Stop! saying you make music for everyone. It's childish.

“I have been doing music for years and still haven’t gotten anywhere” said the mad

 Indie artist.

Research and Development is a process in music that long seems forgotten. In our era of Internet millennial artists running music streams but can’t sell. It feels like almost all major companies and even independent ones are out of touch of with what the people want to BUY. Why is that? Why do we see a decline in sales so drastically but yet artists like Adele, and Beyoncé can sell consistently and retain a strong following over the years.

Beyonce's Lemonade cover art

Beyonce's Lemonade cover art

 

They still research and develop themselves. They go out and see what their fans want to own and they cater to it. A part of music’s lure is escapism. Michael Jackson talked very in depth about creating an experience for the listener. So what exactly is research and development for those of us not versed in business? It is testing your product before you make a major investment in distribution, marketing and promotion. Get it out of your head that you make music for everyone. Get it out of your head that you are good enough to commercially mix and master your own tracks. You have to test your product with a specific demographic, geographic and psychographic target to have accurate chances of success. That is why these artists succeed. And others fail.

Michael Jackson from Speed Demon video.

Michael Jackson from Speed Demon video.

So what I am calling you to do? I want you all to take feedback more seriously. Not from someone who is a man and your making a love ballet about a woman from Chicago. But match your target with your music’s subject. Make an educated assumption of who will respond to what you are offering. Test it before you run off and make a whole album. And if you receive poor reviews from your target, then it is time to step out of your ego and revamp your music‘s overall look, feel, mood and quality. Even if blogs, critics and press hate your music but the people buy it. Move forward because critics don’t buy your records anyway. People do. Only If the target doesn’t like it, then you know that song or project is not what you need to invest in. No matter how much you think one day after ten years of pushing the same sound it is going to magically be profitable. BUT, music is also about timing so….. In paradox to what I just said. Sometimes the market is sincerely not ready for a certain sound or style. 

When I say magic, I mean wonderment, that excitement, escapism, another world. There are other people that do that sort of thing like Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney. For the spectator it’s exciting, it’s entertaining, it’s joy, it’s love. I like to create magic, myself, I love magic.
— Michael Jackson American Top 10 interview

This is a game of doing a little bit more homework than just your opinion of what YOU think sounds good. We make music for people. Not ourselves. You have to give the people what they want or this will forever stay a hobby. I am Shadow The ArchAngel thank you for reading, keep fighting.

follow me everywhere @shadowtheaa

 

 

Readings that inspired this blog post:

Adele:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2016/01/10/adeles-25-has-now-sold-15-million-copies-worldwide/#1aa4b0c36e7f

Beyonce:
http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20130729/PRINTEDITION/307259928/1002

Good Read

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Marketing-DIY-Musician-Executing/dp/1480369527

Music Sales Decline:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7430863/2016-soundscan-nielsen-music-mid-year-album-sales-sink-streaming-growth