Technology has totally transformed what it means to be a recording artist nowadays. There was a time when artists had to get in touch with the right A&R or become serendipitously discovered by a talent scout. They would have to go through the grueling task of passing out demos in the hope that someone would give them the chance to be on a roster. They would then have to fight for the few limited outlets out there, and compete with other labelmates for attention.
Today, someone could literally record their song in a closet, release it on any streaming service, and start getting paid royalties. This means that the barrier to entry is lower than ever, but the competition is more ferocious as well. And those who are cut out for the business are those who ultimately end up on top. So, do you have what it takes to make it in the music industry?
How Disciplined Are You?
A lot of you will think that this is a strange question, but being a recording artist is about much more than just making music and performing. It is a tough job. Major artists sometimes have to forego sleep so that they can attend interviews and other engagements. You might have to go to a signing event right after a big show, for instance, which can be tough if you are feeling tired.
Then there’s the fact that you’ll be signing a contract, and contracts come with obligations. This means that you will need to find a way to be productive even if you don’t feel like it at times. It is often at this moment that many acts fail and aren’t able to push through creative blocks. So, this is something you’ll have to be ready for.
How About Your Stress Tolerance?
People don’t like hearing artists complaining about stress, but the truth is that most artists are under extreme stress when they start out. Unless you have very high-stress tolerance, you might have trouble keeping up.
Like we mentioned earlier, you might be under pressure from your label to produce new music, and that’s not something everyone can do. New acts often also have financial obligations they have to think about. They might have to repay their advance or money that was borrowed to produce their videos, for instance.
And we haven’t even talked about the performance aspect yet. You have to be ready to perform and deliver night after night. You have to be able to do so even if you don’t feel 100%. So, this is another aspect you’ll have to assess before you know if you’re really cut out for this profession.
Are You a People Person?
How good are you with people? A lot of your job as an artist will be to interact with people, and only a few can manage to avoid that. Being a good ‘people person’ could be what opens doors for you.
Many artists break through because of their personality first. So, if you have a naturally vibrant personality and you’re comfortable in a crowd, that is a very valuable skill to have and one that will significantly increase your chances for success.
How Do You Handle Rejection and Criticism?
You’ll have to deal with handling rejection and criticism over and over in the music industry. Some people will simply not like you. You might play for the wrong crowd and get booed out of a venue, or a critic might publish a scathing review of some of your work. These are all things you have to be ready to take in your stride and empower yourself toward achieving your goals.
If you are easily defeated by criticism, you will have a very hard time in the music industry, especially considering that literally anyone can give their opinion on you and your music in today’s social media-dominated society. You will need a thick skin to make it in this business, so make sure that you have the mental strength to deal with all of these issues.
How Loyal Are You?
You should know that an important aspect of the music industry is nurturing relationships with those around you. This also means that, if someone has done you a favor, you may be expected to reciprocate
So, you have to look at your life and see how you have cultivated the relationships with the people around you. Disloyalty could result in an artist being “blacklisted” by the industry, and could make progression tough in the long run. You will have to learn to be selfless in this business if you want to have some longevity.
You will also need to start looking at studios if you’re handling the recording yourself. Going to the same studios will allow you to get in your groove faster and be comfortable when recording, and you may also receive perks as you become a regular.
If you’re looking for a great studio, you can book a session with Pirate. They have a great Queens recording studio with state-of-the-art equipment and acoustic installations. This is a great place if you want to work on a project solo or for trials like a listening session. They provide a perfect ambiance for working on projects if you want to bring in live musicians as well.
These are all important aspects that you’ll need to have considered before you even think about launching a career in the music business. Make sure that you work on cultivating those if you don’t have them already.