To be successful in music you must know your audience and understand the people your music speaks to. But you cannot stop there. To be truly successful in the music industry, you must also know yourself.
Many aspiring artists believe that talent is the most important variable in determining success in music. In an ideal world it would be that way, but we live in a far from ideal world, sorry to break it to you. Whilst talent is of course indispensable for any credible artist, hard work, tenacity and dedication play just as an important role, if not more. What’s more, the artists that tend to have a magical spell over their audience, the artists that seem to have such a deep connection that their fans will literally do anything for them, are often the artists that are very in tune with their own personal purpose or mission.
Why do you make music? It’s a question I often ask the artists that I work with and it’s almost always met with silence, confusion and hesitation. It’s not generally a question artists ask themselves, because it seems obvious right? Who wouldn’t want to make music and be a superstar? Who wouldn’t want to make a career doing the thing that they love?
It’s all very well to know that you make music because it’s your passion in life, but if you want to truly connect with your audience then you also need to understand your deeper motivations, your defining purpose, your mission that they can relate to and share with you. Simon Sinek says that people don’t buy what we do, they buy why we do it. That is to say, we buy products and services from people and brands that we feel a sense of shared values with. The biggest brands in the world do this amazingly well. Apple doesn’t try and sell you on the speed or features of their devices, nor does Nike sell you on the quality fabric or design of their shoes… they sell you on an idea. The idea of changing the world, the idea of reaching your athletic potential. These are values, they’re intangible and the sooner you can tap into the intangible goal or mission of your career, the sooner you will start to find fans that relate to that idea and will come along for the ride with you.