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Anatomy of an independent artists music career

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   >> article   

Anatomy of the Independent Artist's Career
The reality and how to overcome the odds

by Kenny Cavalier

In Theory  .....  The reality of achieving major success as an independent unsigned artist can be summerized like this.

Imagine a Battle Field in a Bloody War. 

There are many wounded soilders everywhere.  The soilders are quickly rushed in to the make-shift triage on the battle field where they are to receive emergency medical attention.  There are many wounded, but only a few Doctors to attend to them.  Each life is important .. no one soilder's life is more important or valuable than the other.  ... just like your music is as good if not better than other musicians,  They are treated one or two at a time ...  sort of a first come .. first serve ...   Although each soilder's life is as important as the other, there are just too many soilders to attend to all of them.  Some will be treated and saved, but the majority will die. This is precisely how it works in the over crowded music business.

Essentially, you are an independent artist, a soilder in a crowded battle field of very talented independent artists waiting and looking for industry attention.  Each Artist is as talented as the other. Only a few artists will receive the attention  they need to survive and achieve success but the vast majority of Artist's careers will die ... Why, because all things being equal there is only room for a few emerging artists in the over crowded small group of bands and artists that make it. 
So, how do you overcome the odds in the crowded battle field of independent, unsigned, artists and musicians?  How do you get the music industry awareness you desperately need and deserve?

The answer; Show them that your injury is far more life threatening than the others ..  In essense that you are the one with the story, the buzz, the record sales.  Show them  that you deserve the attention and treatment before the other wounded.  How do you do this .. cry out in pain the loudest by persisstant pounding your marketing message home. This old adage is more true in this business than any other; "The Squeakly Wheel Get's the Oil" .

Unsigned artists - find out how to get a record deal as an indie artist


Your marketing and promotional efforts must be totally relentless in every way.  You need to play as many quality shows as possible.  You should seek publicity in many forms including record reviews, press releases, and other forms of music media relations.  You need to seriously market your websites including myspace marketing ..  you must brand yourself online.  Some radio play in markets where you are touring is another important element.  Seek out retail and digital distrivution channels.  Sell as many records as possible and gain soundscan sales stats.  You can make a very good living from your music if you approcah it like a business and market your butt off.  NON-STOP!  If you are independent you will need to do all this yourself.  Or, if you find that your time would be better spent on the creative end of your career or you just don't have the connections or even a clue where to begin, this informative article may enlighten you on how engaging the assistance of an independent artist management consultant could be one of the best things that you could do for your career.

Announce your record release or
Band news to 10,000 National
Music and A&E Editors with

Putting all these elements into place at the right time will seriously increase your possibilities of making a good living as an independent artist and will generate the music industry awareness you need to attract a decent major or indie record label.  If that's what you want.  You can also remain independent, keep all the money, and just start your own record label and bring on good distribution to release, market, and distribute your product.  This is a good idea because if it works out, you can eventually sign other artists to your label.  Either way, marketing and promoting yourself  with the help of some of the Better DIY Resources avaiable or obtaining the assistance of a well connected management-consulting firm to facilitate your marketing, publicity, radio promotion, and distribution so that you can stick to the creative end of your career, and leave the business of marketing and promotion to a well connected firm, may be the way to go. 

Should Developing Artists Stay Independent?
Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, discusses whether emerging artists who are currently independent should try to remain independent, or instead seek major-label support.

 


about the author >>

Ken Cavalier is a music business coach, author, panelist, consultant, and Artist Manager with over thirty five gruling years of music business experience, performing, recording, managing, producing, and coaching unsigned and signed independent musicians and bands  He is widely considered a major expert in his field. His focus remains the advancement of his Artist's career while building a strong independent foundation for bands and artists at any level of development. 

Ken is the founder of Allure Media Entertainment Group, an artist management & consulting firm for independent and signed artists.  He is also a voting member of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS - The Grammy Association,  National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM), and many other distinguished organizations.  Ken has lectured and authored many informative guides and directories on digital branding, music promotion, and marketing.  His widely popular FREE TIP SHEET "WHAT LABELS WANT" is published and distributed monthly to thousands of Independent Artists and Bands.

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