to "Fix" the Music
Buzz Factor, July 2006
Back to The
There are many reasons to get frustrated by the music business "system,"
including ... Lack of variety and access to mainstream radio and retail. Live
venues that don't support new artists. Record labels that are mostly concerned
with safe, least-common-denominator hits. The shocking reality that Nick and
Jessica couldn't make it :-)
When these factors rip at a musician's heart, there are often two
- The musician feels like throwing up his hands, walking away from music, and
spending the rest of his days as a Buddhist monk in isolation.
- The musician rages against the system, gets angry about the way things are,
insists that things need to change, then joins a Motley Crue tribute band.
Well, if you're truly passionate about your music, walking away from it
should not even be an option. And if you're one of those creative types who
wants to cure all the ills of "the industry," here are some thoughts for you
Changing the music industry is not unlike trying to change where and when the
sun rises every morning. You can expend all the anger and energy you can muster,
but the sun is still going to do its thing -- blissfully unaware that you're
even unhappy with it.
Stop trying to fix everything and change everybody else. Your focus on
frustration just creates more of it. The best way to make an impact in areas
that need improvement is to take Gandhi's advice:
"Be the change you want to see in the
Unless you're Clive Davis or one of the Dixie Chicks, you won't be able to
influence the industry at large. (Okay, let's amend that to "unless you're Clive
You can't control what happens to the overall music business, but there is
something you can control directly: How you conduct yourself and your own place
in music. Focus on pursuing a career on you your own terms -- not terms imposed
by the industry.
The more successful you are living by your own set of standards, the more
energy and attention you'll create. And if other indie artists are likewise
successful operating outside the traditional lines, that influence will grow
Rosa Parks didn't set out to change the entire civil rights system. She
simply did what see thought was right and sat down where she felt she was
entitled. That simple act of conviction created a social tidal wave that's still
Use that same philosophy with your music career. Be the change you want to
see in the music world. Steer away from people who don't support your indie
values. Find victories where you can. Build on them.
Through your positive example, people will take notice and ... the music
industry may be slightly altered forever. Heck, maybe even Nick and Jessica will
get back together
Bob Baker is the author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," "Unleash the
Artist Within" and "Branding Yourself Online." He also publishes
TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that deliver free music marketing tips
and self-promotion ideas to musicians of all kinds. Visit TheBuzzFactor.com for more