So You Want To Be A Rock Star, Baby?

Published on Tuesday, 22 February 2005

Too often, in the entertainment industry, people get sold the elusive goal of being a rock star. That dream for some people comes crashing down, into bad debts, copyright wrangling and no airplay whatsoever. However, that's not the only story. So you want to be a rock star, baby ? Here's what we've found works, from our dealings with our entertainment clients.

First and foremost, the entertainment industry is a business. Treat it like one and you will succeed. Treat it like something that is out to get your soul, and you won't. Your attitude matters, and that can be a bankable commodity for most artists.

Secondly, train. Whatever you're best at, focus on it, be it vocals, guitar chops or remixing. Get people who are committed to your goals for the music around you. What may be a weakness for you may be someone else's strength.

Thirdly, get your music into a tight act, both in the studio and live. U2, with their current album, "How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb", and their "Vertigo" tour, demonstrate how tight an act must be to command respect in the industry. Granted, U2 has the backing and distribution of a major label behind them, but marketing isn't everything.

So if you're an independent artist, or haven't signed to a label, the same challenge remains. This is why indie artists such as Simeon and Sounds Like Chicken deliver such a tight show. I've seen both these indie artists live and I can say that they deliver on the goods. Simeon, with his authentic sound of pop rock, helps convey a message about the culture we live in and what we get out of it. With tight licks and such a strong frontman leading the band, it is no wonder that he currently recieves airplay across Australia. Sounds Like Chicken also deliver a tight show, combining hectic ska with strong lyrics and melody.? If you want to succeed, you need to do likewise. Having your show, sound and genre right means you're not simply another Idol pushed through the marketing hype.

That said, marketing hype can be beneficial. Numerous bands have hit the Top 40 based simply on marketing hype, some even have kept their audience long enough to not fade off after having one song hit the A-list rotations. Our services at Absalom Media come into play here. We help provide an online web presence for the bands, artists and photographers who need it. This also is where budgets and plans come into play. You need to pay your agent somehow. You need to pay the marketing guys somehow. Make sure you can make this business venture succeed, instead of fading away into insignificance.

Next, blog or at least keep a way of keeping your information current to your fanbase. At the end of the day, that is where your music is going - to your fans. Record companies, when considering unsigned artists, look at potential revenue and turnover of records. If you have way of demonstrating that you've got an extensive and wide rangingin fanbase, that means the record company is on a sure thing to sign you or your band. The more people talk about you, the more chance you have of getting signed, which is why the old saying "Any publicity is good publicity" is sometimes a good thing.

Finally, keep yourself honest to what you want out of the music. There are numerous people in the industry who will try and sell you the dream of being a rock star, usually either for exclusive copyright over everything you do, or merely to get money out of you now instead of later. Don't believe everything you read, or everything you see.

Enjoy the journey and let the world experience what you have to offer.
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