The basis of success in the music industry goes beyond the ability to make great music. Most people don’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’m going to be a successful musician today”. Those who have this seemingly random awakening experience still spend years getting to a stage of musical understanding and talent prior to launching their musical career. Even with years of formal or informal training and/or practice, talent is still not enough to be successful in the music industry. In fact, non-musicians have the potential for music industry success with increasing technological advances in the industry.
If musical talent isn’t enough, what makes a musician attain and maintain a successful career? Being successful in the music industry requires the right attitude for success, understanding of “popular” thoughts towards music creation, connecting with the right people, having the right team, re-directing industry disadvantages, artists treating themselves like a business, and last but not least, understanding how to make money in the music industry. Musical artists who embrace these requirements can save themselves the disappointments of being exploited or taken advantage of by others in the industry or from stagnant musical careers. Instead they can embrace that with knowledge in these areas of business comes growth to their musical career.
"There are more letters in the word 'business' than there are in the word 'music'." Anonymous1
Understanding music without having a proper understanding of the basic principles of business equates to not understanding the music industry. For years, “getting signed” to a record label was the best option for an artist to experience success. However, millions of copies being sold and the fame of nations are not adequate enough to define success as artists still file bankruptcy for the unfavorable deals they may not have fully understood when “getting signed.”
An example of this sad fate is that of the American female group, TLC. TLC does not stand for tender loving care as some would imagine. It is a female trio whose group name uses the first initials of each group member’s name. Its members consist of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas.2 In October 2013, VH1 released CrazySexyCool: The TLC movie with the same name as the group’s second album released in 1994. According to Billboard, the album, CrazySexyCool, eventually sold over 11 million copies in the United States.3 This was a trendsetting success, especially for a female group.
An outpour of revived emotional disruption, which had seemingly been silenced for almost twenty years, was in the hearts, minds and conversations of old and new fans when the movie was released. It left signs of hatred towards “Pebbles,” TLCs first manager, alleged threats of harm from Pebble’s daughter to TLC in social media platforms, and threats of lawsuits to VH1 for mischaracterizing Pebbles.4 With it...