Earlier this week, I interviewed my 30th artist for the Tunecreators Artist Spotlight podcast and I have to say, it’s been one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.

This podcast has allowed me to discover and connect with so many talented artists, build my confidence, and learn more about them, the music industry, and myself in the process. 

As we’ve hit the 30th interview milestone, I thought this would be a good time to look back at the last 3 months, reflect on the awesome conversations I’ve had, and share what I’ve learned about artists in the process.

Here are 6 of the biggest takeaways from interviewing 30 amazing artists.

1. There are TONS of super talented artists out there

This was a pleasant surprise!

I have to say I’ve been totally blown away by the quality of the music of my guests. 

Some of the songs I’ve listened to sound as good as anything that you’d hear from major artists. 

Which is really cool. 

As a result, I’ve started a Spotify playlist to showcase the music of my guests, and if you listened to it, I’m sure you’d be pleasantly surprised as well.

2. Most Artists would love to do music full-time

This is something that I had already suspected, so no surprises here.

Whenever I asked my guests if they’d love to do music full time, the answer was always a resounding YES!

Which musician wouldn’t love to make enough money from their music business to do it full time? That’s the ultimate dream right?

Unfortunately, very few artists get to achieve this dream and that brings me to the next big takeaway.

3. Most artists don’t have a marketing plan

This one was a big surprise for me.

While all the 30 guests that I interviewed would love to do music full-time, guess how many had an actual, marketing plan that showed them how to do this?

Twenty? Fifteen?

Just two!

Yep, you heard that right – two out of thirty.

Shocking right?

While I believe it’s possible for independent musicians to make enough money from their music business to do it full-time, achieving this goal requires proper planning, and following that plan like your life depends on it.

Failure to plan is planning to fail after all.

I suspect this right here is the main reason why the majority of independent artists never realize that dream of doing music full time.

4. Most artists are using a similar strategy to push their music.

Now this one I found very interesting.

All the guys I talked to seemed to be using the same strategy to push their music.

It goes something like this:

  • Step 1: Write your music
  • Step 2: Produce a project
  • Step 3: Promote your project with lots of trial and error
  • Step 4: Build a fan base
  • Step 5: Sell stuff to your fan base

This is the strategy used by major labels to push their artists and it seems that a lot of indies just copy that.

Big mistake.

Never copy what the majors do. 

This strategy only works if you

  1. Have a well-known brand and/or an existing fan base, which most new artists don’t.
  2. Have a LOT of resources at your disposal to push your original music – again, most new artists don’t have this. Most are operating on very limited resources.
  3. You’re very lucky and one of your songs goes viral – this one is totally out of your control.

I believe that using this strategy is the number one reason why there’s such a high failure rate in the music industry.

There are better and more reliable ways to push your music business, one of which I’ve developed called The Youtube Cover Strategy, and I’m going to be talking more about it in a future post.

If you’d like to know when I publish it, then get on the mailing list and I’ll send it to you when it comes out.

5. Most artists understand the need to be good at the business side to be successful. 

This one was another pleasant surprise.

I’ve always had the belief that the main reason many artists fail in this industry was that they didn’t understand that they were running a business – a music business to be specific.

There’s a very popular quote that says it better “the music industry is 10% music, and 90% business”, and this is so flipping true.

I’m happy to say that I was wrong. ALL of my guests understood this, which is awesome!

However, understanding you’re running a business is one thing, acting like a business is another. 

And a lot of my guests are not acting like businesses. 

Let me explain

There are certain things that make a business a business. One example is not having a website.

Typically, businesses tend to have a website where you can learn all about what they do, how to contact them, and so on. However, very few of my guests had that or even a professional Bio.

Artists seem to be content with using their Instagram profile for this, but this comes with a host of issues which I’ll get into in another post.

6. There are 2 main types of artists

The final takeaway has to be the most interesting, and probably the most controversial takeaways from my interviews.

After speaking to so many artists, I noticed one very interesting thing – there are basically two categories of upcoming artists.

I call them the Star-gazers and the Realists.

Allow me to explain.

The Star-gazers dream big, like REALLY big.

For these guys, the benchmark for success in the music industry is superstardom, and anything short of this is considered a failure.

The Realists are more conservative about their dreams. 

For these guys, the goal is not to become famous but rather to make enough money from their music to pay their bills with – or maybe buy some new gear.  

Some even hated the idea of being famous, which I found very interesting.

Personally, I see anything wrong with being either a Star-gazer or the Realists. 

I believe whatever goal you set for yourself is totally achievable, as long as it’s realistic and you do what is needed and required of you.

Wrapping up

And that’s pretty much it.

6 eye-opening things I’ve learned about artists after 30 awesome interviews.

Thank You

I Just want to say a big thank you to all the artists that I’ve interviewed so far. It’s been a pleasure meeting and chatting with you and I truly appreciate you coming on the show.

I’m loving the conversations so much that, at the time of writing this blog post, I’ve reached out to another 100 artists to be guests on the show.

I’m looking forward to having more conversations and discovering more music over the next coming months.