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What does it take to win in the music business these days?

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: It is pretty common knowledge that the music industry has morphed since the days of Motown. While the model has changed from just ten years ago, the number of artists eager to enter the business has not declined over time. New technology for producing beats allows almost anyone to make a record, thereby diluting and congesting the field. So the dedicated have to distinguish themselves from the pack. Do you ever wonder how some folks made it big in the business with "little" talent, while those that sing like Whitney Houston never make it? Do you have what it takes to make it in the business? Ask yourself a series of questions: Is this my passion? Can I make a living with music? Do I want this to be my business? If the answer is yes, then you have to approach this industry as a business.

Whether a win in the music business is signing to a major deal, signing to an independent label, or starting your own label, the foundation to accomplish either is the same. There are a number of factors that come into play. Passion, hustle, timing, relationships, money, and knowledge are a few of the factors that begin to separate the pack.


In order to commit the time and energy to this business in a way that will garner success, music has to be your passion. If being around it and performing it makes you happy, then this could very well be your passion. The most successful people eat, drink and sleep the business in an effort to win at this game. The time dedicated to your craft must be so great, that if it is not your passion you will grow to hate it.


Studio sessions, writing, social media, promoting, marketing and performing are just a few of the things that a successful artist must do to move forward. No one should be able to outwork you promoting yourself. Do not be afraid to work you and your product. The hustle and the drive is what can easily separate those that are the most successful in this business. The hustlers are always working and always on the cutting edge of creating their own opportunities. Think about Beyonce as an example. She is always hustling and working whether it be with music, clothes, fragrances or movies.


Sometimes simply being PREPARED and in the right place at right time makes the difference between making it in the industry or not. But showing up unprepared or without your music or a business card with how to access the sound is unacceptable. You never know whose path you may cross. So if you are always hustling, you are always prepared for when the timing is right.


The beauty of Memphis is that we are one or two degrees of separation from anyone that we are trying to reach. So maximize relationships by broadening your circle and not hesitating to ask for an introduction to someone you would like to know. Chances are someone within reach has a contact. But do not use the relationship card if you are not ready and prepared for introduction.


Regardless of the industry, money always helps. But there never seems to be enough of it to get everything done. Money is also a factor which separates the crowd. Studio time, tracks, engineers, manufacturing and promotion all cost money. So when money is not abundant, it is imperative that you make it up with hustle and creativity.


Current information is the key in the music business because things change so rapidly. Staying abreast of trends, topics and people is a must. Just as a doctor or a lawyer must remain up-to-date with the changes in their field of expertise, artists are no different. Remember this is a business, and you want to make a living at it so always be in a state of learning.

Memphis is ready for the next big thing. Join us next week as we take stock of our up and coming artists as well as some of our longtime favorites. Remember we must support our artists if they are ever going to make it big.

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