The music industry will suck the life out of you if you let it. This is why, as an artist, you must remember that this is YOUR life. You control what deals you sign, what people you allow to manage you. Ultimately, it is the artist that decides whether he or she can survive in this career.

One of the things that the industry is fond of doing is charging artists for perform. Promoters hold showcases where artists may be subject to pay a fee to get on the performance list. Concerts that have top artists on the bill, may allow lesser known indie artists to pay for a slot to open up. The problem with both of these scenarios is that the up-n-coming rapper or singer is losing out on money instead of creating a revenue stream.

As an artist, you should begin looking at opportunities for its financial benefit. If there’s no way to profit money from your performance, then you may want to consider putting on your own show or tour. The I AM PR Agency recently sent an email write-up pinpointing this very thing.

Tour Method: Stop paying to open for artists. Instead, use your cash to put down deposits on venues, and to promote a show. Do this once per month. Put on the most entertaining concert you can. Partner with other indie artists to increase the draw. The first show may start out with 10-50 people in attendance, but if your show is entertaining, that number will grow month over month. [I AM PR used this method during our concert series “Rap Rocks” which started out with a draw of 100 people per month, then grew to over 600 attendees by the last show.]

Between the music labels and the promoters, it is very difficult to earn money in this business. Therefore, it is up to the artist to grab their career by the balls and develop strategies to make a few stacks on their own terms. It may take some time to build up large fanbase. Once you do, the more fans will attend your shows, which mean more money to be made.

And, don’t forget to use the money you earn to reinvest into your music career!


Photo: Mos Def (via Slangrap)