Challenges Of A 21st Century Band

No more vinyls, no more CDs, no more retail stores.  Even Virgin called it quits. Now it’s the digital stores’ time. And they’ ve revolutionized the way we buy music. We don’ t have to buy a whole album just for one hit song. And if we do, it would cost much less than a physical album. It’ s game over for anyone who couldn’t keep up with this technological revolution.

ImageOf course, any technological advancement has downsides. Piracy and copyright infringements arose with the ease of file sharing. This uncontrollable freedom is seen as an innocent action by consumers, but artists and labels have taken a big hit. Ironically, technology came to the rescue: iTunes! Today, iTunes and music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify offer piracy free content with affordable prices. However, no one can deny that technology brought more cons than pros for industry pros.

What about the content creators’ side? What has changed for music creators with this technological revolution. First, no one has to pay thousands of dollars to hire a studio to record their music anymore. Now all an artist needs to record music is a laptop and a recording software. No more middle men or space is needed.

What about the sharing of that music? Modern technology and digital media has taken care of that problem, too. Getting exposure used to require a connected manager and a label boasting solid relationships with selected media like music magazines or music tv channels. Now it’ s all digital and free. Anyone can easily upload and share their music on various channels. Youtube has made it possible for artists to reach a billion of viewers overnight. Artists today can share updates on Twitter and Facebook to hundreds of millions and start promoting their music for sales on iTunes.

Reaching an audience has never been easier!

Or… is this paradoxal trap?

Like any revolution, this one has already given its best fruits to the early adopters and has nearly reached maturity. Remember the law of large numbers? Music creation and fan reach has been so easy for “a lot of people”, that now everybody has a chance of getting equal exposure, which is getting smaller by the day. The perfect storm of content flowing through enormous amounts of channels to a wide range of audiences has caused the fans’ attention to focus in miliseconds.

So how can a band crack out of this loophole and become “special?” It’s not enough to use social media professionally and make great music to gain momentum; not anymore.

What an artist needs is to become “unique!” And uniqueness comes from innovation.

Try to create something that has never been seen before. Try to invent something new. That’s the beauty and magic of music, there are no boundaries. Aim to be a Kurt Cobain, a Jimi Hendrix; invent a new style, experiment new instruments and beats,  don’t try to copy others and don’t repeat yourself.  Support your innovative music with innovative appearances, video clips and stage shows. Give the fans something to detect right away in that crazy flow of content and artists.

Keeping it safe and making popular music has little chance of making you famous in the 21st century. The key to the big leagues lies in being different and creating something new. So start now and don’t stop until you reach your epiphany.

Remember, in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different and unique.