Music Producer, Artist, Songwriter, Entrepreneur
Before we do that, I want to talk about the different types of (undiscovered) artists I run across daily.
I've categorized them into the following three groups:
“My music is great, I only need a producer, manager, record deal or XYZ to help me take things to the next level.”
These artists think that they need to rely on others to get traction. They could be insecure or incapable of taking action on their own. Usually, they have no game plan other than waiting for someone to offer them help. Maybe their music is good, but often this isn't the case.
“I don’t need any help. I got this and I’m going to make it big one day.”
This is the opposite of insecurity. They're determined to make it big one day — which is good. But they often disregard the importance of the journey. And in their mind, they're usually way ahead of where they actually are.
“I made some great songs, but I don’t know how to get it out there. I’ll keep making songs and I hope one of ‘em will blow up.”
These singers or rappers love the process but have yet to create an actual plan. A plan that will get them to where they want to be.
Your journey matters ❤️
Whether you recognize yourself in one of these groups or not, it doesn't matter.
There isn't a wrong category per se, and I don't wanna put you in a box.
We're all in different journey stages and gravitate towards that same goal. Which in this case is finding success — which in terms is different for everyone.
Some take longer before reaching a specific milestone, while others celebrate midway.
It's not about questioning where you are on your journey but whether you are in control of the vehicle that needs to get you to the point you wanna be at.
Of course, your vehicle needs fuel. The fuel is what drives your engine: your passion, determination, and energy to work hard. That: "Jump out of bed every morning to rush to the studio" type fuel.
Your vehicle will take you where you need to go, and it carries your talent, skills, and music.
If you forget one or the other, it will be a long ass trip.
You can be passionate and hustle every day. But your talent, skills, and music will be the determinant factors.
How to get your breakthrough in music
Every day, we're exposed to what most think is the definition of success.
You see your favorite artists drive foreign cars and party all day.
Some might see that as if they are lucky. "Oh, they're so lucky that they're living their dream life. Oh, I wish I was that lucky.". But you know what?
I hate to break it to you, but if we are going to chase our dreams based on LUCK, the odds are always stacked against us.
Catching that big break in music is an event that occurred in time, followed by a process.
And that process, in this case, is your journey.
There will be no event without process.
If you consider that specific event as pure luck, then that means we can create our own luck.
As long as you focus on the journey and on what's right in front of you, the event will come.
But, unfortunately, most artists don't see it that way. And they are driven by what they see on their Instagram feed.
The main takeaway from this story is to put your focus on the process, NOT on the event.
And the latter is hard when all you see is the event.
Remember my habit? Deconstructing songs and analyzing the journey of artists?
Developing your skills and maximizing your talent is crucial to optimize and speeding up your journey.
This is not something I came up with. This is what I've concluded from analyzing real-life examples.
Take Ed Sheeran, for example. In this TV show, he lets people hear an old recording from when he couldn't sing. The dude actually couldn't sing!
He invested time in developing his talent and skills to reach the level he's at right now.
Tory Lanez dropped about 14 mixtapes and a bunch of singles before he caught a big break. Yes, we all agree he works hard, but let’s dig a little deeper.
Compare this track from his first mixtape to his 2015 multi-platinum hit “Say It.”
He evolved into a completely different type of artist.
Tory Lanez in 2009:
Tory Lanez – T Dot Girls
Tory Lanez in 2016:
Tory Lanez – Say It
This can only happen when you focus on the process rather than the end goal—in other words, honing your skills and becoming a little better every day.
When you start digging, you'll notice that every successful artist was once where you are right now.
They all traveled the same road, but their journey was different.
The only common denominator is that they got a breakthrough with one song.
Yes, it only took one.
Yet, hundreds of songs they've created are hidden behind that one song. Songs that didn't do well or haven't seen the light of day at all.
G-Eazy calls this process his Practice Years.
“I have like twelve mixtapes to my name that I hope doesn’t exist on the internet. But the thing with hip-hop is, your practice years are documented in the form of mixtapes, songs online etc.”
Where a lot of artists fail 😢
Over 60% of the artists are creating far below-quality-standard music.
And that is alright if you're starting out…
It becomes a problem when you don't progress after 10 songs.
To name an example. I sell beats online and always try to push artists to buy an instrumental's high-quality tracked-out files.
Almost every song on the radio is produced and mixed with separate instrumental files.
A friend of mine sold a total of 732 licenses from January to October 2017, yet only 179 licenses were with tracked-out files. That is less than 25%.
This means that over 75% of these artists don't focus on the quality of their music.
Most people buy a simple MP3 version of the beat, which is even more disturbing! MP3 files aren't for professional music production.
When I confront them, the reaction I usually get is…
"Oh yeah, I didn't know that…"
The same problem occurs with the quality of their song's recorded vocals, mix, and production.
This year I've surveyed 1.400 artists and asked them what their biggest struggle is. The majority need help with mixing, recording, and songwriting.
Yet, they upload their music anyway.
They are not noticing their mix sucks or aware of the fact that their vocals could use work. Like, real work.
They determine the song's success on the number of views, likes, reposts, and comments. While that is a contributing factor, it starts with your music — it's the foundation.
Work your ass off
In the decade I've been working with artists, more than half the music I've heard was not ready for a big crowd.
A majority of those artists are walking an endless road to success. To be honest, most of them will not make it even close to the finish line.
❍ Becoming better every day.
❍ Improving your writing,
❍ Your recording
❍ Mixing your own music
Are replaced by:
❍ Settling for low-quality
❍ Prioritizing marketing your (unfinished) track
❍ Getting likes on social media
❍ And the list goes on
They all want to have the same success as our favorite artists. But that's exactly where they go wrong right from the jump.
Don't look at their success. The answer is in the process—the journey— the mountain they had to climb to reach the top they're at now.
How did Post Malone go from sleeping on his friend's couch to the number-one song in the world?
What did it take for Ed Sheeran to become one of the greatest singers?
After releasing a dozen hip-hop mixtapes, how did Tory Lanez evolve into an R&B singer?
They all followed a process, which led to their big break. They respected the journey and worked their ass off.
Ready to start crushing and making better music… this week?
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