The Soul Of The New Music Artist

You are the perfect picture of what it takes to be a music artist today. Did you just let out a big ol’ sigh? Did you just wonder if you have what it takes? How can you possibly do it all?

Because it’s true, there is so much now that falls heavily into the laps of the artist – gone are the days of Bob Dylan and Joni just being’ discovered in coffeehouses… but…

The good news is…

The music industry is tumbling down and because of that, the power is truly now in your hands.

Are you ready to walk through that door? Perhaps never before has the artist been so much in the driver’s seat and while that is good news on an artistic front.. the bad news is.. Now that you are out there alone and on your own – it could be your downfall and just what drives you into the ground and nails the coffin.

I talk to artists every day who are overwhelmed – and I totally relate and understand that completely. How on earth can you get it all done AND know that your efforts are going to the right places? This is the new music business, and what you do now is what is going to separate those that do and those that don’t. We all KNOW that.

So – how do you benefit from this newfound artistic freedom without having to sell out -and at the same time get a leg up without burning out and stripping yourself of your reserves? Now that you are responsible for it all – artist, manager, promoter, booker, web-designer, social media expert, and even record label – how can you possibly keep the wheels turning without burning out your reserves and consuming every freakin’ moment of your life?

Years ago when I was pursuing stardom, I read the Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron), scribbled the morning pages religiously, scheduled my artist’s visits once a week (I always wondered if they really helped), but none-the-less was relentless in my artistry. I worked hard at my music – harder on my music than on my career – but the Artist’s Way didn’t mention career – at all.

It sent the message that all you had to do was to be a great artist and your success would surely come.

And we’re all still living on that message!!!

But the days of being discovered performing in the subway or even singing at Carnegie Hall are over.

Today, artists need a new outlook, and a seriously revised approach. There are new laws and new rules and it’s time to get on board. Business and music are now intertwined in a way that is integral to the path – one that is here to stay.

So the question I want to ask you is: What is it in you – in us – which we need – inside of us – to usher in this new frontier? What can end the divide between creativity and business (old structure) and what will give us strength and purpose in this new paradigm? I always look inside before I look outside – that’s just me – so I say to myself: What resides within me that could unify and smooth the gap between these worlds? What if I perceive these two worlds as one – instead of thinking they are separate?

My solution is best encapsulated in a word – and that word is: SOUL.

Webster’s dictionary says Soul is your spirit, essence, core, character, heart, psyche, and person. It seems to me that Soul is all of it – You. Your creativity, purpose, and your ability to manifest. What then if this Soul is the one thing that brings it all together – that unifies the separation? What if your Soul, the force behind you – a backdrop so to speak that is ever present – is your Ally – and your Best Friend – on this new journey? Sounds like a bunch of woo woo?

Not really. Here’s why..You (Soul) are the sum total of your experiences and genetics – your wisdom and desire/s. Within your Soul, you have everything you need to achieve your dreams, whether you know it or not. This Soul is an unadulterated, rich and pure resource and resonance that is You – within You. It is your inner and outer compass. It is the thing that gets you up in the morning and drives you to the stage. It’s what makes you give a sh**t and pushes you to follow your dreams no matter how unimaginable and intangible. It is what makes you look like a fool, even when there isn’t a shred of evidence you will ever make it (whatever that is for you). This is Soul – fierce and unafraid, but grounded in something beyond the reasonable. Follow me so far?

So what am I really talking about? I’m suggesting that you are capable of doing it all, on your own terms (now more than ever before) and can manage it all without losing sleep (well, not too much) by simply shifting how you look at it (and a few other things like how you set up your systems and your business.) But what if you stop resisting that you are an artist and an entrepreneur – and stop insisting that they are separate? What if they are actually integral to each other? What if you wouldn’t be as good with one without the other? Maybe this new paradigm is here to teach us something?

And I know that there are steps to this new paradigm – a system to follow. And it is an approach that meshes craft with business, from a perspective that is for the right-brain oriented mindset. Because lots of you are in the dust on this (I know because I talk to you all the time!..and it’s not your fault – things are changing so quickly). But the truth is that no more can you leave your career up to someone else – it’s you who has to get this thing on the road. In today’s new music business, it’s up to you to master the tug-of-war between art and business – learn to balance – trust your gut, set up your systems and pursue success. Because it’s just not going to pursue you.

There are 3 basic areas that your “Soul” is responsible for in the “new music business”:

1) Your Craft: Artistry, Developing Your Talent, Structure & Discipline

2) Your Career: Aligning Your Purpose – Who You Are and What You Offer That’s Different, Goal Setting, Producing a Product that will Transform your Fans & Your Career, Setting Up the Right Systems to Connect and Capture Your Audience, Branding/Website, and then – Creating a Winning Strategy &Game plan to Get your Music Out There in the Right Way, On Purpose and with Authenticity.

3) You As “Soulful” Entrepreneur: Building a Team That Supports You,Creating and Nurturing Relationships Within the Industry and With Fans, Marketing – Branding – Promoting – and Ultimately Attracting the Exposure You Need to Be Out There In a Big Way and Changing the World with Your Music.

How are you juggling both worlds? How are you Soul-ful?