I’m Gonna Be An Artist
You’re young, you’re fired up, you’re EXTREMELY talented and you want to be the next big CCM artist. Congratulations boys it’s gonna take 10 years!! If that bothers you…. go back to school now, get your degree and live a normal life. If that doesn’t bother you, you must be pretty hard nosed, and that’s good because you’re gonna have to fight hard for your “Calling” for a long time. You’re gonna get beat up, you’re gonna want to quit, and you may make it, but don’t get it twisted…. you better be “called” to it or you just won’t last.
– It will take 10 years from the time your band is signed for you to be able to make a decent living out of it. You don’t believe me?? Well here is the TRUTH. In 2004 Building429 wrote the song that became the “Fastest #1 song in the history of Christian Music” called “Glory Defined”. We went on HUGE tours with bands like Sonic Flood, Jeremy Camp, and then the biggest tour of all came along…. Casting Crowns. Our record was selling at a ridiculous pace and we were on the biggest tour that existed playing in front of 10-15000 people a night riding on a SWEET tour bus and we were each making…… wait for it….. $500 A MONTH. You wanted the truth and there it is. Now just imagine if your first few songs do OK.
Now that I’ve broken your heart, let me say this… it can be done….. by people who have no idea what they’re doing. The proof is Building 429. IF you have no idea where to go to make this thing happen, then welcome to the family, I had no idea how to make it happen either. But believe you me, if you work your tail off, play tons of shows, and make great music you will be found. YOU WILL BE FOUND. Let me say it again. YOU WILL BE FOUND.
Here are a few thoughts to help you along the way:
1) It’s all about the songs…. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SONGS… LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN….. you get the picture
2) Play as many shows as you possibly can, anywhere, and everywhere. It doesn’t matter how big or how small… just play
3) Make EP’s and work hard at making music that has heart…. not just cool riffs or grooves, but songs that have a pulse… don’t make records its a waste of money
4) Practice your craft constantly… don’t accept mediocrity… GET BETTER
5) Work hard on knowing the other members in your band (if your in a band) learn their personalities and figure out how to best be a servant to their needs
6) Be a business man/woman and start immediately initiating good business practices.
you say.. wait a minute #4 was weird. Yep it was, but it’s true… you almost need to be a psychologist if your in a band because MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING. The second you guys get a signing bonus or a writing deal, you’ll be into the hardest part of this whole thing. BUSINESS
Two Thirds of CHRISTIAN MUSIC BUSINESS is MUSIC BUSINESS and if you don’t know that going in you will screw up big time.
After you’ve done all of this for several years and developed a solid grassroots following YOU WILL BE FOUND
The Real Thing:
Some people have done extremely well in Christian music, but I would implore you… if it’s not your calling… give up now… because this is a MISSION FIELD that is jacked up with the infusion of business. Everyone wants to be a part of it, very few should be and as with anything that requires monetary transactions…. everyone gets hurt. If you know that going in, you may be able to love the unlovable and see this as a chapter in your life, not the destination of your life. When you begin to see it like that all the pressure comes off and the joy overflows, because just as in life…. in this business no one is promised tomorrow.
This is the line in the sand of music business…. you will get hurt, but God uses all things for His glory… even a messed up business like this… the power of christian music is undeniable, and you could be a part of changing a persons life, just know that your life is gonna change in that process as well. I personally think that my life is better for the challenges that I’ve faced and for the years I’ve spent in the Christian Music industry… but it’s all about perspective isn’t it??
So….. you wanted the truth…. well there it is