What about musicians who’ve found success without major labels? That sounds like an interesting topic!
It’s a thing!
Mac Miller did it! Chance the Rapper’s the new indie-pop rage! Indie publishing is the new wave!
According to Wikipedia, Miller, the rapper-singer-record-producer, and one-time Ariana Grande boyfriend, who passed away last month at only 26, signed a record deal in 2010 with indie label Rostrum Records, and released his debut, “Blue Slide Park,” on November 8, 2011. The independently distributed album rose to number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
There are legions following in his footsteps!
But how did Miller do it?
FIRST, WHAT NOT TO DO
If you Google around, you’ll find this, which seems interesting, but only really made me want to write an article about why your website should’t be laden with slow-loading ads that completely ruin the experience.
I’ll just wing it, like I usually do! Research is overrated!
What were we talking about?
YOU GOT THIS!
Garageband, Apple’s free music software, has changed the world of music-making and even created superstars!
Anyone can, people seem to have learned, get an impressive beat going, add a keyboard or any other instrument, write, sing, produce, aspire … then confirm their own impending rise to stardom by flipping on Saturday Night Live on a night when someone like Miller is hosting.
These are artists who are skilled, and rose from garages like Jeff Bezos, seeking only fair play, mechanical support and a little starter group of fans. They use small studios and produce only one song at a time, which trend will continue to grow. We’re at the front end of a new wave in music production that’s spawned new ways of music marketing.
Insert skill, produce, make shameless video, and off you go!
THE ANSWER IS YES!
You can dance to Garageband in your underpants while becoming a superstar in your bedroom, as many aspiring superstars surely try to do, as long as your video camera is carefully aimed. The aiming itself being a different thing, depending on the song!
Yes, it’ a visual world, and music marketing is video-heavy, but high-quality audio is here to stay, in every and even the tiniest and least significant crevices of entertainment. Big movies and TV shows to musical artist development to audiobooks and corporate phone systems, the audio industry will always thrive all on its own despite massive changes in the ways music is sold and an ongoing general video onslaught.
Yes, audio is a big world, underlying and overlapping many industries, and always will be. Most parts of audio production haven’t been e-cheapened, flying under the radar because they’re interwoven processes not directly consumed by the public.
I HEAR THE TRAIN A’COMIN’
There are opportunities for men and women as audiobook narrators, a growing industry supported by the Amazon “Field of Cash” business promotion system (Amazon owns Audible), which can pay well.
Businesses like Audible and Voice123 are voice pro portals to places as vivid, real and glamorous as major TV productions.
Big companies like Apple and Google probably don’t pay a lot to artists who produce those weird, overly-funky, over-excited songs with vocal tracks that sound like aliens, but the big companies benefit by appearing to be “for the people,” introducing the new song to the public underneath visually-confusing advertising … while the little guy finally has a way to get from Youtube … to TV.
The big companies don’t have to pay much, and organically-sourced music was never before easily available to them. Everybody wins!
The small studio concept is thriving, as musicians seek a way to produce their song, which they’ve proven on free software and feel is ready to take the plunge. Costs are fair to the musician, and the studio can monetize its production skills, helping fellow musicians by providing proper, not-until-now-needed, gear and recording space.
IT’S ROLLIN’ DOWN THE TRACK!
This has never happened before, even though many big artists are famous for recording in barns and rented houses. The future of “small production” shines strong in the digital profit darkness.
But in music, the real dragon of doom for the “Industry” (aka “The Man”), is the cheap street available to anyone to actually become rich and famous. You just need to be excellent. While that sounds a little silly, there is … just look … excellence … inspired by computers and apps, coming out of the woodwork!
Where have they all been hiding?
What are we going to do with them?
THE HOMETOWN IDOL IS A THING
The opportunity I speak of is no secret.
The guy with the v-neck t-shirt saw it and created “American Idol”; heard of it? Moms and dads are flying in to stand just backstage while their litle girl shows off before Miley Cyrus on “The Voice.”
How did they get there? Why?
What’s going on? Is it real?
CUTE, GOOD, FAMOUS!
No-one cares, really, where Lennon and Maisy came from, even if they may have been on the popular TV show “Nashville” a few times; they’re cute, they’re good, and they’re on YouTube!
That’s where I saw them!
ME AND THE MAN
There are opportunities for small production houses, managers, gear rental and video production; the smart little entrepeneur can find plenty of magic carpets to ride on.
Every restaurant in my hometown, ala Garageband, seems to have a musical act performing in the corner. Little coffee shops get industrial-attitude official “Letters of Threat” from ASCAP and BMI, rustling dinosaurs, because the kid from down the street might have played a Springsteen song.
The kid down the street, though, is pretty good!
That used to be, sort of … in the old days … “philosophically speaking,” as no-one ever expected the kid down the street to ever actually get anywhere with his music.
But these days it’s him, and me … against The Man.
NEXT STOP: SNL
This time there’s more of us, and we’re on TV!
And YouTube. Spotify. iTunes. Reverbnation and Soundcloud. Vimeo, Roku, Facebook.
And on and on! It’s a new world!
Pay attention; the winners can be anyone!
Yes! … and I’m sure of it … even YOU, little friend! 🙂