Today I am going to talk about the importance of having a strong work ethos while working independently.
For much of my music life, I have come to find that the idea of doing it yourself would require the following tasks:
- You take care of your own distribution, pressing and sales.
- You take care of all legal rights involving music and the royalties associated with it.
- Take care of where your music goes and where you book.
- Take ownership of who you play with and your team.
- Take ownership of your accountability, image and website.
- Acknowledge that you control the pace of how often you play, how many records you put out, and what you want to portray to others.
- Create a supply chain of merchandise to spread your brand to others.
- Place your music in various locations around the world.
- Tell the story as you see fit whether it be honest.
- Most importantly be honest with yourself.
- Produce your own records and write every single piece of music .
- Pray that you can do all of this and still maintain a financial budget while the rest of the music world doesn't believe in buying independent music.
That sounds like a really easy task to do all by yourself right? With no support or team Right? Wrong!
The reality is all 12 of these tasks doesn't even scratch of what you need to do to work effectively as a musician. Most importantly you need to always write songs and find ways to make yourself better and attract listeners to want to invest in you. The only way that you can get these things done, is if you prove to yourself that people want to invest in you internally and externally.
Not every DIY artist has the motivation to work this hard, some DIY musicians, just want to play music with their friends and drink beer in different cities. Others such as myself have a larger drive to tell a story , help others and find a means to find more importance in this world. In the end of the day you have to ask , what do you want for yourself? What sort of band do you want to be? When you take an inventory of what sort of musician you want to be, you have to recognize whether you want to take an entrepreneurial route, or just seeing music as a hobby with no expectations or goals.
You will find people who doubt you for what you want, slander you for your image and damn near try their best to ensure that you fail. You must persevere and make sure that you believe in yourself and find others to work with you to accomplish your goals. '
Some of your goals may not align with some of the tasks that I have outlined, and these goals are never standardized and always relative to the band/ project you are in. Make sure that you always ask yourself questions like " Why am I doing this?" "What do I expect for myself?" " What do I want to accomplish?" These sort of questions will help you become a more effective musician and will allow you to feel more satisfied.
In the end you need to always figure out what you want and give yourself some faith that you can actually fight for what you believe you deserve as an artist. Create the artist you envision, and the team will follow.
Thanks for reading.