After four years of being in the very center of the Independent scene in New York City...mostly music but some art, sculpture and theater, I want to give my2cents. I want it to be the view of someone who has been through the corporate world, for fifty years, in politics, sports, labor unions and now music.
...before writing this I asked four people in the music industry, who I know won't bullshit me, with a total of 69 years experience between them, all women, still yet to reach their full potential, if I should give my2cents or keep it to myself, because I don't want to sound negative... because I want to help....that's what this is all about, this blog, my documentary film, all of it, help.
They all said the exact same words::DO IT! They got a preview and did not think it was anything but a good read, and made them think. Constructive.
Remember this is only part one:: I got lots to say.
What I see....I think there are at least three categories of inde musicians in NYC.
One is the absolute, the prototype, I call them 'terrorists' who must create music, be on stage, get their message out. They have but one mission. They will sacrifice, yes their lives to fulfill their dream. Like when I asked one of them...'if I could give you any career in the world, President of the United States, Editor of the NY Times, Top Fashion Designer in Paris, but you had to agree to give up music, and I put a gun to your head, which would you choose', she said..."pull the fuckin trigger".
These artists have slept in abandon building in NYC, lived in one room with three others, left their homeland, a secure family, and in some cases did not speak English on arrival, to NYC.
It's in their makeup to make music, they knew it forever.
These artists for the most part I have attached myself to. These artists do not work a day job.
It's all music or nothing, like one said.."no more shitty gigs". (I know bills have to be paid).
That same artist has a skeleton of steel....and the ones I know, a gentle heart, and an open mind.
This artist, the absolute, they greet their audience, before and after their gigs, shake a hand, take a photo...they seek out NEW people to approach and thank for coming! And give a person to person promo to their merch table.
They don't delegate much work, they are on it whenever possible. Their band members are alive on stage, not looking like they want to be somewhere else, and appear bored. Or worse, talking to each other when the lead is singing..They don't tolerate it.
....and here's the biggy, they don't go on 'the cheap'. If they do something they want the best, .....BUT, there is a big factor here, if the artist is a step above the rest, they can get others a step above to work with them$$.
This artist knows, the audience is seeing a picture on stage, and wants all the pieces to fit their MO.
This artist has had their fill of record companies, and is not really striving to 'get signed'.
....and that's where the dedication comes in....getting your music played, and I have been working with two of the best, going to radio stations, emails, follow ups, I have personally done it all....
Not to mention the two CEO's of LAVA Records and KOCH Records, who blew more smoke that Vesuvius. BUT, the terrorist is not scared of this task, of being your own 'agent' 'promoter'.
....and this artist does not 'blow in the wind'...by that I mean change their, style, their band, their genre every few months, just because a promoter or a 'person of knowledge' (a corporate shill) tells them what is trending now on radio.
To survive at this level these artist have a 401K of music...a body of work, AT LEAST a handful of songs, that you do well and that you can give to others, a placement pack, songs that anyone can sell..other artists, and commercials... they realize they can not change the world alone...and it's income! They have quality videos on their youtube page, and an easy to read web site, with a personal touch....not a "sounds like" so and so bio, and in some cases a bio written first person, from their heart.
So that's pretty much what the top level of the indies have shown me...
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