As 80s pop pin-ups Bros once sang (if you’re born after 2000, you might need to Google this reference), ‘When will I, will I be famous.’ And that, in a neat summation, is one reason why some want to get into the music industry. Because it’s a gateway to fame, it opens doors, it gets you noticed, it gets you power and money, money, money. And if that’s your answer to why you’re in music, then great – you know why you’re doing it and what you want to get out of it.
Knowing why you’re in the music industry will feed into your bio, which goes into your EPK, which is your brand and your PR. So it’s an essential part of the process.
In this blog we dive into the importance of knowing your why and how it will help you scale your music career.
- The Big Questions
- Getting the Most Out of Your Music Career
- Knowing Your Worth
Beyond that, most Pop Idol of an answer, there are a variety of reasons why you are, or thinking about, working in the music industry, be that as a singer, DJ, producer, agent, recording engineer, music PR, backing singer, session musician, roadie, lead singer, ghostwriter or any of the dozen other associated jobs. And knowing why – deciphering why you’re in this notoriously tough and challenging industry – and then using that knowledge to find the right fit/niche/ job is one of the keys to ensuring you succeed.
How to “know Your why”
It’s oh-so-easy to get caught up in making music, chasing record labels, hustling for gigs, writing tracks at 4 am, and endlessly refreshing your social media, but take a moment, step back, and pause.
Why are you doing what you’re doing? These will help “Know Your Why”
- Is it a dream you’ve had since you were little? Is it a passion that drives you to make music,
- Is it because you fell in love with music on the dance floor and want to make other people move?
- Is it because you have a story or emotion you need to share with your lyrics and songs?
Whatever job you’re doing? Whatever the reason, ask yourself why you’re chasing this dream.
What do you want to get out of the music industry?
Do you want to work with your peers? You may want to travel the world with music. Or you may want to listen to music every day of every year and get paid for it – that’s living the dream for many.
Maybe you’re in it as it looks cool and it’s got you interested, perhaps you’re involved as it’s in the family blood and you want to carry that on, maybe you want to work nights and sleep days, perhaps you want to live the rock’n’roll lifestyle and fight the system, maybe you want to live for the weekends?
There are a million and one reasons, but ask yourself what the end goal is: what you want out of this career, where you want to be in a year/five years/20 years, and what you want to have achieved.
These are all big questions, but the sooner you ask yourself these questions, the sooner you can start working towards those goals.
Speaking honestly, making it – as in that Instagram style of making it, as in multiple Grammy nominations – happens to one in ten thousand. So it happens, but only sometimes. The music industry is good at seducing and selling, so be careful about buying into their dreams.
What sustains you when there’s not likely to be an endless pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Many in the music industry say passion, creativity, and love.
Music – like all the arts – is about inspiration, creating something dramatic, moving, beautiful, or connecting with people. And that, when you’re young and energetic, is often enough to get you started and see you through the start before you can start making money and working your way up the ladder.
Know Your Worth?
What can you offer? What are your talents? Anything that makes you different, unique, or just better?
Music is far-reaching – from opera to pop, speed metal to hip hop, back-room gigs to sell-out arenas, it’s a sprawling industry employing millions worldwide. And ideally, you want your talents best suited to your job and what you want from your role. So know what your skills are and what your passion is, and start working your way up the industry ladder.
Careers take left turns, hit dead ends, move forward at an alarming pace, and can dawdle for years.
They can do all these things, but knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing and what you want to achieve can mean you take right turns, you hit those dead ends far less often, and you motor along at your speed in the right lane and watch things slowly – or if you’re lucky – quickly take off.
Conclusion To Know Your Why
Figuring out why you want to pursue a career in the music industry is one of the keys to success. Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, and discovering what drives you, will ensure you keep the same energy and dedication you had when you first started out.
And don’t worry if your ‘why’ is different – everyone is different!
My ‘Why’ has changed several times during my career, and each time I’ve adapted my business to fit. So now it’s over to you to find your “why” and make that big first step into the rest of your life.