Posts tagged Music Industry
I haven’t really given much actual music industry advise on this site since I started it. There are too many people tossing advice around out there, and no shortage of musicians who think they don’t need advice, and very little about the exchange appeals to me. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy teaching — It gives me an appropriate place, time, and specific topic to dole out advice. This unregulated, free-form, internet know-it-all advice from everyone is… not good. In fact, even the information I see from people who have one or both feet in the music industry is typically terrible. And, one final stupid article was the straw that broke this ass’s back…
The article I read gave three simple steps on how to get into CMJ Music Marathon in New York. Step one was to be able to attend a fest in New York in October without getting paid to do so. Step two was to have music industry buzz. Step three was to make sure you promote the show once you get it. So that’s three steps, and of those three, only one is an actual step sandwiched between the obvious and the unrelated. Sorry to waste your time by rehashing, but I want to illustrate how bad a lot of the advice out there is. Bad and pointless. But, just like this nut job here, I don’t like giving criticism without also providing resolution.
So, I could write an article on how I would go about getting your band into CMJ. In fact, I could lay out a strategy to get your band there without Sonic Bids or an Agent, or even solid buzz, but I’d rather address the more broad issue plaguing musicians and those who give them advice: Quid Pro Quo.
If you want to know “How to get into CMJ?” you’re asking the wrong question. The right question is “Do I have anything CMJ wants?” Well, what if you’d rather find a booking agent and let them worry about CMJ for you? Fair enough. Do you have anything a booking agent wants? Do you have anything a label wants? Or a manager? Or a music editor? If you’re think “Yes, I do! I have great music!” You’re dead wrong. Having talent is the prerequisite to getting into Music Business 101- its not the reason you ace the class.
I’ll break this down into steps.
Step one: Decide what you want. A showcase at CMJ. A Publicist. A manager, etc…
Step two: Find out what they want in return. Buzz, money, reputation, history, etc…
Step three: Honestly evaluate if you have what they want. If you do, approach them through a proper channel. (Hint- if you don’t know the right way to get in touch with someone wait until you do) If you don’t have what they want go back and try and figure out how to get what you’re missing.
People don’t seem to understand that its damaging to ask for things your career doesn’t yet deserve. It shows anyone who’s paying attention that you don’t know what you’re doing. Whereas the opposite is true when you ask for only what is appropriate. This helps build a positive reputation. If you come baring gifts, and understanding what’s required of you to make a relationship mutually beneficial people will take you seriously. Quid Pro Quo: This for that.