So you got your first interview—congratulations! We spend a lot of time talking about how to secure your first few press placements. But what happens when you actually do? Well first, I hope you celebrate—this is a big deal!
Then, it’s time to talk strategy. How are you going to make the most of this interview? How will you present yourself? What stories can you tell? How do you remain professional yet relaxed enough to let your personality shine through?
Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to music creation. On one hand, technology gives us the tools to write, record, and produce in ways we couldn’t have done otherwise. Yet, leaning too heavily into the convenience technology offers can be bad for our music. This especially goes for writing and performing with MIDI instruments.
If you’re serious about writing music and performing, you already know how hard pursuing music can be. Musicians wrestle with a great deal of doubt that comes from things most of us have experienced, whether it’s playing night after night to empty rooms or investing lots of time and money into a new album without any idea whether anyone will listen or care. For serious artists trying to make something substantial happen with their music, the work of navigating a career in music can seem bleak and hopeless at times.
Simplicity is a great asset for musicians, especially if you’re the kind of artist that’s intent on reaching big audiences. But when it comes to emotion, dumbing things down underestimates the intelligence of your audience and dulls your sharpest ideas. Depending on your musical identity and goals, you probably want your music to be accessible to everyone in your audience. However, oversimplifying the emotional backbone of your work isn’t a good way to do it. Boredom might be an even worse reaction than disdain when it comes to how listeners receive your music, and emotion plays a huge role in keeping audiences engaged and invested in your work.
It’s the kind of thing dreams are made of. You wake up one day and you’ve received an email from a rep at a company that you not only love but that you’ve been dying to work with for as long as you can remember. And here they are, asking you to partner with them.
Everyone hates uncertainty, but musicians have it especially rough. Situations like spending months or even years crafting an album with no idea whether it will be heard can leave a musician with a lot to worry about financially and personally. But the reality is that all creative pursuits and uncertainty are adaptable. The better you can learn to cope with it, the happier and more successful you’ll be as a musician.
What inspires lifelong musicians to keep creating and performing year after year for decades? The answer depends on the musician, but ambition is what drives us to sustain our careers throughout life. For some, ambition means striving for conventional success in the music industry. Other musicians are purely driven by the need to create meaningful work that challenges their listeners as well as themselves. Whatever your goals are in music, you’ll need ambition to succeed. However, this doesn’t mean music career ambitions can or should be the complete focus of your existence at every waking moment.
Whether performing live is a crucial source of income for you or not, artists shouldn’t wait to release new music. We don’t know what’s in store for us this fall, a year from now, or even the next few weeks. This uncertainty doesn’t sit well with musicians with new music to offer for good reason. Something like a new album can come after years of hard work. Additionally, a massive financial investment and months of planning often accompany new music. But, like so much else right now, this is where we’re at whether we like it or not.