There seems to be a veil of illusion that has lowered and covered several peoples eyes of late - that has made usually rather sensible people believe in the unlikely and the inplausible. Myself included may I add. I fell under the spell and when I woke up I realised it was all but a dream with absolute NO foundation, nor honest intention once the veil was lifted.
What is so appealing about the New Zealand (and to a degree - the Australian) music scene? It seems to me that a small number of people have fallen victim to the dream of massive international fame and success based on very little work and in some cases a lack of actual talent. I personally learnt the hard way and realised that irrespective of the perceived status of where opportunities come from, does not neccessarily make them better, or a smarter choice career wise.
I personally feel that due to how trusting we are as a people, and how much many of us desire that BIG break, we are vunerable and open to being abused by unscrupulous companies.
So in a typical honest and down to earth kiwi way, I am going to share a few home truths.
1. It is VERY unlikely that you will have a massive hit straight off the bat - as a relatively (or totally) unknown artist. The easiest part of the equation is to release your music digitally and to radio - but without a marketing plan it is a pointless and fruitless exercise.
2. Anyone promising any results - or calling you a superstar, is only speaking to your ego - stroking it so that they can pull that veil down further. Let's face it - as a music professional I deeply want my talent to succeed and get to the stage of being a superstar - but this realistically takes a good amount of time, money, patience and hardwork.
3. Social media and marketing are VITAL. This makes people (especially industry people) look twice at you - it's all about PROFILE.
4. The music world is changing - that shouldn't come as a suprise to most of you - so you need to keep that in mind when considering who you wish to deal with. A fresh MODERN approach is important. What used to be the formula over the last 40, 30 and even 5 years is no longer valid. So look very realistically at historical "former glories" and look at the current state of the business claiming all sorts of information that is an exaggeration of the truth.
5. Be aware that to some, exaggeration and stretching the truth comes naturally. Just because someone says something, does not mean it is factual or even truthful. So question. If you have a nagging feeling - listen to that as that is your instinct speaking to you.
So my point? Success comes gradually - nothing is instant, or "overnight". A company / label can only offer the TOOLS to create the very best possible chance of success, but a lot of it depends on the intangible: How the mass public react to YOUR music.
If you are close to being swept off your feet regarding your music dreams, take a minute, get grounded and really take a look at who is offering you these opportunities. Look at the motivations of the people involved. Are they only interested in their BOTTOM LINE or in YOUR well being? Are they making a TON of money before you see a cent? Or are they working alongside of you as a partner.
Yes, we are in business to make money - but what I am encouraging you all to do is look at the INTENTION behind behaviour and business practice.
So I leave you with a final thought - NZ and Australia have amazingly talented artists - WE deserve our time to shine and have successful careers in the Global music scene. I just ask you all to remain grounded, investigate and remember that with the right team, opportunities and intention behind you, the world is truly your oyster.