Be Good, Be Interesting, or Be Lost
You can absolutely make a living as an independent musician.
Yes, I’m talking to you..
I’ve got the secret and I’m gonna share it with you right now:
You have to be either interesting, good, or both.
That’s about it. Seriously. Take this and a healthy dose of really hard work, and you can make a living.
Think about it… we all know of people who are making a living selling music that is neither very good or inspiring. Tell me that Britney Spears is an actual musician or that Ludacris writes compelling, moving lyrics… come on.
I took this idea from a sports radio talk show host named Colin Cowherd. Like him or hate him, the man is a genius. He says you either have to be interesting (like Britney Spears) or good (like Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), but you don’t even have to be both, in order to draw enough attention to move product.
Think along these lines for your music career: be interesting, be good, or be both. I once read that you should proudly exclude some people from being your fans. That’s good advice. “If you love P.Diddy, you’ll hate Boochie Shepherd.” That automatically clues people in to what your music is all about. And it’s at least mildly interesting.
Kiss was never a good band. But, dude, they were interesting. A guy with a 64 foot tongue? And makeup? I’m interested.
Bela Fleck? He’s really good at the banjo? Not interesting. Which is why most of us have never heard of him, despite the fact that he’s one of the 5 best musicians on the planet right now.
It’ s something to think about, for sure. I know that Boochie Shepherd could do a much better job of being interesting. I feel like we’re pretty good songwriters and musicians. I think our radio play as an indie speaks to that. But let me tell you something, everytime Jeff (the bass player) wears some weird outfit on stage (like a green M&M costume, or a pumpkin suit, or a Superman costume, or that hideous leisure suit) he’s the one that everybody wants to talk to after the show..
Jeff, you amaze me…