If you go searching for instructions on how to become a successful musician, you’ll probably come across a few artist or band Wikipedia pages or biographies that give you a series of events that led to fame and fortune. A single event, that triggered a rise to success.
What you don’t get is a list of all the things that were also happening at the same time in those early days, concurrent events which were eventually stripped from the biography in order to illustrate the single path taken to success.
It’s a shame that what we read about a musician’s or bands’ rise to fame is often a curated succession of events as opposed to the whole truth, which is more likely to have been a series of parallel efforts which for some time yielded very little until one of them hit paydirt and ended up becoming the path leading to fortune or ubiquity.
Right now I run 2 record labels, this course platform and blog, I produce a regular podcast, I produce sample packs and patches for software synths, I do a bit of sound design, I have put together music for films, I’ve landed spots on compilations, released albums and EPs and produced remixes for various other artists.
Any one of these could end up leading me on a path that might become successful, and if it were to, then that would become the career or route that I’d focus on, in order to maximise that success.
According to Zippia (who have a career map for musicians), those who enter the field don’t remain stuck in their initial entry-level positions very long.
Hypothetically speaking if I were to become successful and look back, I’d probably fall victim to the same thing: “oh, well I did a remix for xyz, that led to an EP on their label, then an album, then that did well, I got picked up here or there, yadda yadda”. What wouldn’t get mentioned is all the other things I’m doing right now to build that chance for success in many areas.
So when you’re thinking about the right path to become a successful musician or producer, DJ or sound designer, remember that there’s not one easy way or one chosen path to concentrate on. I’d suggest spreading your efforts as much as you can, in order to maximise your chance of finding that route (or two) that works in the end.
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