In this post, we’re going to talk about something that‘s changed over the years and has become something of a lost art in the music business – Artist Development.
Originally, the concept of Artist Development in the music business was pretty simple, and for the most part just what the name described.
Basically, a label, management company, publishing company or other entity would find an artist whose potential they believed in, but might not be ready for prime time, and they’d commit to helping develop and grow that artists career in hope of a future return on their investment.
Companies could lose money for years before things started to click, develop a following, and earn a return, if they ever did at all. It was costly and time consuming, but the idea was that this type of system would create career artists, resulting in more money for the label down the line.
As time went on, large corporate companies began to consolidate the music industry, and results were expected much more quickly.
Given all that continues to change with the business, what’s the state of artist development today?
In today’s music business, there seems to be even much less devoted to artist development, if at all.
Record labels are being exceedingly careful with who they sign, and have to ensure they get some form of return from any investment they make. And with so few deals going around, they can afford to be even more careful with their money.
So if the labels aren’t going to be the architects of artist development, then who is?
Today, most labels expect artists to have momentum and followings before they ever consider signing them. They’re looking for the do it yourselfers, specifically talent that’s proactive, entrepreneurial, and has proven to have a great work ethic.
Sure, there’s always the unknown, undeniable, diamond in the rough talent that comes along and blows people away, but most labels today are in the hunt for talent that’s already achieved a certain level of success on their own.
This means that artist development is mostly being delegated to managers, indie labels, publishers, and the artists themselves.
So what can you do on your own?
That’s hard to answer because there is no one answer. Artist development is an exceedingly illusive thing; mainly because there’s no one set thing that makes an artist or band successful. Every artist is different.
Every artist, label and executive needs to be approached on a case-by-case basis. Each has their own methods, needs and requirements, and that’s why it’s imperative to step up your game, educate yourself, and figure out your plan of attack beforehand.
That’s why we created Music Career Blueprint; to help guide and educate you, and give you access to a library of tools, content and insider knowledge to help you improve your game.
Developing or choosing the right repertoire, working on your image, putting the right lineup together, touring, marketing, social media, voice lessons, these are just a few examples of the things you can do, the list goes on and on.
But at the end of the day, first and foremost, it still comes back to the music.
Music is the most important thing.
(sections taken from Music Career Blueprint – the eBook)