Posts filed under “Music”
YOU WANT A HIT
It anchors your career. There are hitmakers and everybody else. A hit just means something ubiquitous that everybody listens to, chart numbers are unnecessary. Hits can come in a flash via inspiration, but oftentimes they require a huge amount of effort and craft. Are you repeating the verses? Is the chorus singable, is there a bridge? Strive for excellence in your own chosen genre, reaching the brass ring is what it’s all about.
DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR PEERS
They don’t want you to be successful, that would mean they are losers. They want to keep you down in the hole they’re in. Follow your dream, which is individual to you.
Without it, you’re toast. Today’s society is all about being a member of the group. Winners in art are singular. They stand alone, they endure the bows and arrows as well as reap the adulation. If you’re not dreaming big in today’s world, you’re not dreaming at all.
PUT OLDSTER ADVICE IN PERSPECTIVE
Wisdom comes with age and experience. But don’t forget the pre and post Internet eras are as different as the pre and post telephone eras. Not everything remains the same.
There’s no such thing as a cycle in today’s world. Art is like life. Keep making, errors are tolerated as long as you follow them up with more work of quality. Today the key is to be remembered, because almost everything is forgotten. Don’t overthink and overlabor your efforts. Raw and honest works today, and it forges a connection between you and your audience.
DON’T GET LOST MAKING A LIVING
Don’t sacrifice your art to get paid, whether it be a day job or going on the road to fulfill your financial desires. Art is about sacrifice. You live on a subsistence level until you break through or you give up.
DON’T SCORN HITMAKERS, LEARN FROM THEM
Even if you don’t want to cut a Katy Perry-type tune, your career would be enriched by an hour with Dr. Luke or Max Martin. They understand the game, they understand a hit.
WORK WITH THOSE WHO’VE HAD SUCCESS
Cred in a producer is secondary to track record. Work with someone who’s been to the mountaintop and continues to journey there. They can give you a perspective no one else can.
Do it to learn, not to write a hit song. Those Nashville cats are the best in the business. Their songs might be saccharine or predictable, but they know the system. Once again, it’s all about learning.
DON’T CATEGORIZE YOURSELF
They rap in country songs. Avicii put country in EDM. Feel free to incorporate your fandom into your work.
THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY IS SMALL
You can only be the critics’ darling for a brief period. People will only check you out once or twice, then they’re done. Strike when the iron is hot.
People will listen to two new substandard works and then abandon you.
BODY OF WORK
It exists on Spotify. If you connect with a track, people will go deeper.
Forget them. Unless you’re making a concept one, a statement. They don’t fit with today’s world. You drop one every other year when nothing in the news lasts longer than a week, in most cases barely a day? If you have a stiff album, it’ll take years to recover. Better to keep in the public eye by continuing to produce. You want to create a body of work, but it doesn’t have to be in album form, after all, the term “album” initially denoted a cardboard container for 78s.
YOU’RE ONLY YOUNG ONCE
You get worn down with age, you know too much. Test the limits. Follow your exuberance. Live and create to the limit.
SCREW THE SYSTEM
Unless you’re creating Top Forty hits, feel free to stand up to the powers that be. Too many businessmen, label people, agents and managers, are stuck in the old system. You can be dragged down by them, or stand up to them. This doesn’t mean you’ve got license to be a jerk, but standing your artistic ground is an asset. But it’s got to feel right to you, don’t be afraid to change or take input because you abhor criticism and believe everything you do is phenomenal, no one’s got that great a track record.
1. Channel Overload Used to be there were 5,000 albums a year and only a few got on the radio and if you didn’t get airplay or press, you were doomed. Now there are a zillion products, all easily promoted online, and unless your friend verifies quality and interest or a track becomes a phenomenon,…Read More
1. You don’t need to be good-looking to make it in music. The MTV era is over, kaput, history. Now it’s about the track. Who even knows what Avicii or Calvin Harris look like! Don’t be dissuaded by the ink TV competition shows garner, that’s a dying paradigm. Sure, being attractive never hurt, but having…Read More
“Get On Up” is the new biopic out on James Brown. David Remnick of the The New Yorker calls it “the second-best film ever made about James Brown.” But rather than watch a good impersonations, how about seeing the real thing? The following James Brown video has been called the “most thrilling, compressed, erotic, explosive…Read More
With August upon us and many readers likely at the beach, here is some levity from one side of the vocal debate on the future of Fed policy. Please hum the melody of Hey Jude as you read the lyrics. With thanks and credit to the Beatles. “Hey Janet” Hey Janet, don’t make it…Read More
1. You will delete your MP3s. Just like you tossed your 8-tracks and cassettes, you’ll get rid of your MP3s, all your iTunes purchases, kaput, evaporate, just like that. It will happen when you get a new computer, which isn’t as frequent as before, but the truth is we’re moving to flash storage and it’s…Read More
STADIUM ACTS Are not bitching about what everybody else is. Money is not their issue. Everybody wants to be in business with them. The transition in the business is evidenced by the fact that those who consistently sell out stadiums are younger generation acts, baby boomers cannot. Bruce Springsteen can do stadiums overseas, but not…Read More
MAJOR LABELS More powerful than at any time since Napster. Case in point, Sam Smith. One has to credit Capitol with a phenomenal publicity campaign. Mr. Smith has been featured in every major outlet, the press on his Apollo show alone was incredible. This is what a major label can do, it can build a…Read More