Emerald City Productions

Music Careers-Becoming a Star-The Unsigned and ‘Fate’!

by Paul on February 5, 2010

in Electronic Music, General, Music


I am a working composer and in the last few years have had the opportunity to watch the rise and fall of some Artists in the music industry.  I am basically a positive person and so believe that I have a relatively realistic view of the music industry as a whole having also spent some time in it.  I am beginning to believe however that the ‘old adage the musicians lot is largely a poor one in life.

It is reckoned that only 6% of Artists whether Music/Art/Performing are working in terms of making a ‘living’.  I think this is largely true.  There always seems to be a core minority of artists who seem to be in work.  This is very difficult to accept when young and full of creativity and wanting to ‘take the World by storm’, however the reality is there are only a few who are going to ‘make it’.

Lets take  look at whats out there.  There are two camps in my thinking-those who are signed to ‘Record Deals’ and those who are not.  You first need to ask how those who are signed to record deals got there?  There are several things that separate them, and steps they have taken in most cases.

Firstly ‘Providence’-being in the right place at the right time!  Unfortunately true.  It’s just the way it is, and although you can do something to get there through hard work and being ready, it’s eventually out of your hands!  What percentage the unforeseen makes up I’m not sure, but it’s there. I have seen a documentary on a famous composer of Hans Zimmer’s stature, and when asked how it all happened say “I’m not the most talented composer but better than some-it’s just that circumstances came together and I met ‘so and so’ and it took off from there”.  Sometimes you came cause ‘that meeting’ to be more likely by taking your work somewhere personally to a Composer or Artist or Producer or Record Label, but this has to be at your cost as well in time.  You will have to travel-even abroad-to London or wherever the likely place they might be-but you will have to do it, otherwise you will lessen your odds of ‘making it’.

On the issue of ‘making it’-what does that mean?  Well for me there are things far more important than money-in fact the art form is more important than money and what you produce.  Are you willing to suffer financially for a period of time-even years?  There are even some who have died for their Art!  I believe there is more to life than money, and you will say well how do I live?  I believe in a ‘Creator’ however you may look at Him, and if you move in line with your ‘Creative Self’ things will come together!   Things outside of your control will move circumstances ‘into line’ and you will find yourself in places you never dreamt of!  I once had a dream where my music was being played by an Orchestra-a real live one-further I felt that it was a direction I should move in.  One day through training Seminars in Middlesbrough-the North East  of England, there was an A&R man called Russ Conway.  Through that meeting, he particularly rated a piece of mine that was called Concepcion (called after a small Town in South America)  He felt it was similar in style to Goretsky (English Spelling) – a Polish Composer.  I had a demo ready and had to also Score the piece, and Deborah Mollison was called in to Orchestrate the work.  After all this was done, Russ arranged for members of the Northern Sinfonia to perform the work at the Stockton Riverside Music Festival one year-it was brilliant. It was a highlight and a beginning for me!

Interestingly, I also was in the place of having studied, practiced worked towards the goal I was trying to attain-and it could be said -in line with my ‘creative self’.  You are less lightly ot achieve what you want in life without input and cost from yourself.  The current move to create ‘Stars‘ and ‘instant success’ in several walks of life, is a an anathema to me-it is a foreign land!  I don’t think that is how things should work.  If your work/study/input brings success, that is the way things come about, otherwise there can be big falls ahead as we all know!  The success is not actually the point, it is an aside-the result is-the painting-the piece of music-the performance-that is the point.

This brings me on neatly to those who are not signed to ‘Record Deals’.  I constantly assert that the most important thing is to be ‘doing something’ with your art and that is the point-it has ‘value in itself’ as I believe Human Beings’ are of inestimable value to the Creator, therefore what they produce is inherently of value.  Nothing can be worse than to be doing something without being valued for it.  Modern thinking places no value on the Human Being as they believe there is no purpose to existence!   What a dreadful and depressive condition to be in.  I ask how do you produce anything when it is purposeless and pointless-and a lot of modern art and music reflects this Godless view and I cannot see how you can continue working under these conditions-you might as well leave your brushes in the water jar for ever!  Similarly with music-smash up your guitar-isn’t the action of smashing your guitar up ‘saying’-there is no purpose-life is futile-God is dead-there is no need for existence?  The opposite is true-Produce Produce Produce! Work Work Work!

In summary, for the ‘unsigned’, go for it, do all you can to be in the place with your skills-sharpen them constantly-don’t give up-push through depression and the uninspired moments-you will get-they’re part of the journey!  The best way for me during these times is to sharpen my skills and get my head down and produce however slowly-there is a purpose-enjoy!

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