Vocalists: The difference between being just another singer and being an artist (by A-Grade)
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
As you know we always try to share valuable information with our audience as we intend to empower you on your journeys.
Singer/Songwriters face a unique set of problems along the road of becoming an artist which can be pretty hard to share and for other musicians in different fields to grasp.
As we have built some healthy experience working with a multitude of talented vocalists and singer/songwriters in the studio, we thought it would be useful to share some patterns and UNCONVENTIONAL wisdom on what we have seen to help alot of singer's to push forward.
1. "Hustle; Don't get hustled"
Firstly, This is the 21st century, an era of harsh inequality and a widening gap of wealth between rich and poor. We want to make sure your natural God given gifts help you on your way and prevent you suffering the ill-fate of poverty when you may have a GOLDEN TALENT built into you that could be contributing to paying your bills, whether partly or completely. So make sure you are not being hustled and you HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE.
We will be writing an article exclusively covering how different types of artists can generate income in the music industry early but in this segment we will be covering how singers can grow their worth and navigate the music business, specifically as we have noticed a repeat set of problems singers face.
Namely that often singers have a creative battle in the studio, often with producers/engineers that are afraid to be/sound different. Second to that, singers are often undervalued and exploited.
We believe this exploitstion of singers is enabled by singers and songwriters collectively because of a 'dare we say' naive sense of loyalty and esotoric (spiritual) nostalgia when utilising their own talents.
At some point in history; we cannot specify when (but we approximate between 1950 and 1980), it became a social taboo for artists to openly say "they want to make some money singing". Somehow the desired success that most artists seek must be acquired by romantic accident, otherwise they are essentially no better than the evil 'system/establishment' that it is so fashionable to rally against.
What we are bringing to light is that is not a SIN to seek to earn an honest living from your natural talents; start considering the different avenues for income you could explore (bare in mind, each of these may fit each individual artists long-term ambitions differently)
Here a handful of options to name a few
A. Set a price on features and use your existing material to market yourself. Often people are looking for a specific 'feeling' on a song that can be very hard to find. You may just be someones 'right fit' and more often than you know; people would pay good pounds/dollars to have the "right voice" on their song.
2. "Own your brand"
We have experienced vocalists with amazing, unique voices who have had their singing styles tainted by amateur teams who have little comprehension for being "different" and ultimately crave to "fit in".
This is completely fine for a singer who does not seek to do anything but lay ovcasional hooks etc. But if you are thinking of building your own BRAND, get creative with it and be BOLD about your differences, these are the very things that will make you stand out Vs the 1000's of "generic vocalists" that are regularly exploited for "hooks" in the music industry.
3. Build your own dream; Don't be sold by someone else's
There is nothing wrong with singing hooks for other artists, but make sure you are being compensated for your talents and that it is not simply generic requests that will hurt the growth of your brand individually.
As we begun; Hustle, don't get hustled, many people will sell you on their dream using a variety of different forms of 'bait', the best way we can put it is, you must know what you want for yourself personally.
If you have really been hustling, your in the process of building your own brand, ask yourself whether its a clever investment to then start building someone elses dream purely because you lack confidence in your own.
The only logical conclusion to the issue of feeling like you've been collaborating to the point your are spread too thin and essentially lack an identity altogether. Pull back and start working on your own vision.
4. Find an Audio Engineer and Production team that you can comfortably build with.
Don't be so quick to assume someone is the "right person for you" based on things like credits, name dropping or fancy/pricey studio gear. Instead actually listen to the "sound" they are creating and ascertain whether it matches you, whether it allows you to stand out or if you feel you are being boxed in.
These things count.