There are thousands of people out there creating music. There are only a handful of those people that really understand what it takes to succeed, and they are the ones that are truly shining. Unfortunately, since there is such an overflow of clueless “artists” out there, there are also a bunch of clueless “companies” that make their money feeding off of these poor “artists” and making them think that their services are in fact useful to their careers. But this isn’t just the companies’ fault, it’s the actual mindset of these artists that allows these scams to go on.
We like to call these artists… “treadmill” artists, because, you guessed it, all they do is run in place.
Mindset of a “Treadmill” Artist:
- They think that all they need to succeed is to record a mixtape over industry beats.
- They hope to one day be “discovered” by a famous rapper and get signed off of said ‘mixtape.’
- They don’t feel the need to put money into getting the best quality recordings and they especially don’t think they should put any money into promoting their music, because ‘that’s what the record deal is for.‘
- They don’t feel the need to utilize social media because they are ‘hot in the streets.‘ OR, they only utilize social media as their main source of ‘promotion;’ they don’t see the need in getting out there and dealing directly with the people.
- They are constantly in search of a manager and/or have hired their best friend/cousin/uncle, etc. to be their manager, because they think that having a manager makes you look like you’re really making moves.
Because of this mindset, these artists get scammed and stuck at the bottom of the totem pole, doing things that only keep them running in place.
Characteristics of a ‘Treadmill’ Artist:
- Records a mixtape and tweets it to everyone on Twitter and tags a bunch of people on Facebook begging to be heard.
- Pays to perform at local showcases because ‘(insert big named rapper/producer/A&R)’ will be there.
- Pays a company $50-$100 to tweet their record.
- Pays an unknown DJ for a spot on their mixtape.
- Pays for a $50 email blast.
And the list goes on…
The thing is, you might FEEL productive, but are the actions that you’re taking actually bringing you closer to your goals? Or, let’s take a step back, do you even have any goals or are you just winging it?
Also, are you going around constantly talking about yourself or are your actions speaking for you?
Are you going around saying how hot you are or are others spreading your name in the streets?
The point is, if you plan on succeeding and really making a career out of music, you really have to set goals and do things that are really going to put you in the position to reach those goals.
Just because you might FEEL productive, doesn’t mean that you’re actually accomplishing anything. You could just be spending a ton of time doing the wrong thing, which will lead to you wondering why your career isn’t ‘popping off’ the way it should.
Keep it real with yourself!
Do you have hot, undeniable, original material? Or do you have this ‘mixtape’ that you really only have a few hundred to a few thousand downloads on?
Can you pack a venue? Or even bring out 50 people to a show?
Are DJs checking for your record, or are you spamming them with tweets and emails asking them to play your latest ‘pound cake’ freestyle?
Are you selling any music or merchandise?
If you’re not doing any of those things, you really need to re-evaluate your plan and make sure that you don’t fall into the ‘treadmill artist’ category.
Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged, but let this be a wake-up call.
Remember, “Whatever you lack, someone else has mastered.”