Guest Blog: How Emerging Talent Can Survive the Music Industry

Spoonface gave us his top tips for emerging artists to survive the music industry!

The power of our beliefs to charge our emotions and shape our behaviour is phenomenal.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Quite simply, if we don’t believe in ourselves why should anyone else?

As an emerging artist I made many a mistake.

The amount of times I’ve faced difficult audiences, fluffed performances, forgotten lyrics, misinterpreted tone in conversation, auditioned and didn’t get the job, auditioned and didn’t get any feedback or got the job to find it got cancelled. So many instances that could (and often did) have an impact on my self-esteem. Thankfully I had a support network, (close friends and family) and developed my own ideas for bouncing back. I use the same principles now as an actor and voice over artist.

One of the hardest moments in my journey was after the massive Black Legend hit. Behind the scenes I was working hard to produce new music and follow up with fresh new sounds. It was hugely challenging at the time for a young, 20 something newbie, to convince a massive label and seasoned producers to work on what I had in mind.

In the end they played safe with another cover that didn’t do as well as the first. As the face of the project, I got hit with most of the fallout. It was a painful time. I dealt with it by going on an adventure of discovery collaborating with as many people as possible, simply because I liked what they did. I disregarded my pursuit of chart success and went for connection and enjoyment. It paid off.

Collaborations included FreQ Nasty, Deekline, Ragga Twins, High Contrast, Omar, Janet Kay, remixes for Craig David, Pink, Kellis and more.

Later this new found freedom lead me to start my own record label, publishing company and social enterprise.

How Do We Build Belief?

Here are a few ideas I draw upon.

Be thankful, recognise the small things we do well and list them

We mustn’t compare ourselves to others, we don’t know all that happens in their lives. We have our own unique traits, views on life and experiences that make us valuable.

Take bits from the people we like

Who are the role models in our circle? Are they right for us?

For years I was inspired by the resilience of my mother, the unconditional love of my closest friends, the wit and drive of my Martial Arts mentors. It may help to find people we admire from all walks of life, imitate the bits we like and add our own flavour.

Engage in activities that help you face your fears

There are many studies on our brain’s ability to change structure and function, referred to as plasticity. Experience is the major way to bring about this change.

The more we do something, the better we get and the more likely we are to gain confidence. For me, Salsa, Martial Arts and travel help big time.

Keep positive people around (and not just yes people)

Encouragement from our loved ones and network of supporters makes a great difference when facing challenges. They can help us believe we have what it takes to do well, then of course we have to do the rest.

It’s also important to regularly filter out the ‘nay sayers’ and draining forces. This will help keep the focus on being productive. Equally, we must be open to positive critique in order to grow.

Don’t take anything personally

If someone doesn’t like something, use it as an opportunity to learn why. Ask questions, break it down and recognise it as a chance to improve.

If we consider that our emotions influence our behaviour, then we have to check from time to time how we’re physically responding to our emotional triggers. Are we making the best choices? How can we improve?

For example, when we feel anger/disappointment at not getting that job or landing that deal, we can use that feeling to blame ourselves and stop trying or to fuel 50 more applications.

Activities

1. Take 2 minutes to make a list of all the things you’ve completed, done well, that you like and other people have noticed as a positive characteristic about you.

Keep the list on your phone or otherwise easily accessible.

Whenever you doubt yourself give it a read.

2. List 5 people that inspire you.

In 60 seconds write down for each what you like about them, how they carry themselves and act towards others.

Put them in order of preference and try the top 3

 

3. For 2 minutes, list the people in your life that make you feel good. Spend more time with them.

List the people in your life that make you feel crap. Create distance.

Make new acquaintances by checking out meetups related to your interests. The same rules apply, adjust your emotional and physical distance depending on the ‘vibe/energy’ you get from them.

4. Take 2minutes to list your frustrations.

For each, write down how you feel, how you respond to that feeling and how you can potentially act differently.

Example:
Frustration – Don’t have enough money
Feeling – Tired, upset, depressed, angry
Action – sleep longer, get snappy, watch tv, play video games
New Action – update cv, apply for more work, develop new skills, work out, get professional advice

If you want to learn more about Spoonface, check out his website here!