Follow Your Muse: Music Industry SuccessBy
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Following your muse may be the toughest thing for any artist to come to terms with. Why? On the one hand, you like the artists you like; you want to emulate their work as an homage. At the same time, you want to create your own distinct voice and persona.
For new artists trying to get gigs, the balancing act can be tough. You don’t want to call yourself the second coming of Mick Jagger… but if you’ve got the moves like him, why not compare, sing, and strut?
Determine Your Muse
As cutting edge and new and fresh sounding as you think your music is going to be, there’s no question that as soon as you put it out into the world, comparisons are going to be drawn. So get a head start and figure it out yourself. Determining your muse is relatively simple. Who do you like? Whose music does yours sound like? If there’s no exact match (bravo!), then draw comparisons to multiple artists, but be specific.
If you need help with this part, ask trusted others who they think your work is similar to. Then, for a more balanced opinion, tell them who you think you sound like. They’ll either agree, or they will point out why you don’t sound like that artist.
Use This to Your Advantage
If you’re really ready to promote yourself, don’t be afraid to compare. Even Adam Levine, who it’s safe to say is well-established, isn’t too big to compare his moves to his muse, Jagger.
Linking your sound to your muse’s gives venues an idea of who they are booking and the target audience. It lets other bands know if you’d fill out their tour listing well or if you’d just be the same as the other acts. Lastly, if fans of your muse artist see your names linked, they might be willing to give your work a listen, giving you access to an established audience of like-minded fans.
Whether your sound is folk or blues, metal or reggae, pop or skat, rap or instrumental you are going down a road which has been trod before. The best you can do as an artist is follow your muse, honor their inspiring force in your work, and try to carve out your own unique sound from there.
What artists have inspired and influenced your career as a musician? Have you used this to your advantage, or has it hindered you?
See also: 4 Steps to Getting Better Gigs