Anyone (literally) can get their song up on YouTube.
You don’t have to out run a bear, you just have to out run your friends.
Set up a site for your album. Put up your lyrics, your photos, your stories. You wish a cool media outlet would do a feature on your new release, right? In the meantime, do it yourself.
You’d post a link to that cool press if you got it.
For now, build your own “press” and post that link instead.
You dream of your killer live stage set up – lights, video screens, dancers.
Make your website your stage. Fill it with your art, your ideas, your dreams, your colors, your imagery.
Because someone else just starting out in stage design is looking and listening and watching.
Because someone else is just getting started in costume design. And video editing. And graphic design.
Put more of yourself out there, in full form. Attract your people, your fans, your team.
Today isn’t the time for just posting throw-away Tweets that wash away in an hour. Not time for “stories” that float off like a plastic bag in the breeze.
Buy a domain name, set up a site, and stake your place on the internet. Your home. Your HQ. The source for your magic and your art.
Don’t just add a photo and post a link. Rip open yourself and get more of yourself onto the screen. Answer interview questions you’ve not yet been asked, list your favorite horror films, post that video of yourself making coffee in the morning with your music in the background.
Your music is part of life, part of existence, part of the human story. Don’t let your music fight all by itself on a crowded playlist, which is just two steps away from looking like a Google Sheet:
Control your destiny, your branding, and your look. Put together more of what you do, and who you are, in a space that you control.
During a recent Instagram Stories doom-swipe session, I noticed Kendriana post about one of her posts being removed because IG thought it broke some rule. A physical trainer I follow had their entire account wiped out because of some unknown one-and-done rule breaking (thankfully they got their account back).
With each day that passes, it’s never been more important to move your followers to your website. To your email list. Get your biggest fans to follow you to a platform you own.
Social media is so enticing for artists, photographers, musicians, etc because of the instant feedback. The interaction. The release of endorphins that come from instant validation.
The entire system is built on that, but it’s a system to benefit them, not you.
You feed their system day and night with content, with engagement, with interaction. In turn, they harvest your user data, habits, track what you look at and like, and sell it to advertisers.
So long as you keep feeding social media your time and effort, they will make lots of money.
The alternative is update your own website. Send an email to your newsletter subscribers.
Neither give you the instant feedback, but stop and consider that instant isn’t alway better.
Sometimes you need to let your work cook.
Make your site something that’s so rad that people would miss it if it were gone (via Seth Godin). Make it something that is a part of people’s lives. Something worth typing into an address bar (or even bookmarking).
Make your thing so great that people will trade you their email address and the sacred access to their inbox just to keep up with you.
When you spend four hours a day on social media, you helped sell a lot of ads.
When you fill your site with two years worth of content, you had a body of work. Anyone with a web-browser can see your talent.
Neither is “the thing,” I don’t think. Though I won’t know if I don’t keep at it. It helps that I enjoy the process.
Running became a thing. Been doing that since 2016, and more often than not I’m wearing a running shirt instead of a band shirt. How’d that happen?
Sitting in front of me is a fancy pants MIDI-controller, which makes working in Abelton even more fun. I’ve looked, and I’ve been toying with Abelton for since December 2017, so I guess that’s one of my things now, too.
The thing is, none of these “things” needs to be a thing. I’m probably not going to be an iconic producer or marathon legend, but that’s okay. That’s still living.
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
The behind the scenes episodes for The Mandalorian just blew me away. The level of “I didn’t know if I could do this” energy was astounding, but it goes to show that people are capable of amazing things when you trust them, support them, and give them space to fly.
Remember, if you’re not “thriving” with all your work calls and video chats it’s not because those things are bad, it’s also because we’re operating during a once-in-a-lifetime event. People will be talking about this moment in time 100 years from now.
Been feeling the feels a lot lately about the whole “working with people” thing. I blame the making-of videos on Disney+ about The Mandalorian. I’m talking the energy that comes from being in the same room, or on a call with someone you’ve worked with for years and you’re just plotting big stuff.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing in college, but I got so wrapped up in the comedy scene, because it looked so fun, and it was. I had that dream for myself. Perform with my friends, put on our shows. But we had to also feed ourselves, and pay rent, and have jobs, so we grew up.”
I love that line, “perform with my friends, put on our shows.”
I love the sort of child-like vibe of that, “our shows.” I mean, Sunita Mani makes it sound like they really did those shows, it wasn’t just some two-bit affair, but for people who don’t put on their own shows, or book their own tours, or start their own sites, well, I guess it’s on the other side of the spectrum. You’re either doing your shows or “growing up.”
As I approached this house a kid (maybe 10 or 11) came running around a corner today, and yelled, asking to use my phone.
Then as I got closer, I realized he wasn’t wearing socks or shoes!
Just another day, just another run, right? Nope. One run out of almost 300 this year, and never once did I see a jeep set-up like the one above, nor did I help a kid get back into his house after being locked out in the middle of winter with no shoes or socks. BRRR.
I keep getting lost in the binary thinking of success, of making it. Either you’re a popular YouTube star with a million subscribers, or you’ve only got 13 and it feels like a waste of time.
You want to be this “thing,” but you don’t have the “social evidence” that you are the thing.
Are you a musician if no one buys your music? Are you a writer if no one replies to your pitches? Are you a photographer if you’re images aren’t on magazine covers?
Again, permission. Waiting for permission is the killer.
I am 44 years old – what right do I have to wear gaudy purple sneakers and tights and a cool jacket and run around the backroads here?
I work in music – what right do I have to make “dark ambient” mixes? What, do I think I’m going to MAKE IT?!?!
Wait, I thought I made dark ambient mixes – why am I making smooth chill jams with funky stock video footage?
Because I choose to.
Am I now locked into that identity? Must I now maintain a weekly music mix? Set up a live stream? Do a daily tune and post on every social network?
Well, if I choose to, sure.
Just go be everything you want to be. Doesn’t matter if it looks right, sounds right, has the right presentation – just make a little bit of magic each day.