
I think we have to make music we believe in. It has to come from our hearts, and be purposeful. It has to be music that can make a difference in someone’s life.
Why? Because if it’s just about being “famous” then I just don’t think God will honor that. Most of us are fond of proclaiming we are doing this for ministry, or to profoundly affect people with our creations. So we need to prove it.
We need to die to being famous, and strive to make amazing art that deeply moves people.
So how do we do this? Let’s break this down.
We have to make music from the heart.
Sounds a bit cliche’, but for you people with music ministries out there this is pretty crucial. Other forms of music fit this category too like Jazz or Classical.
This is music that makes someone feel something deep and meaningful. There may be lyrics that touch or affect, but it could just as well be a beautiful melody.
It doesn’t have to be a ballad or slow either. It’s about making something that makes someone take pause in their day, take refuge in the song, or just get lost in the music. I call it “the stop in your tracks in the middle of the Walmart” song. You seek out a speaker to hear your favorite part.
It’s music that makes a difference to someone if they hear it or not. It’s music they take with them on trips. It’s music that has become like a good friend; a part of their life.
Find the audience for your music, and go after them with all you’ve got.
I mean, you have to live to serve this audience. You’ve made music that you feel says what you want it to say, now get it out there to the people.
Is it easy? No. In fact it’s much harder than Step 1. Way harder. Sure the Rolling Stones and Beatles had radio, TV, and huge concerts to push their music. But they didn’t have FB ads that could reach millions, the ability to make music and put it up for the world to buy immediately. They didn’t have many of the tools we have at our our fingertips just because we have an internet connection.
We have to NOT quit.
Seems simple enough right? Just keep working on our craft, getting better, finding our audience, and keep serving them. Year after year. But the truth is many of us give up, or quit, or lay it aside because it’s very hard. It seems like no one is listening. You’ve put your heart and soul into it, and still you’re not getting anywhere.
This is where the hard truth comes in. We’re not going to be famous. We’re not going to be able to quit our jobs immediately and tour. No one is going to drop money in our lap to do this.
So we have to be willing to find that place where the music fits in our lives, and be happy with that. We have to still be tenacious even though our visions of fame have not become reality.
The truth is they probably never will. But that’s OK. In fact, maybe your destiny all along was to build a small but loyal following of listeners around the world. Those people who will buy your music, bring you to their area to perform, and touch their hearts and soul with the music they can’t live without.
We’ve all had those moments where we touched someone musically, and saw it on their face. It was more than just a “sell”, but a ministry.
And it you haven’t had that experience, make THAT your goal and ambition. To change someone’s life with your music.
Now that’s what God made you for. He’s the real famous one you know.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is the president of Creative Soul Records, a kind of, sorta label and music production company in Nashville, TN. His company works with music artists who deal with fame aspirations and ministry concerns every day. http://www.CreativeSoulRecords.com