A place to live and learn.
by Philip Warbasse - November 10, 2021
I'm searching for great artists to add to the MUSICdise roster in 2022. Will you or your band be one of them? Today, I'll review the top ten attributes I consider when selecting artists to sign with my agency. Don't forget to jam our Spotify playlist as you read on.
I love working with musicians. I enjoy watching them grow both personally and musically. It is a beautiful thing to see someone's career take off and know that I played a role in making it happen. A lot goes into successful music marketing, but it always starts with the relationship between the musician and their marketing team. Here are the top ten attributes (in order of importance) I consider before working with any musician or band.
1.) A Great Attitude: Working in an industry that can quickly take an emotional toll on even the most talented artists, I choose to work with musicians who know how to enjoy themselves and their craft. In my opinion, a great attitude is essential to keeping everything else in perspective.
2.) Great Music: Speaking as a creative licensing agent, what makes music great is people's ability to relate to it. It's less about hooks or chops and more about relatability. Is your music relatable? Whether it's in the lyrics or the melody, your music will reach more people if they relate to it.
3.) Copyrighted and Registered with a PRO: Now that we've got attitude and great music out of the way, it's time to address the elephant in the room. I can't touch an artist that relies only on automatic copyrights. It's in your best interest to register your copyrights with a PRO (performance rights organization). Once your compositions are researched and documented, you will be ready for MUSICdise to help you explore sync licensing opportunities.
4.) Skin in the Game: MUSICdise provides a pre-defined list of marketing services. We rely on our artists to manage all aspects of their careers that are outside our purview, such as but not limited to social media, video releases, and pay-per-click advertising.
5.) An Audience: Part of what attracted me to representing Tod Lippy was the built-in audience he brought as the publisher of ESOPUS magazine (2003-2018). Tod still maintains a relationship with his subscribers and a database that enables him to reach a large group of people already familiar with him and his work. That becomes incredibly valuable as I assess the depth of an artists' audience.
6.) Creativity: Staying creative in every aspect of your career is essential. There are other areas besides your music that demand creative attention. Good marketers don't work in a vacuum - we rely on creative feedback from the artists we work with to craft promotional strategies that feel authentic to both the artist and their audience.
7.) Tenacity: Whenever you feel like quitting - and you will - just don't do it right now. Quit tomorrow.
8.) No Fear: It's no fun to go into every opportunity fearing the worst. Fear has no place in music. There is nothing to fear in the arts. "No fear" doesn't mean artists should throw caution to the wind. Instead, it means they should be thoughtful but willing to take risks.
9.) Clear Focus (aka, a Thick Skin): Musicians need to demonstrate the ability to stay focused on their goals no matter what is going on around them. There are a lot of distractions in the music business, not to mention things like no-replies to your requests and outright rejection. We help insulate our artists from the daily grind, but we rely on them to keep their eye on the prize.
10.) Experience: Coming in at number ten is experience. Experience is not a bad attribute. It still made the top ten. I consider it the least important detail when selecting an artist if they are open to learning.
11.) Patience (BONUS): They say to have patience means being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity. Patience is a good attribute for anyone, but I like to take it a step further. Don't just wait, wait expectantly - knowing good news is on the way.