Over the years I get asked by many artists”What can I do about my career?
How do I get an agent?
How do I get a manager?
How do I get a record deal?
And so on and so on.
These are difficult questions to answer and I find myself fumbling with an answer most times.
But I had some recent success with an artist that I would like to tell you about.
I’m not saying this the complete answer but there is some truth here that could be useful to any artist of any sort,musician,poet,painter,writer or even trombone players.
We were sitting at the beach in a fish restaurant and this particular musician used to buy lunch in exchange for an extended conversation about the Music Business and his music life in general.
I wasn’t managing him but I liked him and he was a very good player and above all he really wanted “it” and was going for “it”career wise.
He asked all these questions and honestly I had no magic answer and suddenly realised that all these things were in fact OUT OF HIS CONTROL!
They were actually the responsibility of a manager and if I were managing him it would be “my job” to bring the answers to these questions into being.
I had the best shot of finding the agent,record label for him and these were my areas of control and expertise were I take him on as a client.
HE PROBABLY COULD DO VERY LITTLE TO ACCOMPLISH ANY OF THESE OBJECTIVES AND THATS WHY HE WAS TALKING TO ME AND ASKING ME ALL THESE QUESTIONS.
It then dawned on me that there was something he could do about all these things in his own way.
I realised that it was the ONLY thing he could really control and be cause over as the artist and that was HIS ART!
So I told him “You know all you can do is practice and work on all aspects of your playing,composing and performance and thats what you should concentrate on”.
Thats all you can do and for him at that moment it made sense and he later told me it was best advice he had ever had and it changed things for him dramatically.
It changed things for him because thats what he did,he went away and did just that.
He worked on the things that he could control and was cause over which was his playing,writing and performance.
Guess what, he now has a record deal and gigs in the UK and has played Ronnie Scotts in London already and is currently working on a great idea for his next CD,
So I thought this was a piece of advice that could help others.
It is doubtful that you as the artist,musician,poet or painter can easily get an agent,record label,publisher,exhibition or maybe any help at all but you can develop your art. In fact no one else can do anything about your art as I doubt the manager,agent,publisher,record label or promoter can make you play better,or write better songs or perform better or write a better novel.
I know those guys can’t and only you can do anything about these things and what a great freedom that is really as it means you are responsible for your own career success and it is totally in your control and ability to make it happen and you can do it.
Ask any artist who is successful.
Who couldn’t get,Pavarotti,Beyonce,Herbie Hancock an agent manager,record deal or agent?
Buy why ….because their art is developed and most times brilliant and this goes on down the gradients to the lowly Trombone player in the trombone section of that band at the wedding reception you just attended If he was a better trombone player,musician ,performer he would be playing in the Golden Globe Awards Band this Sunday on CBS.
It was the artist and never the manager,agent,promoter,publisher or record label that are the reason for the artists success believe me,it is always the artist.
Sure you need that help and the artist needs good ,sane,ethical supportive advice and counsel to succeed but how do you get it?
Practice Practice and more Practice for you as as the artist are totally in control of your art and no one else and that is something you can do something about and are responsible for.
I might go as far as to say to forget about all the business bull s..t and just concentrate on your art, whatever your passion.
Cheap advice and I hope not too simple and I hope it helps a little.