Don’t be the next _____.
I am finding that there are a lot of upcoming artists who are sounding very similar to already established artists on the radio…. Lets talk about this for a moment. If you are trying to be the next Rihanna, don’t bother. There is already an act who is bigger, better and more successful doing what you are trying to achieve. Instead, what you can do is try to focus on what hasn’t yet been done…
This is key to standing out in such an oversaturated market today. Yes you may be a beautiful blonde, talented, pop artist, who can sing and dance with the looks to boot. But your competition is some of the biggest stars in the world and if you are trying to do what they do, the Britney Spears, Taylor Swifts, and Adeles who are already established and going it weeeelllll, will just squash you every time. (sorry but it’s true). There is only one artist like Katy Perry, like Beyonce, like Sia, for a reason… all unique in their look, sound, genre and the best at what they do.
This is the time to have fun and get creative, play around with ideas and mixed genres, play around with your branding and look. Regardless of what you do, all of the boxes need to be checked but be original and unique. Always push yourself and hold the bar for yourselves in that higher market. Does your website, your photos, your videos your music all look comparable to a major label artist to date? If not, don’t rush. Wait until it’s GREAT to put something out if you want any chance of making this a long term and lucrative career. If you are simply in it for the hobby of performing a few shows a year and writing mediocre songs with your buddies in-between your 9 – 5 job, then great, do whatever you like. But if your goals are as large as selling out Madison Square, consider this and set that bar higher and higher for yourself each day.
The single most important box to have checked off is the song… If you have everything in place but your song isn’t commercially strong, you’ll only get so far. Don’t release something for the sake of it, write, write, write, co-write, co-write, co-write, listen to hundreds of outside writers cuts to make as your own + more until there is something strong enough TO be heard among the sea of already successful chart topping Top 40 talent on radio in any genre. Make sure their is funding behind the project to record a professionally sounding demo. All you need is one song to do well, don’t focus on an album, just one great song at a time can work in todays market.
I have seen this work first hand from some of the best in the biz, and only the best with the songs, the unique tone and strength of a voice, the musical talent, the looks, the work ethic, the 24/7 time commitment to the project, the personally, media training and live show performance talent who have it all, tend to persevere. If you are lacking in any of those areas, work at them now… take vocal lessons, tape your rehearsals and watch them until you and your band get better and better. etc, etc.
Seems to me that there are 2 billion bands in the world and only 0.005% are even coming through on top. For this reason and others keep this in mind for your current and future projects. Be different, and be incredible at what you do and the music you make.