Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

December 03, 2010

Artist Development & the New Indie Music Reality

Read this excerpt on Artist Development from a Bob Lefsetz blog post:
So if you're a new act, stay indie. You've got to, in order to be in control of your own artistic destiny ...
And indie is about forgetting everybody else and focusing on your fans. If your fans are burned out on your music, you must make more ...

Artist development is not about growing your audience. It's about writing, recording and playing, and finding out if someone is interested. Your music is your calling card. People are only attracted when they can feel the passion and the excitement, which doesn't come from hype, but people, testifying one to another and occasionally in media. In other words, there are no shortcuts.

And if you're really good and have success, business people will come to you. Like flies to sherbet. That's when you hire a lawyer and decide who to play with. Please hire a lawyer. A bad deal can kill a career.

And a lawyer can craft a deal that allows someone to run with your music for as long as he or she generates success, otherwise you're free again.

And you don't want to be with the usual suspects. Not unless you make Top Forty music. The usual suspects only know how to do it the old way. They're all about the money, and you're all about the music. It's a bad fit. They're about instant stardom, you're about paying your dues, discovering exactly what it is you do that appeals to people.

In other words, you're in charge of your own artist development. We live in a DIY world. If you're waiting for someone to rescue you, to make you famous, you're delusional ...

There will always be a few superstars, culture demands it. But the new era is about tons of journeymen. Your goal should be to make a living playing music. If this is not enough, give up.

I'm sold. But I've been preaching this message for a couple decades, so I may be biased. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

Read his entire post here.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 7:29 AM   4 comments


At Dec 3, 2010, 9:21:00 AM, Anonymous Conor said...

Hey Bob,

I couldn't agree more. Put the time into your writing and developing your craft. Quality over quantity. Be vigorous, be vigilant and true to yourself.

I'm locked away in a bungalow in the west of Ireland to devote myself to the craft of writing.

Do it right, or stop doing it.


At Dec 3, 2010, 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous HonestKyle said...


I completely agree as well. As my own witness to this, I once decided to create a cover version of a popular song that was on the radio.

And just to do some competitive research, I went to YouTube to scout out the other cover versions. There were more than I could count, but they were all the same.

One person played the piano and sang. Another played the acoustic guitar and sang. A band created a "metal cover" that dropped all of the defining qualities of the song.

So, I took my time. I recorded a completely different composition combining rock and some hardcore elements into a full band production that took me probably two months and as a result the video of that song on YouTube is one of my main subscriber generation points averaging 3-4 per week where before I had none.

Taking your time, using your brain, and trying to do it better than others.

That's how you win the music game.

Glad you posted this!


At Dec 3, 2010, 1:54:00 PM, Blogger C.Martins said...

That's called hitting the nail right on the head ! but we as faithfull readers of Bob's Chronicles have been in the know for quite some time. It still feels good to see that some more people seem to be preaching the Indie Gospel these days.


At Mar 9, 2011, 10:29:00 AM, Anonymous Brad Fallon said...

How do you think the internet has affected music distribution and artist development?


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