This post is directed at the growing number of multi-skilled music artists among us who choose to direct much of their energy and skills to additional music talents. Although being multi-talented maybe necessary at the beginning of ones musical career, it will one day come down to choosing one. Choose your passion wisely.
What questions do we ask ourselves when deciding which career path to pursue? Music offers many possibilities, and part of the challenge in finding our way is recognizing opportunities as they present themselves. Then we must decide what is right for us.
Gone are the days of minimal opportunities for the musically talented. Now each music career path chosen can be as unique as the artists themselves. The problem is not the lack of opportunities, but the ease in which new artists can market, produce and distribute their own music and talents on a global scale.
Which means every Johnnie’s uncle/cousin on daddy’s side of the family can sing into a mic, record vocals with some backing tracks and have it uploaded to the internet by days end. If Johnnie’s cousin happens to be a better marketer than you, then it is more likely he will garner more exposure than you.
The sad fact is, this is commonplace on the internet today and it becomes increasingly more difficult to promote sell or to stand out as individual independent artists. You couple that with the low cost of advertising and promoting hype around artists and their music; then the result is a marketplace inundated with mediocrity. It’s no longer enough to be good at what you do… You now have to be “great” at what you do.
This brings me back to the singer, songwriter, producer, actress, graphic artist, web designer etc; multi-talented music artist. In today’s music environment, part of your strategy should be honing your primary music talent and putting in the time necessary to excel in your particular niche. If your strength and passion lies in songwriting, then be the “go-to” artist for songwriting. Better yet, try to specialize in your niche e.g. if you are a recording engineer and are very good at recording live sessions, then be the “go-to” artist for recording live performances.
It is rare for multi-talented artists to gain exposure because of their list of talents, it usually one skill-set that propels them ahead of the pack. Once they gain exposure from their primary talent, it is usually when the others skills come to light.
Trust me… there are a lot of up-and-coming artists out there who most would consider mediocre, but are only going to get better as they strive to get to the next level. That means there will be a growing number of artists among us that will benefit because they decided to specialize. Specialized artists will soon become the most in demand; more so than the multi-talented among us.
I think as the internet expands, it will continue to change the dynamics of music business/ industry with each passing day. As more artist forgo the idea of the “record deal” and the unique professional services they offer signed artists, there will be a demand for more independent artists specialized in one niche to fill the gap. The more specialized an artist becomes the more likely he/she will stand out.
Overall, our goals as artists should be to “position” ourselves in this new market as the “go-to” person for a particular skill or talent.