Musical Life

What are you trying to achieve with your music?

Some thoughts and ideas from the Enterprise team at Leeds College of Music
 
Whether you are creating trance music, or composing classical works, it is important to consider who you are doing this for, and what results you would like to achieve from your work.
 
As the music industry is, as it suggests, a business, treating your music/project as a product can be really useful to help clarify your aims, goals and overall aspirations for your music. For example, if you were to launch a new vacuum cleaner, careful consideration, design, product development and market research would be required before any aspect of it was manufactured or sold.
 
Below are some points and questions that will hopefully help focus your project/music/ideas, and potentially create a set of guidelines, benchmarks and parameters for everything you do.
 
This can keep you driven and motivated. You should certainly set your sights high, but remember there is a difference between ambition and arrogance. Balancing realism and optimism is key to the success of this task.
 
Mission statement

  • What do you want achieve with this project?

  • How do you want to be portrayed i.e. do you create song based music, groove and hook based music etc?

  • How do you want people to hear your music i.e. recordings, scores, as library music?

  • In a couple of lines what describes you and the music? Try not to use words like cool/trendy/jazzy etc. really think about it! This can be really useful when others ask you what you are doing.

 
List artists whose success you would like to emulate and why

  • Think about the venues they play.

  • How are these artists presented to their fanbase/the public in and outside of their music, and how do they engage with them? These don’t have to be artists you think you sound similar to etc. just acts you feel have achieved the things you would like to achieve.

  • What do they sell i.e. CDs, singles, downloads, streams and how many? Do they sell out the venues they play? Do they sell a lot of merchandise generally?

  • What labels are they signed to or which agencies represent them?

 
Aims/aspirations that contribute to your mission statement

  • Places you would like to play i.e. main stage at Bestival, Royal Albert Hall.

  • Top five album/single?

  • TV programs you would like to be featured on i.e. synchronisations such as having your music on a John Lewis advert or on the end credits to the next James Bond film etc.

  • Blogs, magazines you would like to feature in.

  • Be realistic in relation to similar artists but don’t be afraid to aim high.

  • Really think about everything - all of the products and places your music could be used or performed.

 
What’s your key target audience?

  • Age group

  • Jobs/careers/students/location

  • What radio station/programs do they listen to

  • What do they wear and where do they shop?

  • What kinds of things do they do?

  • How do they buy/consume music?

 
What other artists do your target audience listen to?

  • Do these artists tie in to what you want to do?

  • If not make another list of artists ‘similar’ to you musically and work backwards and see if you can find a better fit.

 These questions are all just examples; you can always go much further with your analysis, and this may happen as your project begins to take shape. Your initial set of answers may also change over time as your project develops, but you can always update them to reflect new ambitions or parameters.

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