Every week, someone asks me how to get a record deal, thinking that MUST be the way they start down the path in Christian music ministry. (By the way, asking for one is one of the ways you probably WON’T get a record deal…)
So the debate is, if I want to have a worldwide ministry, won’t I need to be signed to some big company in the music industry? Otherwise I will wither and die, playing my guitar to old folks in assisted living centers, and for my mom who loves my stuff. Oh yeah, and on Youtube (watch me stare into the camera uncomfortably).
Tell you what, let’s leave the industry aside for a moment and talk about something else that’s much more likely to become part of your music and ministry than a record deal, and that’s excellence.
Yes, it used to be that unless you were signed to a major label, you had no chance of getting an amazing record made and promoting it to the world. But the fact is, as you know, you can now make a sparkling, well-produced, full, 10-song album for less than buying a new car. And with the amazing tools on the Internet from social marketing to online radio to distribution, you can get your music to thousands if not millions with a little hard work.
But, just like the days of old, for your music and talent to rise to the top, it has to be amazing. It has to shine, be original, be commercial, and be VERY good. There is SO much out there that it had better be excellent and smokin’.
So how do you do that with your music? Well, you find the very best folks on the planet you can find and hire them. Easy enough right?
Yes, it requires investment, but so does a record deal. If you were given one, you’d have to pay back whatever the label spent, and likely never own anything. Yes it requires work. In a record deal, just like without one, you will need to work every day (and twice on Sunday) very hard to build your audience.
The funny thing is that this debate is becoming a moot issue. More and more artists are deciding to make their own luck, find a producer, and own everything as they build their music ministry. And a whole music (ministry) industry has built up around them from Reverbnation, to Bandcamp, to CDBaby, to Discmakers. All these companies have grown to monstrous capacity to serve the new music business.
Still, to be heard and noticed by fans, you must be excellent to be heard above the fray. Oh yeah, and you’ll need to work harder than anyone out there to do it.
Ready to run the other way? Or, are you ready for what it takes to achieve excellence?
Only you can answer that debate.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a music producer, and works every day with dozens of artists, musicians, engineers, and others giving everything they have to be excellent in music ministry. Care to join? See what they are doing at http://www.CreativeSoulRecords.com and their artist development site http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com