5 things all successful artists have in common

There are many amazing things about music, like the fact that music comes in an almost limitless number of genres, truly offering something for pretty much everyone.

But however much music and the artists who create it vary, however different things sound or appear, you’ll always tend to find that successful artists, whatever their chosen genre, have certain things in common with each other which aren’t just coincidence.

1. People skills

In no particular order, for an artist or band to become successful, he, she or they will need the support and help along the way of people including: fans, managers, producers, studio engineers, sound technicians, lighting technicians, A&Rs, publicity agents, booking agents, promoters, DJs, lawyers and many more, not to mention other potential musical and performance partners like musicians, songwriters, choreographers, and so on. That’s a lot of people, and you’re going to need them on your side if you’re going to be successful. That means knowing how to speak to people, how to relate to them so they can see how amazing you are and should be supporting you.

2. Musical talent

You don’t have to be a virtuoso talent to make it as a musician, although being one is unlikely to hold you back. Success isn’t determined by who’s the undisputed best at a particular instrument or area of music, ability is only one part of the skillset required to be a success, but you probably want to make sure you have at least some idea of what you’re doing.

3. Work ethic

Have you ever read an interview with a top star where they’ve said how busy they are and wondered what they’re talking about? Well, they’re absolutely right. Building and maintaining a successful music career is relentless. The ‘to do’ list only ever gets longer, and only the truly committed have any chance of making it. Nobody ever became a successful musician by accident.

4. Team

No man (or woman) is an island and no successful musician makes it on their own. Even for example a solo artist who plays all their own instruments and writes all their own material (let’s call them Prince for the sake of argument) has lots of people who work with them and help them achieve their goals. Even if you want total creative control over your music, you’re in a team playing game.

5. Spotting opportunities

When you think about it, the concept of good luck or good fortune is really rather useless. If you completely miss an amazing opportunity, does that make you lucky for getting it in the first place or unlucky for missing it? The opportunity was exactly the same in both cases, yet you might have thought of yourself as very lucky or very unlucky. Rather the key skill is the ability to spot an opportunity when it comes along and then knowing how to do something about it. Forget all about the idea of ‘luck’, your job is to know where to find opportunities and when you find them make sure you grab them with both hands and don’t let go.

Something else all successful artists have is a publishing deal. But what is that? Find out here Publishing Deals – Decoded.


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