Doing music can be a chore to a musician but with the help of a loving team things can seem like a party that never gets boring. Understanding the anatomy behind the team building process has no cookie cutter approach being that every musician is different with a different set of tactics to complete the task at hand. Creating.
So what makes a good team besides love or passion one might ask. Creativity and open minds when it comes to idea sharing. There are several aspects of music such as the creative process which includes production of the recordings, marketing which includes creatively sharing the recordings with others in a way that stimulates artist growth and of course and also the longevity planning process which ultimately decides how long an artist is valid within a particular genre.
Now let’s break these three areas down a bit more to examine the anatomy of each. The creative team composed of producers, songwriters, feature artists, audio engineers and graphic designers. All these individuals are responsible for working together to create a message thru their own visionary skills. It is best to find people who love what they do as a professional is composed not of a degree program but of professionalism in endeavors.
A producer that knows how to capture the mood and captivate an audience is professional whether they have had formal training or not. So finding someone who loves to produce is normally a better option than breaking the bank on top name producers who care not if an artist succeeds.
A songwriter who conveys ordinary existence in a subtle way with imagery is necessary only if the artist is not a songwriter themselves but it is still good to work with other writers on occasion as they can present ideas and new concepts that ultimately help any songwriter grow.
Feature artists are a good part of longevity efforts as working with the same artists over and over create a musical bond and also show listeners of creative friendships or partnerships rather, if one is an advocate of separating personal from business in an all too serious fashion.
Many see the audio engineer as just a person who makes the song sound good but engineers have a creative process too if they feel a part of the project rather than a simple contractor. There are many engineers who know how to twist knobs in interesting ways if they don’t fear the responses will be negative for them being creative rather than technical.
A graphic designer should be able to display a meaningful message in silence that appreciates the song rather than just listing information on a template sized artwork cover. A listener should honestly get a gist of what is audible just from viewing the cover. Take for example the cover of “A Different World”. It lets listeners know, when listening to this song you are somewhere you have never been.
Next we discuss the marketing team who attaches promotional meaning to lyrics, team members or anything they can find to exploit the music in a commercial fashion. Muzik Hall Media uses grassroots campaigns to stay a community or household name rather than mass marketing tactics. The team should create an update-able plan that gets listeners involved and engaged. There is an art to creatively saying “hey listen to this because if you don’t you will be missing out on something”, and who ever wants to be the odd man out? This team should also know several hot spots to place promotional materials and develop relationships with the business owners so there is not a question when the team shows up. A business owner should almost immediately know mentally, “oh so and so must have a new project out”.
The longevity planning team is compiled of individuals who keep the artist motivated at all cost as many musicians get depressed easily when they feel they are letting the rest of the team down. A longevity team should insist on making sure the artist knows low record sales don’t mean failure, not creating music means failure. As well they should help with keeping the artist growing up. It is difficult for artists to age correctly with their fans because music is normally supposed to be fun or energetic in the eyes of most musicians, so that keeps a youthful mindset on creators but growing up is a part of longevity. An artist’s fans don’t stay mid twenties forever so it is better to age with your fans rather than against them. This means don’t act twenty when you are thirty five. Make songs about what it is like to be the correct age if this makes sense.
As an artist myself the hardest part to me was growing up. It’s almost like losing a sense of youth when songs develop that aren’t for the party but after hearing what I call a grown up song there is a sense of “I can do this forever” that came over me. The ability to portray real situations or scenarios that people listen to and say “ain’t that the truth”, because they as well understand what it is like to go thru those things too.
For more info about writing grown up songs read “The Human Experience”.
Keep creating and keep recording. It’ll all pay off, even if it only pays peace of mind. A star is only as bright as it allows itself to shine.