THE CURRENCY OF KIND WORDS
A colleague of mine has been in a pretty grueling artist's competition and while the final results won't be covered here, a comment made about fan support is extremely interesting.
He talked about the frustrations of mobilizing support from those thought to be closest to his band -- friends and family. Rather, a phrase came out that I found very informational and compelling.
He referred to a phrase that came to him in the middle of one sleepness night -- the "currency of kind words" -- and how networking within several musicians' groups proved to be extremely helpful, and gratifying, as his band worked its way up the mountain in what was a multi-genre competion where his kind of music only represented one-third of the ten entrants.
Also conveyed was the feeling of having a "grateful heart," because he was living his dream, sharing it with his peers, and receiving positive response in return from other performers and the media.
Lesson learned -- get to know other musicians at local showcases and on the Interet too. Listen to what others are creating and, if you think it is deserved, give them a "thumbs up" or better yet a thoughtful and positive comment to convey that you really listened to their music and appreciated it.
But do not give people false hopes, either. If a song presented to you is a clunker, pass it by if you can, or if pressed, convey constructive comment in a nice way.
I will give you a good example. There is an Internet song "call-up" service that takes songs through "MusicSubmit" at the start. Depending on the judgement of the webmaster, your song(s) may start at the bottom, or if he thinks the music has promise, may put you in the middle.
With me so far?
This opens it up for artists to add more songs, and more songs. One I find amusing now has over 30 and I am still waiting for one good one.
I am getting sidetracked here.
So, whatever the number, it is up to other musicians "on the charts" to rate songs, up, down or not, with an option to connect with the artist on-line and convey your thoughts.
So I am a listener with "reviewer rights" and have heard some acts that would go to the top tomorrow if I had $500,000 each available to front them. (Working on that.) Others are somewhat good but probably just happy to be there. Some got on with songs that create sound, and that's about it.
For some of these, I just gave up trying to rate them up even a little bit. And nobody else did either. So they sit at the bottom, unrated.
I think those artists will catch on that maybe they should pull those songs, get co-writers, new producers then try again on that site and elsewhere.
But then there are groups so good that some of them sit on this blog as featured acts!
Indie artists can only have a real chance to be successful if they are really good. Some major label performers may have made it with a heavy dose of luck, but not likely for Indies. I know I can't name any.
Often, family and friends take it for granted you have "already made it." So you have to work harder, it seems, to get them to buy your music, or simply give you a contest vote and pass the word on to their friends. Sad but true.
Does not mean they don't like your music, but perhaps they do not appreciate the hard work and talent that you have expended to craft a song.
And while music may be your whole world -- your way of achieving personal and professional success -- there are way too many out there in your circle of friends and family who are, in the words of a song, "Bushwacked, Bewildered, Beat-up Bad and Broke." So they are just trying to keep on keeping on.
Most of your music peers, however, will support you as you support them. Maye they are pouring all their money into their production or touring, and can't spare a dime to buy one of your songs. Musicians without much money certainly understand this.
So I am talking more about supportive behavior - the currency of kind words. After all, you are all in the "studio of life" together and (should) understand you cannot make it on your own.
Final word. Those who think they can make it on their own, don't...
April 21, 2012