Best Music Industry Advice I've Ever Received

I don't know how many musicians read my blog, but over the years I have gotten some really good and really bad advice. I choose not to dwell on the bad because I feel like it also taught me something valuable about the people who were passing it along. But the good advice have been the gems that I cherish and continue to follow to this day. Few things will propel you further than your own determination and work ethic. But if there are ways to make a rough road smoother, I don't believe in keeping it to myself. I share this stuff because it doesn't only apply to music, but to every dream that you may hold dear. I am a firm proponent of paying it forward because it has blessed me and I hope it blesses you too. Here are the three best things people have ever told me. Though, I can't always remember the original sources, I'l try to give credit where credit is due...

 

1. A million doors will slam in your face. Keep knocking! I have been singing since I was 4 years old (from the Sunshine choir at the church I grew up in, to a club near you)... from as far back as I can remember, the singular thing I have wanted to do with my life, is sing. I pictured my name up in lights, headlining stadium capacity tours, etc.... I have submitted to major labels, minor labels, everything from rap mixtapes, to full studio gospel albums recorded on my dime while I worked a 9-5 job. I have been rejected, critiqued, overlooked, and booed before. I used those experiences to objectively look at what went right and what went wrong and improve accordingly. Then I got up, and tried it again. Persistence does pay off. Too many times we give up just before the breakthrough because we may feel like time has passed us by, or our gifts are not good enough. As long as the desire still burns in your heart, you have a shot. I think Tyler Perry said it best: " No matter who tells you no, all you need is that one Yes, from God!". If you believe that your purpose is what is driving the desire.... you can do it, keep trying. You never fail until you stop trying. Until then, you're just practicing for your moment.

 

2. Find your lane! (~Kevin Shine)Everybody is not meant to do everything.  Don't compare yourself to others, because you don't know their story or their sacrifice. While I have dipped my foot into every musical style under the sun... ( and I'd like to think I am pretty proficient in all that I attempt) I happen to know that the music I feel most passionately about ( and have all of my life) is Rock. I also happen to know that God is the Rock of my salvation.... so what does that mean? It means that while I can be good at anything.... I can only be GREAT when I follow the passion of singing what God places in my heart to write and to sing it with Rock'n'Roll sensibility. I have been exposed to many forms of music. And I draw from them to inform my style... What I do, is unique to ME. Nobody else can interpret what I sing like me. The same goes for YOU!!!! What you do is yours and yours alone. Find a way to make it connect with others so that it conveys your passion. Do what you LOVE and don't compromise until you find it. People can tell when it doesn't come from a genuine place.

 

3. Don't take yourself too seriously! So many artists alienate people because they constantly rant about why people don't feel them or how they have haters or how they are the greatest that ever did a thing and nobody understands or appreciates them. "Stop whining and start winning"(~Cornell Norwood).  "Maybe they ain't hatin', they just ain't payin' you no attention"(~ Common).  Being approachable and kind and loving to others goes a long way. Caring about something other than yourself. Taking the spotlight off of YOU long enough to appreciate others, is a GOOD thing. Learning to be able to take a joke , even when the joke is on YOU. Being humble is not something you have to broadcast... you either are or you aren't. If you look through your messaging and all your statements start with I.....start dialing back on self. Listen more than you speak. Laugh more than you cry. Compliment more than you complain. When you change your perspective, you will begin to get more positive feedback and interaction. I was very guilty for a time of being ultra-critical of others ( mainly because I was ultra-insecure about myself)... but when I started to focus on the beauty and positive aspects of others, I saw it reflected in me. These are the things I've learned that keep me focused in music and I hope they are useful to you in whatever dream you pursue.

 

Much Love,

Carmen

Comments

Wow Carmen....you have such a beautiful spirit! My God continue to guide your steps, you truly ROCK! Xoxo
 

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