How Can You Achieve Success as an Independent Artist?
By George Shantzek
Often life as an independent artist has been regarded as a one-way ticket to Smallville: great college crowds, a great college student quality-of-life, and a double lifetime supply of beer. This career choice is known to be, at best, difficult– offering a menial and even thankless role in the music world.
Whether you happen to be in the industry or just an innocent bystander — also referred to as a fan, many will measure the success of an artist in simple terms: how many units have been sold; how much exposure has the group received; how many can they pack into a room or concert hall? And whether you want to admit it or not, EVERYONE regards the mainstream media as an indicator of whether a group’s success is significant or marginal.
Many of us in the industry ask ourselves, repeatedly: how can independent artists reach a broader audience? We respond with great certainty, declaring the internet as the artists’ newfound Mecca. And then some will go on to lambast MTV, the radio industry and music store chains for refusing most independent artists access. “That!” we say, “is the ‘Great Barrier’ to independent artists reaching a broader audience and a successful career!”