By J.P. Kallio
I usually try to keep my blog posts on a positive side of things, but todays post might turn into a bit of a rant. Where did we go wrong? If you listen to the powers that be, the music business is FUCKED! No point in getting into music anymore. The mansions, the sex, the drugs and the rock n’ roll are all gone, except for the bling bling rap artists, if you believe the hype… People are not willing to pay for music anymore, download sales are down, CD’s are history and Spotify is giving it all away for free. And another musician comes out waving the flag for the poor artist, shouting how we need to fight for our rights.
Bullshit the lot of it! When did we musicians get this delusional? When did the image of being a big star become so much more important than the music itself? Let’s make one thing very clear, great music will always sell as long as you are willing to do the selling. I think the music industry is one of the most delusional industries in the world. And guess who’s to blame? We, the artists! And why? Because most of us cannot be bothered to educate ourselves.
I don’t mean here going to college for four years to get a paper to certify you have completed the school. Education in music unfortunately only guarantees career for the teachers and the institutions that provide the education. I mean go after the information yourself. Read! Learn business models not only from the music business, but from other fields as well. Internet marketing, event management, sales, how to run a successful startup. If there are skills you cannot afford to pay for, learn them.
Let me give you an example. I work roughly (and this is a conservative estimate) about 60 hours a week. Out of that is 9 hours playing live, 9 hours playing sessions, 10 hours recording or mixing, 5 hours songwriting, 10 hours of educating myself, 10 hours of blogging, social media management, website maintenance and content creation (this might include writing, photography, graphic design, web design, video) and the rest 7 hours is other promotion related stuff like contacting radio stations, bloggers, booking shows… This schedule on most weeks spills well over the 60 hours, but this will give you an idea.
So what I am saying is stop moaning about how people don’t pay for music, start making music that is worth paying, stop waiting for someone to take your music and bring it to people, or even worse wait for the people to find your music. Go out there and start bringing your music to the people. Today we have better tools to do all of this than ever before. Despite what some people in the business might think, we are not screwed. We independent artists are better off than ever before. That is if you are willing to put the work in to it. Stop blaming others and take responsibility of your own career.
J.P. Kallio is a singer-songwriter