Being a Business Savvy artist will improve your chances of success!
What made Bono one of the richest rockstars in the world as well as making Dr. Dre and P. Diddy two of the wealthiest hip hop artists around? It wasn’t just their musical talents, most of their sky rocketing net worth came from smart business sense and the understanding of how to properly invest their money and grow their own careers.
Bono took money he had earned from U2 and invested it in around 2.3% of Facebook which he later sold his share for close 1.4 billion. Dr. Dre sold his head phone product Beats for around 3 billion to Apple and P. Diddy has invested in numerous clothing lines/product companies over the years. These artists have utilized their name, image and financial situation from the music world to generate ten times the income outside of their art.
Time and time again we see the fine line that separates an artist who is business savvy and an artist who is not with who launches into a successful career and on top of that, who lasts longer. There are a lot of artists in music history that reached fame but not the fortunate as they often turned a blind eye to what was going on with their company. Even legends like Richard Berry who wrote one of the most recorded songs in rock history Louie, Louie sold his rights for a stomach knotting $750 when he should have been making millions. Luckily for Berry in the 90s (many years later) a lawsuit was settled and he was awarded somewhere between 20-25 million for his work. Examples like that are why it’s important to educate yourself and at least have a basic understanding of music business. Sure you can get lucky and find a manager and team who really cares about you and is in control of most business aspects, but that doesn’t mean each artist shouldn’t know what goes on at their offices day to day. Every artist should be able to read over a legal agreement vs just firing off to their entertainment lawyer without reading a word. It is just as important for you to pay attention to your team and their work, as they pay attention to you. Verses them doing all of the work for you without understanding why they do what they do to better support and grow your career. You will have a better idea of how to be a better artist and in turn really understand the business you are working in. This will greatly improve your changes of a good and solid successful career in this business.
Being an artist/”name” you are essentially running your own business. How successful do you think you could be if you knew nothing about the business you were working in? I wouldn’t open up a pizza shop if I didn’t know anything about pizza and my audience/consumers etc. Same applies for the artist who tries to make a crack at the music industry without knowing anything about the industry itself. The music industry can be complex, but it’s imperative for you to learn about it….. This is KEY for most successful acts today. Naturally most “artist personalities” can be stereotyped to be more artistic and less business minded, however it’s important to know that you’re business ventures require creativity just as much as your art. So build that bridge between the two and you’ve built yourself a bridge to success. No matter where you learned your business sense whether it was from school or from past experience, if you want to pursue being an artist as a career it is a crucial skill to have and in today’s industry even more necessary.
If you want to learn but are not sure where to start, I would recommend enrolling in any business classes at a local college (some actually pertain to the music business itself). Make sure to watch videos/ online seminars about the industry (there are literally thousands of these!!!) example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO2n-asBv3M
Lastly, pickup one of the best books on the market: http://www.amazon.com/Need-Know-About-Music-Business/dp/1451682468/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1451941103&sr=8-2&keywords=everything+you+need+to+know+about+the+music+business