The kids will be home soon and I am still in my pajamas and wool socks. It's a perfect jammie day with a drizzly gray rain falling outside and my poor washer and dryer humming non-stop in the background. My incredibly sweet mother is visiting and we are enjoying our quiet time together.
I will be lecturing at a music business class tomorrow at Snow College before my concert at Convocation. Lecturing comes natural to a mother of ten and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the topic of "What Every Independent Artist Needs to Know."
Although I still feel like a bun in the oven when it comes to my career in music, I have learned some hard lessons that I hope can help these music industry hopefuls. Here is my bucket list of beatitudes for music business beginners.
Thou Shalt Not Please Everyone...because even if you want to, you can't. A good third of those you share your music with will love you, a third will be ambivelent and a third will dislike you despite your best efforts. It is the third who love you who you are there to bless.
Blessed are the Artists who find a Niche...for they shall find success. Find a musical home and then fill a need in that musical community with your own unique talent.
Thou Shalt be Your True Authentic Self...by not getting stomach ulcers over trying to fit a mold. Your job is to create your own mold and then break it a few times trying to get it right.
Blessed are the Artists who Produce Great Music...for they shall not be embarrassed by half-hearted work. If you know from the tip of your head to your red-painted toes that you have produced a great CD, then that confidence will transfer into sales and success.
Thou Must be Present to Win...because the only way to reach people is to reach them. Get ready to put some miles on your car and some hours connecting to those new fans via the internet.
Thou Shalt Love thy Fans as Thyself...by remembering names and being real, giving consistently great live performances, and keeping in touch in a meaningful, genuine way.
Blessed are the Artists who Continue to Grow...for they will never become jaded with what they do. It is sad for me to see professional groups and soloists who just go through the motions of their performances with the same jokes and the same songs as they think about what they are going to have for dinner. I once saw a fiddle player yawn in the middle of a performance. Stay fresh, my friends!
Thou Shalt Only Work with People you Like and Trust...because life is too short to work with mean or untrustworthy people. You have to trust your inner BS detector to make the hard decisions about who to trust and love and who to let go. One of the great perks of being an independent artists is that you can make these choices.
Thou Shalt Think Big!...and turn a deaf ear to the naysayers who tell you what can and can't happen for you in your life. Be prepared for great things, pray for great things and then let go of your expectations of how those great things will come about...that's God's business, not yours.
Well, although this list is for a group of college students tomorrow, I think it has some carry over merit in all of our lives. Now, I am going to go make a nice mug of hot chocolate and rotate the laundry...again.
My love to you all!