GETTING PAID TO “BE YOU”
MARC-ALAN BARNETTE
August 23, 2016

I was contacted recently by a writer/artist and asked a very good question. “What is the music business now?” Through all the changes in the business. The loss of money, the explosion of people trying to do this, the Internet, the changes to record and publishing companies, artist branding, etc. it is a good question. The simplest answer I have is “WHEN SOMEONE PAYS YOU TO BE YOU!”
When you are trying to get known in the business, you do cover songs, versions of other people’s songs, to get booked, to play the dances, clubs, parties, etc. Most people want to hear something they know, something familiar.

As we develop as writers, singers, whatever, we have to develop our OWN PERSONALITIES AND TALENTS. If you are trying to get co-writers, managers, publishers, record deals, it is about who YOU ARE, not being a COPY of what is ALREADY OUT THERE. One of the things that drive me CRAZY are artists that are trying to be themselves, yet doing endless cover versions of OTHER PEOPLE’S SONGS on their camera phone, web sites, YOU TUBE, ETC.

Go to YOU TUBE, and see the latest star’s music video. Then look to the right of that. You will see fifty, one hundred, A THOUSAND people doing the EXACT SAME SONG on their camera phone or home recording equipment.

If the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM we all have in the music industry, is GETTING PAID FOR ANYTHING then bringing the EXACT SAME THING they already have, artists and writers are doing themselves NO FAVORS by just replicating what is already out there. BRILLIANT!

So as an artist or writer, YOU HAVE TO START working on YOUR OWN songs, your own approach, BEING YOURSELF. And the sooner you do it, the better. Studying artists and songs are a great idea. Being familiar with a cover song shows you structure, theme, melody, timing, how to build a great song. But you can’t just copy that. You have to advance your own talent.

So when the general public buys tickets to YOUR SHOW, paying for YOUR MUSIC, going to YOUR WEBSITE, are buying YOUR MERCHANDISE, that is part of it. When co-writers start seeking out YOUR TALENTS. When publishers are wanting to hear what YOU DO. When record labels are interested in YOUR EFFORTS.
When venues are asking for YOU TO PLAY THEIR VENUE. That is all part of being in the music business. THAT IS THE MUSIC BUSINESS.

BE YOURSELF, EVERYBODY ELSE IS TAKEN.