Well, americana friends, since yours are the opinions I look to the most, I thought I would just bring my questions straight to you. My wife and I are a simple blue-collar couple raising four wonderful kids out on the plains of Oklahoma. I was working the oilfield when my lovely bride convinced me to enter this years David Wilcox emerging artist competition, and much to my surprise, I was a winner. It helped us to realize a lot about our lives that I had been unwilling to face, mainly that we longed to be a present part of the fabric that is Americana music. We've since given our full attention to making music and it has been rewarding in a hundred different ways, but also very eye-opening to the shameless side of peddling yourself for the sake of feeding the family. That's where my questions come in. It seems to me from what I've discovered locally and nationally, 80% of becoming a success is marketing (who you know, how many times you make your name seen, how good your video looks, etc..) and only 20% is the actual quality of the art. What do you think about that?
Next, if I was going to start any conventional small business, it would not be easy to get the finances in the form of a loan, but it would be absolutely possible. Music however, I find to be near impossible to get a small loan for. We need instruments, small p.a., product, etc.. like any small business, but the lack of a clear precedent to local investors makes a loan to folks like us seem like too risky of an endeavor. Crowd funding like Kickstarter and Pledge Music only works once you have a good sized audience (or a wealthy one). Since we are just starting out and have neither, what are your creative ideas about how to become an attractive investment as a new artist?
Now, your advice about direction if you were us (you can see and hear us by following the links below). What would you focus your efforts on if you were us? Keep it simple as a duo? form a band? Make a big produced album or just keep releasing live one-takes made on our cheap microphone? Tour or dig into a good local scene (we are planning on moving to Asheville N.C. as soon as we can afford to)?
You can watch our recent youtube efforts here:
And a little more info here:
Thanks so much - Ry
My thinking was cynical as I was reading this and then I watched this video. Wow! It's really great. Not sure what to tell you but don't throw in the towel.
I'd stay a duo if I were you. Cheaper and easier to tour that way. Don't spend a bunch of money on a big produced album, what you've done so far sounds great to me.