The recording industry has done an incredible job at convincing people that if they try, with very little effort, they too will have the opportunity to be a star. This is not exactly a myth. There is some truth to presenting art to the world and receiving acceptance. However, if everyday a star is born, two suckers are born on the same day! By definition a myth is: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. We will debunk a few of these music industry myths, in hopes to encourage more stars and prevent less suckers.
1. All you need is talent to make it big.
There was a time where you could be signed to a record label by entering a contest, getting on a stage, and displaying your talent in front of a music industry executive. You can still do these things, but being signed is highly unlikely in today’s climate. Record companies are still signing people, but judging on the last 5 years, majority of the signers have either been walked through the door by a reputable name, first signed to an indie label who volunteered to fund a seemingly good “investment”, or was simply already successful.
2. If the right person hears me, they’ll sign me.
This myth has some truth. B.O.B was signed by manager TJ Chapman at a music event and Big Sean was signed by Kanye West at a random radio station. However, consider the amount of artists who have been signed this way verses the amount of artists who had to slave their way through the tough times. You’ll see that this idea is similar to hitting the lottery (in how it has to be the right place, the right time, and isn’t probable).
3. Radio is not important.
Its understandable to think radio isn’t important, and it is possible to create a fan base without radio. It’s just really…really…really…HARD. Radio doesn’t just consist of the 20 national songs that are played on your favorite genre’s mainstream radio station. It also consist of countless internet channels, and all the college radio stations (some that track BDS) in each state. That amount of possible promo is too significant to be considered unimportant.
4. The artists you see are rich.
Not so much. In fact, you can check Forbes richest entertainers list. Not many artists are there, although there a quite a few artists on display every day. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t be making untraceable funds, it just means they aren’t making enough to want some of it to be traced. Cars depreciate value and can be rented, clothes shrink and fade, jewelry is lost or stolen, but the illusion of fame equaling riches is still one of the oldest tricks in the book. Don’t believe the hype, the average musician is lucky to make $30,000 a year.
5. Being independent is easy.
It’s 2015, you have access to a studio, and you know how to get your video on worldstarhiphop.com. That’s a start, but it’s a 99% chance that won’t earn you that million bucks. Don’t believe it? Try it. Actually…don’t try it. A good first step can be to develop a plan based on your resources and budget. That will carry you to a difficult level -remaining diligent and consistent. This is normally what separates the greats from the unknowns. What will you sacrifice? How hard will you work? To what extent will you go to be the one who shares his story to the world? Only you and your energy can determine this, but one thing is for sure, it will NOT be easy.