I’m glad CD Baby News sent this out in their last DIY Musician newsletter. Most people that aren’t involved in the “world of social media, likes, thumbs up and video views” probably don’t realize how much of that is fake or paid for.
As a grass roots indie musician I frequently get asked and am forced to define what success is to me. “Successful” means that I am paying my bills and living my life playing my instrument and performing my music. As a culture, we determine something “successful” when the end is reached.
A musician becomes famous, a lawyer wins a big case, an athlete is on a Wheaties box. We forget, or maybe just ignore, that work and dedication is really what determines success. “Fake it till you make it” is a concept I can’t wrap my head around because paying bills, building a career, fans and life by pursing a dream or goal IS success! My work is not valueless just because I am not pimped out by an industry giant focused on money.
I also am connecting with people interested in my work, which then means I can continue to communicate with them about new music or tour dates. They, hopefully, will then come to a show or buy a new disc. Paying for likes, however, does non of that! I have no way to monitor if my efforts are helping me progress or digress, If I am not connecting with real people that are interested in my work then, in turn, I have no one to bring out to a show or sell a cd to.
Music and artistry should be about building something, not playing a role!