I’m not on a ranting mood. I just had this thought in my head and figured to “jot” it down on tumblr and perhaps some of you… Well, scratch that… I KNOW some of you would have to agree with me since I do have a number of artist/musician friends who follow me on here.
You can’t treat or look at a successful signed artist and an independent artist who is deemed successful - the same. As independent artists, we do have the creative ability to do whatever we want, release music however/whenever we want, there aren’t as much monetary splits as signed artists, and technically nobody can tell us what to do. I’m all for it. I’m somewhat living it - though depends on how you define “successful” when it comes to my career so far, but that’s beside the point.
Independent artists may have all those awesome attributes but everyone needs to understand that we take care of everything else that a mainstream artist does not: our studio time, travel, promotion, networking, marketing, AND 100% of relationships - business and creative…etc. I don’t have an agent who rubs shoulders with venue bookers. I don’t have a manager who takes care of all of my emails, picks up the phone to create opportunities for me, and/or goes out to meetings on my behalf “talking me up” and “shopping me around” to business executives and what not. I don’t have a record label who funds my albums, promotes them, and pushes singles on the radio. I could go on…
So there was this movement these past few years that was innovative due to the Internet. All these unknowns and the “never would’ve made it mainstream” got their voices and songs heard to any crowd who’s willing to listen and watch. I can absolutely put myself in this category. To be honest, after my first major publishing deal with Warner/Chapell wasn’t picked up for another few years, I thought I was ready to move on completely. Not to abandon music altogether, I was just ready to completely phase out my hopes in making music as a career. I figured I can still do music in church, charity events, in my room, sing in front of my dog. And live the simple life.
But then surprisingly, a trickle effect of SUPPORT came slowly but surely. I wasn’t quite sure how to make of it at first. It then slowly became a career again. Yes, of course I’m talking about Youtube and the community surrounding it.
…So fast-forward to today. It’s been a few years of making music on YouTube. I even conjured to release an EP and singles while I was at it. I’ve done shows a plenty, made new friends, worked and collaborated with some superpower talents out there. I can’t complain where I’ve been these past few years. I’m tremendously blessed.
This post is to thank those whose been faithfully supporting me and especially the few who’s known me BEFORE YouTube (you should get a medal on that).
Now for the days and years ahead, I hope I still get to create and sing for y’all. And the only way I could do that is if I still have ALL of YOU supporting! As my dear friend Jeremy Passion once told me, “I don’t want to call them ‘fans’ but rather ‘supporters…’” (or something along those lines).
All of you are LITERALLY the lifeline and if I could put it more bluntly, you folks are the BLOOD THAT RUNS THROUGH OUR MUSICAL CAREER VEINS. In a way, supporters are our (independent artists’) record label, agent, promoter, and etc. - even if its indirectly. Truth be told, venue bookers, established songwriters/producers/executives, etc. wouldn’t have looked twice at me (for collaborations/shows/opportunities) if it wasn’t for the hits and subscribers I got on YouTube. YOU put it there. I didn’t.
The reason why I want to emphasize this is because buying music and supporting live concerts are crucial. You can’t call yourself a full-on supporter if all you do is just listen to a song or 2 from illegally downloading stuff and that’s it. You support by spreading the word, going out to shows, buying CDs/merch, and downloading legally. You shouldn’t just support a “song” that you like, you support the artist who made and sang that song. Everyone has got to remember that,supporting is an active roleand not just someluvey-duvey-ooey-gooeysentiment.
All I’m saying is that… If you want me to keep going with music… If you want all the independent artists that you’ve grown to love (YouTube or otherwise) to keep going with their art…
You have to support.
It’s one of the very few indicators whether if what we’re doing here still makes sense. And I’m sure all my artist friends agree.
I’m still getting messages in my inbox (on tumblr and email) about this post from last night. And I’m thankful that you appreciate my thoughts on this…and so far all of you agree. So thank you…for not making me feel like I’m just rambling nonsense.
Here’s to celebrating what has passed, living in right now, and the anticipation of tomorrow. <3