Connect with us

Success Advice

The Top 9 Things Every Artist Should Know For A Successful Career In The Music Industry

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

Published

on

Music-Industry advice

In the music industry, for every one person that succeeds, hundreds fail.

I’ve put together a list of some of the things you can do, and avoid, to properly prepare for your foray into the music business, or to strengthen what you’ve already built during your stint in this snake-filled industry.

 

9 Music Industry Success Tips

 

1. DO THE RESEARCH

Watching BET every day (or American Idol) does not qualify you to work in this industry. Read all the books, and study the websites and blogs every day to learn who’s who and what’s going on behind the scenes in the music industry. Follow the behind the scenes folks on Twitter, not just the famous artists. See who they talk with frequently, what they say to each other, and what issues are important to them. Ask questions (specific ones like “how do 360 Deals adversely and positively affect artists in today’s economy?,” not general or selfish ones like “how do I get started in the music business?”, or “how come you never return my calls?” or my personal least favorite one: “Follow me back!”).

 

2. DO VOLUNTEER OR INTERN

Very few people enter the music industry without doing some free labor of some sort, unless they start their own businesses. Working under a legitimate, well connected person in this industry can be more valuable than any money you could have ever been paid. Even if you decide to start your own management company, record label, or be a publicist, it’s important to gain some knowledge, connections, and experience in this business prior to going out on your own. Hey, P Diddy started as an intern.

 

3. DO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

This is a “who you know” business. You need to build real and lasting relationships with people. The bulk of paid work and opportunities that you get will be referred by someone else. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of paying jobs I’ve helped people get in this industry—not because they asked me to do so, but because someone mentioned they needed a road manager, or marketing person, or good publicist, or radio promoter, and I’ve plugged in folks I know and respect. I don’t hook up friends, I hook up people who are right for the job. They tend to go further in positions and make me look good for recommending them.

 

4. DO NOT BURN BRIDGES

I have burnt a lot of bridges in this industry, but they have all been well thought out, planned, and as a last resort. This is an ego driven business and there’s nothing worse than insulting someone and then finding yourself in a meeting with that person years later needing something from them.

 

5. DO NOT ASSUME

There’s so much that goes on in this industry behind the scenes that you can’t possibly assume you know what’s going on. When you are at the Barbershop talking about why an artist got shelved or signed, you look stupid for speculating. If you’re at a party talking about the latest rapper getting arrested based on what you read on the internet, you’re an idiot.

 

6. DO NOT ALWAYS BE “ALL ABOUT THE MONEY”

Being fiscally smart is a good thing. Always attaching a price to everything you do will get you left behind. Even the top folks at the most successful companies have their pro-bono and spec projects that they work on strictly for the love. If you are seen as being all about the money, you will gain a reputation of being a “culture vulture,” and those who are willing to pitch in and work free on special projects or special events will surpass you in their careers.

 

7. DO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LEGITIMATE PEOPLE

This industry is really just a minute big. We all know who the fuck boys (and fuck girls) are. If you are so desperate to get into this business by working for or coming up under a scumbag (artist or company), expect to always be seen as a scumbag. And if you end up working for a snake because you didn’t know any better, too bad! See #1 above.

 

8. DO BE LOYAL, BUT NOT LOYAL TO A FAULT

Loyalty is one of the most important traits in this industry (or in life). Misplaced loyalty is not. You can do the right thing, but if you do the right thing in loyalty but for the wrong person, you can really get burned. I’ve seen people take bullets and razor cuts for their team, but then watched the team not make a call, pay a hospital bill, pay for funerals, fund the bid, or even visit the family. Be loyal to those who will be loyal to you in return.

 

9. DO NOT BE BLINDED BY FAME

Fame is attractive and intoxicating. Do not trade your money or dignity for fame. It is fleeting, short lived, and those who have it will try to fight to keep it (but never succeed)—even at your expense. Just being “down” with an artist doesn’t make you famous or rich. It makes you just another groupie. And when you leave that camp, even though you’ve moved on, the stigma of you selling out to be a groupie stays forever. See any famous sidekick for proof of this fact.
These are just a few thoughts to help you move forward in your career in the music business, behind the scenes. Truth is, maybe ten people reading this out of all of the tens of thousands will still be in this industry next year, and maybe one or two will really succeed.

 

Article By Wendy Day

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

Advertisement
5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. thatz smart humble...while concious of what you want

    Apr 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    In this cutthroat world,one needs to immerse fully to your dreamthing

  2. Beast

    May 9, 2014 at 1:24 am

    You need the right image to supplement your music.

  3. Eli Dominguez

    Mar 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I started playing in bars and trying to get my self many gigs as I can so I can get more well known in my state and local area even have recorded a a cd and start to give it out there many ways to get known as well as intering I not try to get my self famous just trying to get my music out there and connect with the people

  4. James Varketta

    Oct 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Learn how to write a catchy melody.

  5. Darren Jackson

    Aug 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Wendy. This article was a sick article. Love the honesty and rawness.

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Turn Adversity Into Your Advantage

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to turn adversity into your advantage so you can come out on top in life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


It’s becoming more and more understood that adversity is the foundation of your success. Let’s take that one step further, adversity can be the platform to propel you to your success if you learn how to use it. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Pandemic Helped Me Battle Test My Habits. These Are the Ones That Stood Out

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to develop strong habits so you can improve all aspects of your life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Our habits can destroy us. Habits are a big part of who you are. Do something enough times and that is who you become. Smoke frequently and you are a smoker. Drink often and you become known as an alcoholic. Pray daily and you are known as religious. Study a lot and they call you nerdy. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Quickest Hack to Breaking Out of a Slump

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to get out of a slump so you can create your best life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Hitting brick walls or waking up to the realities of being in a slump aren’t new to the era of Covid and the year 2020. Yet, personally, the walls seem higher and the slump deeper. I don’t know about you but I slammed into one of those days where it was a time of reckoning. I couldn’t shake off the fog in my brain, outrun the antsy feeling in my body, or mindfully practice my way out. What was a girl to do? (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Land an Internship: The Ultimate Guide

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

While the college landscape has changed this year, what you make of it doesn’t have to. Over the last few months, companies may be starting to notice the positive impacts working remotely has made on their teams. As the new school year approaches, you may be thinking how you can go the extra mile. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending