As an artist who pines for advice from so-called “music marketing experts,” it must be maddening when an article lists 15 or so great tips to improve your exposure, and then they go: BUT REALLY, YOU JUST NEED TO MAKE GREAT MUSIC.
Wait, what? … Just wait.
Digital Music News raises the point that there are a lot of top selling artists on the main stage who don’t make “great music” but still dominate sales. Take Carly Rae Jepsen for example, who easily fits into the Justin Bieber/Miley Cyrus mold. We’re not going to start listing Top 40 artists and explaining why we don’t think they make great music, because the truth is, they’re not “artists.” They’re just those who let the powers that be turn them into the calculating pop robots that tap into the hearts of 14-year olds every year. It’s not rocket science. Here’s an easy formula if you want to get ahead: make club music with a female singer and use the three same chords Lady Gaga uses for all of her music.
Truth is, Digital Music News is telling you to be like Carly Rae Jepsen or LMFAO because they did the same old formula that works for pop stars. But that’s not the only formula for success, and the world has enough pop stars as is.
Making great music does work, and they do it with their own lyrics. Look at Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Broken Social Scene, etc. Deep down, every artist is going to have to look into the mirror and ask themselves: do I want to diminish my work and try to make music for 14-year old kids because that’s what works for Top 40 or do I just want to make music because it’s fun?
Here’s a new tip: keep your integrity.
Editor’s note: We don’t believe pop stars don’t make music just for fun. This is merely a response to the article’s advice.
Hot Seller: Out of Control by AKS (5/21)