What Are The Biggest Problems Musicians Face?
Being a musician and creating/recording new songs/music is always a daunting task.
Apart from that what are the biggest problems that musicians face? Is it getting an audience? marketing or art of making money?
According to Vineeth Vincent, the biggest challenge a musician faces is: Getting a newer audience, connecting his/her music to the people that would draw more audiences. Your music needs to touch at least someone else other than you if you want to pay the bills.
If an artist produces an album and they know that at least, say, 10 000 people will give it a try that would mean a huge difference, because then they can be sure that they will be rewarded if they put out quality music.
For this, an artist also needs a professional network that helps communicate with fans, agents and sponsors. One cannot go on making music hoping to get noticed out of nowhere.
What keeps an independent musician relevant and motivated to go on doing what they do best, is building an audience.
Challenge#1: How do you build your audience?
There are countless solutions. One can leverage any of the following and look to move in a better direction w.r.t their career:
Social media: This is free marketing.
“Perceived value of a product plays an important role in the marketing and buying of a product’’ — Vineeth Vincent, India’s leading beatboxer
Talent competitions: Competitions are best way of getting noticed. One gets an honest feedback from the experts about his talent. However, one needs a stronger grit to survive competitions. If you are a path-breaking musician with a completely different style and approach, then your chances of being appreciated are better. And best of all, you get free publicity.
Campus festivals & local gigs: You perform at campus festivals and music festivals every now and then and draw tons of crowd. And this viral crowd gives you a lot of hype on the social media. But never force people to like or appreciate you.
“Let the facebook likes come naturally. Never force people to like your social media pages.” — Santhos Nataraja, Lead Guitarist, The Bottle Flower Seeds
Local performance gives you popularity in the neighbourhood. Santhos started the trend of Dhaba Shows in Bangalore and they were always in business on four days of the week.
Meetups — Opt for a music targeted medium: Attending meetups, where you would stand to meet other artists is a pretty good idea. Become a part of a targeted medium for music like music centered apps, websites, groups and communities. On such platforms designed for musicians and music lovers, the problem is better dressed and solved because you find everyone else on the same page as you and with the right sort of intent that you need in your follower/ listener base.
Talk and learn from your peers. What they might know, you might not.
“I spend time only with musicians. Build relationship with like minded people’’ — Akhilesh, Lead Vocalist at One Girl Shy.
Challenge#2: building a team
Find like-minded people: Form bands with people with similar interests and share your business expenses. And go every where you find musicians. Akhilesh went to gigs, small & big, church events and everywhere anyone was playing. Today he is happy what he did.
“In abroad musicians especially look for people to form band” — Akhilesh Kumar, Cofounder & Lead vocalist, One Girl Shy
Challenge#3: Creating a serious impression
Always charge for your art — don’t do anything for free. People don’t take free things seriously. And no need to worry about what to charge and how to increase your pricing. Once people know your past success they are ready to pay what you ask for. Never ever settle with low pricing.
Pricing for your art is also a habit. Once you put a price to your efforts, you are creating an impression in the minds of people that you are venturing into a serious profession. Indians don’t take art seriously if you are not generating revenue from your art.
“Never ever settle with lower pricing. When people ask me to negotiate. I start laughing at them. They are clowns” — Vineeth Vincent
Was it valuable for you? This blog is a collective effort of speakers and audience at Artpreneurs, Bangalore held on August