The Quite Great Music marketing team at www.quitegreatmusicmarketinguk.com spend a great deal of time gaining insights into the world of unsigned and developing artists from across the globe , we are lucky to speak to around two or three bands and artists a day so we gain a real feel for the problems they face plus the opportunities they open for themselves through hard work and we are so pleased when they take time out and tell us in their own words about the way they develop as it is useful to all other acts in a similar position . The following information from the brilliant Japanese Fighting Fish is both eloquent and very informative and is a must read for anyone trying to manage their own music career from the bottom up.
As a self-releasing or self-managed band, the road to getting heard by a larger audience is fraught with challenges and not for the faint of heart, but with a lot of work, passion, and the right combination of band members is well worth taking on not to mention hooking up with the kind of guys at Quite Great music marketing who we are set to release our second single through. This of course assumes that the band have something truly unique to offer, however there are countless examples where the lack of originality has not prevented success, dispelling the myth that all it takes is the right song in a fleeting moment. That moment is made through perseverance and the culmination of multiple efforts at the same time, built on a foundation of a supportive lifestyle.
Firstly, the decision to even be a self-releasing band should be a conscious one, not to be taken lightly, but in an ever self-sufficient world of digital releases, the alternative is not always a viable option at entry level. It’s worth acknowledging that self-releasing comes in many different forms, and the extent to which it is executed largely depends on how well-informed the band is on the various options and how honest and realistic the members are in relation to their desired goals before setting out to achieve them.
In the early stages of a band’s development, creating a clear sense of what the band stands for will go a long way to defining how other people relate to the band going forward. Understanding each band member’s strengths and delegating duties fairly is as important at this stage as ever. Maybe one person has a good telephone manner and someone else has a flair for chatting to the local stage manager in person. Working to strengths and dividing duties evenly does wonders to nail that gig slot or land that studio time at a discount rate. Funding these efforts with a stable income is as important as time management and being organised, neither of which are attributes usually associated with aspiring musicians unfortunately. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Networking with the right studio engineers, photographers and ultimately booking agents goes a long way in bringing a relatively new band to big heights. Some bands are lucky to catch fire early owing to a combination of coolness, raw talent and luck, but it can be very damaging to expect opportunity to arrive on a silver plate. It can take a significant amount of time and research to have the right people in your circle of activity but once all the gears are moving in unison the energy of the band can be contagious to fans and influential individuals at all levels.
Decisions along the way may be tough, and it’s no secret that band members don’t decide on everything unanimously. Having the right attitude by putting the needs of the band before the preferences of the individual is important, both in writing songs and group decisions. A band agreement is highly useful in clearing up ambiguity and acts as great protection from uncertainty or misunderstanding.
Knowing where you need help and having the right tools at your disposal to seek that help out at the right cost is often half the battle. For example, using a digital distributor such as CD Baby can alleviate the pressure of deciding on the best retail strategy, allowing the band to use their limited resources elsewhere to promote their release. Again, promotion is something a band will need help with sooner or later, and knowing when and how the realm of the band meets the realm of the people working with the band will allow things to work in unison.
In an ideal world the right people will approach the band and offer great services at little or no cost and everyone is a winner. The reality is that this may happen perhaps in one or two realms to varying degrees of risk which is why access to the facts from the outset can mitigate time and money wasted.
There are now more than ever a whole host of things that bands can take on themselves with a myriad of online resources and pro tips. Entrusting the right people both inside and outside the band with the right tasks is a prerequisite for success, but ultimately getting out there and getting people excited about what you do is the best way to strike up a working partnership that can bear fruit in ways that are often hard to predict.
Matt // JFF