In my previous post I mapped out what exactly this meme means to me, and how I think we musicians miss some of the finer points.
This time I want to take an overhead look at some of the major problems and how we can start addressing them.
Let’s survey the surroundings and talk through a couple possible plans.
Albums don’t sell & record labels are vampires. Obviously there are a million other nuanced issues but we can all agree that these are the top 2 concerns for any musician that wants to be a career musician.
Problem: Albums don’t sell
Adaptation: Sell something else. The music is simply your introduction to an individual. They didn’t buy the album so sell them a concert ticket, a poster, a VIP experience, or a tee shirt. Make those shirts in all sizes, make multiple designs… limited editions… do whatever it takes, within reason, to appeal to them in a way that encourages them to support you.
Problem: Labels are vampires
Adaptation: DIY. Simple as that. You will run into more hurdles than you’ll be comfortable with, but you can release an album on your own. Labels bring an invaluable infrastructure you’ll most certainly not be able to match, but if you put a few friends and family members in charge of extremely specific job roles and you should be able to limp by. There are countless books on this topic, so I won’t bore you.
In my next post we’ll talk about how an individual can build and cultivate a following that you’ll need in place in order to make any of this possible.