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So, Where Do I Start?

If you haven’t realised this yet, I’m saying it again: Being an artist is hard work.

You have to realise that being on stage is a very small part of being a successful artist. One of the many misunderstandings I see among young artists is that they think recording a CD is going to make them famous.

An album filled with well written songs, recorded in the best studio, with an amazing CD cover, is not enough. That CD won’t go anywhere unless you make it happen. You have to get out there and actively promote yourself and your music.

In today’s difficult economic times, it is hard to keep your head above water and cope with rising interest rates and fluctuating fuel and food prices; nobody has money to waste. A good quality recording and well packaged CD can easily cost you around R50 000+. Your primary focus should be to recover that money and make a profit from the CD sales. It takes an exceptional, above average artist or musician to create these kind of sales.

Be sure that you have what it takes, vocally and musically. Be clear in your mind that you have the talent needed to make a success and have the strength to cope with the pressures that come with being famous. Millions of people dream about recording a CD, but not all of them have the ability to make their talents work on an album. Ensure that more people than just your mom, dad and music teacher think you have potential. Ask somebody outside your inner circle to give you an honest opinion on your vocal abilities, and be prepared to receive both positive and negative feedback.

It is way too expensive to spend money on a CD that isn’t going to sell.

Unless you are an established artist, selling CDs is hard. There are only a few artists who could get gold or platinum status with a debut album. They either had a big public platform or lots of money behind them for marketing. On the other hand, there are many bands who’ve been around for many years and are still struggling to sell their products.

The aim is to CREATE A BUZZ!

Another important thing to know, even before you record, is this: the public needs to know who you are! This means that you’ll have to perform, get in at art festivals, sing in pubs, join a band, make a music video and get it on the internet or travel with an established artist.

The public is your most valuable asset. They need to know who you are and what you sound like and it doesn’t matter whether you record with a label or independently. Record labels are looking for artists who are willing to work hard and tour around the country and globally. The quickest way to get a record deal is when the public starts to ask for you, by name, in music stores.