5 Artists Run Through Their Early Career Mistakes
Author: Tevyn J | Tuesday 20th April 2021
We spoke to 5 prominent acts in the UK music scene to pick their brains about some of the early mistakes they made in their career.
"Shooting a video to a song called ‘Superhero’." "I did like the song but I think I thought more about how people would feel about the song than how I felt about the song." "Essentially I shot the video for the wrong reasons. I think with music, it has to be your record- it’s my adaptation, it’s my perspective of where the world’s at, of where music’s at and I think trying to bend into something else isn’t always the best foot forward. Still an alright tune though don’t get it twisted!"
"One mistake I made early in my career is not realising how much I would need to invest in myself. First coming up people don’t know you, they don’t know what you’re capable of, you’re still working on your sound." "I used to pay for a lot of sessions and stuff, and I would get people to help with videos and I thought that was the be all and end all but to really get the promotion I needed I didn’t understand that it would cost money... i.e. radio, TV, all these things." "And even just getting your stuff to a level of quality where you feel it’s worthy of pushing out that far. So I think that’s one mistake I made- just not understanding how much I needed to invest in myself. But again I’ve learned over time & it’s a constant learning curve. I’m growing and I invest near enough everything I make into my career but I have that much faith in it."
Key message: Always invest in yourself as an artist. Hone your craft, refine your sound and image to the best of your abaility in order to give yourself the best opportunity to reach the right people and maximise your opportunities.
"I would say try not to get caught in your own hype. When you’re brand new, you’re fresh- everyone’s going to love you. But don’t take it too literally, don’t lose yourself in it, try and stay focused on your mission because this game is very fickle and when you’re not the new guy anymore you’re going to see energies change but don’t let that affect your process." "And also, remember to build relationships. These relationships are what's going to give you the longevity. They’re the ones that are going to help you when you’re moving along your journey- when you’re no longer the new person but you’re still doing your ting. But you built relationships when you was hot. So when you get to the process where you’re in a different stage in your journey, those people you built relationships with are now in powerful positions."
"Even just showing love to artists that you might need a verse from, you might need a DJ to play suttin, you might want to get a booking so being nice to promoters- remain humble man. Because those same people if you want to be dickheads to, when you need their help when you’re not as brand new or maybe not as popping anymore- those people will just be laughing so try & not make that mistake. One of my biggest blessings was that I made a lot of relationships so I can still pattern & still do a lot of the things these new artists now do in terms of opportunities. So bear that in mind."
"If you’re trying to be lit forever you’d do good to take this advice, if you’re just trying to be lit for one or two summers then just what you want." "Another thing I’d say to new artists- enjoy the moment man because it’s never going to happen again. You’re only new once. Try and enjoy it, it gets stressful, there’s a lot of pressure but sit back & look back to where you were a few years before. And if you’re further then that’s progress so just try & enjoy the moment. But remain humble."
"Lastly- I wouldn’t be big Biz if I didn’t give some business advice. Put some money down for a rainy day. You see right now we’re in a mad pandemic. No one is getting shows. Signed artists are probably going through it the most because they’ve got their big cheque already and the streaming thing right now is such a big income for independent artists so if you’re a signed artist or independent artist- regardless of what you are- make sure you’ve got some rainy day money. You know my motto- if you can’t afford to buy it three times you can’t afford to buy it once."
Key messages: Don’t get caught up in the hype- you won’t always be the fresh, new artist but if you stay focused in your mission you're more likely to become a prominent artist.
Build relationships and maintain connections you make early in the game as they may keep you afloat later throughout your journey and help you out at different stages of your career. Remain humble with and help elevate the people in your circle. Enjoy your successes and growth at every stage, particularly the beginning stages.
Put money away for a rainy day. Build for the future, don’t just focus on the present. If you can’t afford to buy something x3, you can’t afford x1.
KREPT & KONAN
"My first bit of advice would be, don’t trust everybody that might come across as professional or experienced. Make sure you do your due diligence and always double check things over for yourself, because some people are just in it for the money, some people are generally there to see you win. But majority of the time a lot of people are just there for the money so some things you might think are in your best interest but it’s more beneficial for the other party. Just always, always oversee things yourself and analyse things yourself- don’t put your trust into any and everyone."
"Second piece of advice is listening to other people's opinions that don’t understand you or your fans and what you should be doing- letting people influence the music you’re making." "The day we decided to stop and strip back everything, look at what we love, what our fans love. And just do that and focus on them and not worry about radios, playlists, TV- none of that and just focus on your fans and what they love you for. That’s the day everything changed for us."
Key messages: Do your due diligence on industry professionals to scope out who has genuine intentions and have your best interest at heart. Don’t take advice from anyone who doesn’t understand you or your audience. Understanding what you and your fans love is key. Any external influences have to focus on these areas to ensure your growth as an artist.
Due to popular demand we have also started a brand new consultancy service to further help artists reach their goals, for all enquiries please contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org