Artists, "Why should I listen to Anybody Else?"

MAB’S MUSINGS 8-27-17 

“ARTISTS. 
WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO ANYBODY ELSE?” 

Okay artists, this one is the “other side of the coin” for you guys. I’ve spent an average of 4 nights a week, 5 hours a night, for TWENTY NINE YEARS, listening to music, watching songwriters and artists, doing critiques, performing on shows and most of that was LISTENING TO OTHER PEOPLE. So I kind of know this one. I also know what it is like to BE AN ARTIST and SONGWRITER myself. So trust me on this one. 

YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO OTHER WRITERS’S SONGS, AND HOPEFULLY INTERACT WITH THEM TO FURTHER YOUR CAREER. 
Over the past 10 years, we have seen a precipitous drop off in the early talent of people coming into this town and into this business. The songs all sound the same, just parroting other songs and singers. The subject matter is clichéd’ and redundant, the styles are all cookie cutter, the messages the same, melodies go nowhere. And with more and more artists coming ONTO THE SCENE the competition is even fiercer. Writers and artists feel ENTITLED that because they do something, write songs, put them on a camera phone video and pop them the Internet, they are ENTITILED TO GET FANS, AND MAKE MONEY. 
NOPE! 
You first have to create something that MAKE PEOPLE INTERESTED ENOUGH IN YOU TO INVEST THEIR TIME AND MONEY THAT WILL CREATE SALES!!!! Many people forget that word. SALES!!!!!! 

So often, artists, who by definition tend to be younger (under 25-30) have limited life experiences. THAT is why they need people who HAVE life experiences. They also need people with a better grasp of craft. There are still ways to write what you want, but having someone to bounce things off of, taking you in a different direction, having different flavors and palettes that you might have yourself, can only help you find different avenues. 
also it helps INCREASE YOUR AUDIENCE. Performing songs you wrote with someone who can bring all their friends and relatives to your show is a good way to build your fan base. And everyone knows someone you might not know. 

Artists, these days tend to cut their noses off to spite their faces. They only want to do WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. 
But no matter what you do, unless you are AMAZING, (and many times even if you are), you are going to have to build relationships, friendships, teams, and by WRITING songs with some of those people, it increases your visibility and viability. 

And here is another “rubber meets the road” analogy. Many times, people who are primarily writers, might have more disposable income, thereby being able to shoulder more of the financial burden of recordings. They get a pitch on their songs with an artist and the artist gets help with the recording process. 
WIN-WIN right? 

There are ups and downs of any situation. Sometimes you find people that don’t work out. People that don’t see eye to eye creatively or personally. 
Sometimes the songs work out well, but the overall personal relationship doesn’t. 

But sometimes they DO WORK OUT. 
You might MEET other people through someone you work with. That might be the perfect relationship. 

And you can always write by yourself. You never have to quit that. This is just about opening up your mind to outside things. And guess what, they might have OTHER songs you really find that fit’s your own perspective. 

So it’s always about assessing what YOU do, and trying to include what OTHER PEOPLE DO. 

Keep your eyes and ears open. Work with others. And try very hard not to suck. 

MAB www.marcalanbarnette.com

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