Friday, June 11, 2010

Be Who You Are

Okay, I said  I would talk about how you can build your community in the offline world, by thinking like a music fan. 

It sounds redundant, but it’s not.  These days I see a lot of bands who claim to be passionate about their particular brand of uninspired music; I’ve seen songwriters claim to be able to write whatever genre is selling at the moment; I’ve seen musicians “re-invent their sound” so that it fits more readily with what’s currently “happening.”  All these things are horrifying to me.

Music is a passionate art form, it’s not a way to achieve celebrity.  You, as a musician, have got to believe with all your heart and soul in the art you create, and it needs to be 100% an extension of who you are.  A personal statement that is so infused with your sense of being that it could not have been created by anyone else.  And, conversely, that no matter what you try and do, this sound - and only this sound -  could possibly be the sound that you create.  

Don’t try and guess what “the market” will want, don’t copy what’s already out there, and don’t try to fit your sound into someone elses mold.  In fact, don’t focus on what others are doing at all, focus on what you’re doing, and let the others focus on you.

Believe it, and live it.  All day long, every day.  If you’re making country music, be a country star, all the time.  Don’t just “put it on” before you get on stage.  Punk rocker, metal maniac, rapper, folk singer, indie-rocker, country boy/gal, crooner, whatever.  Please be true to yourself, express your own voice, and mean what you say. 

Because while  you can fool people for a short time, the masses catch on quickly, and the only way to achieve career longevity is to continually provide your fans with something real.


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