Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about growth. There are so many elements of this artistic life I’m building – that’s part of what I love about it. At the core of everything, there’s the art. The music. The creation. But, after the songs are written, the music itself is really the least time and energy consuming part of the whole thing. The biggest energy requirement, for me, is getting the music OUT. Having a label helps. Having people to coordinate with helps. But there’s a lot that’s still self-directed.
There’s the media (pictures and videos), there’s the PR (contacting outlets to run pieces), there’s the writing of blog posts, social media posts, email copy, feature copy, there’s the ‘branding’ mindf*ck that you have to consider before you publish something, there’s the show booking, there’s the promotion of shows, there’s the actual coordination of traveling and playing, there’s rehearsing. There’s scheduling. There’s connecting with other people in the industry in order to get more support with booking and PR and Spotify streams and sync licensing and, ultimately, there’s… growth.
When it comes down to it, the goal is growth. For so long, I was just trying to get everything on the table. Trying to juggle all of the elements and bring them all up to an above-zero number. There’s a lot to do just to get off the ground.
I feel like I now have all of the elements in place, more or less. I have plenty of music written. I have plans for my second album. I have a label I love. I have good relationships with many talent buyers. I have all of my platforms set up and active (youtube, facebook, instagram, twitter, Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp). I play shows. I produce work. Now it’s time to… grow.
This part is daunting. I know that if I consistently put out good music (and support it with promotion on my end) that it will eventually grow. But there is more to it than that. There’s always a push. You have to be pushing the needle forward. It’s not enough to sit back and wait. You have to constantly be moving forward. With stagnancy comes the fear of slipping back.
Part of growing is leveraging opportunities. Part of it is feeding relationships. Part of it is devoting energy to the right elements.
That’s what I struggle with sometimes.
Spending an hour on instagram is not really doing much, but it feels ‘busy.’ What does it actually accomplish? What do I ultimately want to accomplish? What can I do to get there?
Now that I’m actively trying to grow, I have to figure out what to put my energy into. And I have to identify what I want.
I know that I want to grow my live audience. I have a lot to say. A lot to sing. And it needs to be heard. People need to be there in order to hear it. It’s a lot harder to grow a physical audience than it is to grow a digital one. Neither is easy, emotionally.
I want to be heard. I want to be seen. But there’s something scary about asking for it. About brazenly saying ‘look at me.’ But that’s what it takes. You have to actively tell people what you’re doing for them to know. You have to invite them to things if you want them to show up. I think there’s a part of me that wants others to jump in and fill that void without me having to bring attention to it. But I’m coming around to the reality that I’ve encountered again and again on this journey: as amazing, supportive, kind, generous, and encouraging as anyone else is, no one is going to do this for me. I have to do it for myself.
Listen to my new holiday single here
And listen to this playlist while you read! New songs added every week 🙂