You might not realize it, but there’s a cultural framework that shapes the way that all bands behave. Culture dictates everything from how you and your bandmates interact with one another to the process you engage in to make difficult choices. You can think about culture as an unwritten social agreement that tells musicians in bands what behaviors are okay and which ones aren’t. It’s not easy, but if you don’t like the current culture that exists in your band, there are things you can do to change it from within.
Music is a creative pursuit where creators and performers can be talented, lucky, and ambitious and still somehow end up quitting a few years in. If you’ve been at it for a while, you know how grueling a music career can be. But have you ever nailed down exactly why?
Some of us make music in hopes of connecting with people. Others create purely out of the motivation for fame or financial game. For other musicians, the desire to build something artistic and challenging is at the heart of their musical identity. But no matter what drives us to be musicians, one thing is certain––we’re all bound to fail at some point, even if we do everything right.
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.
Today, major streaming services offer the listeners’ demographics data to artists, which creates huge opportunities for artists on many fronts. It is an incredible opportunity to know where your audience lives, what age group they belong to, and who else they listen to, especially for planning your marketing strategy. So, in this post, I’d like to go into four ways you can utilize streaming data to market your music:
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.
The non-musical world gets a lot of things wrong about musicians. Some think those who create and perform music are lazy. Others hold overly romanticized views of what the lives of musicians are really like. An expectation that often comes attached to musical stereotypes is that young, talented musicians won’t be able to succeed unless they sacrifice everything on behalf of their music. But, as musicians know, their lives look much different than what the world thinks they do. Some musicians manage to succeed by going all in for their music at a young age. It’s an extreme way of looking at things and has stifled the potential and ended the careers of countless others.
Today’s musicians are constantly barraged with the idea that their music won’t find an audience without it being promoted. We’re lead to believe that if we convince listeners that our work is worth hearing, they’ll eventually believe it too. And so many ambitious musicians focus their efforts on shaping chic images aimed at reflecting success, confidence, and style. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be successful in your music career and promoting your work. However, adopting the quiet confidence of humility will help you to keep creating and performing no matter how the world receives your music.