"With an eye towards clocking 150,000 downloads Alex isn’t afraid of doing the work himself. That’s what motivates him. That’s what makes him the musician of the future." - Forbes
There is another article by Forbes that covers the journey of Alex Day to #4 on the British charts without a label but I think this articles breaks the process down in more detail. Some of his steps you are familiar with but he finding a loop hole in the British charting system was key. Another key component you've also heard before but must ask yourself again as an artist is what exactly defines your artistry? Is being an artist just making the music or does it also include the artful manner in which you handle your business. What does it mean to be an independent artist and why should being one and all that it intails redefine the music industry for the future?
Now some of you may find Alex Day's music juvenile, but do not attemt to disarm his efforts with our elitess thoughts on music. He studied pop songs and being a pop success was his goal. What are your goals and how can you optimize your plan to the sound of your music? A quote from the article's introduction I think sums his efforts up the best in that independent artists should take heed:
"To do this [become #1 on UK charts), I didn’t get any of the things I was missing, like an agent or producer. Instead, I looked at what I could do that was different from the big [or independent ] artists that spend all of their time touring. They don’t have time to make YouTube videos regularly, or read through all of the rules of the charts looking for loopholes, because they get other people to do that for them. Since it was just me, I would have to get to work on my own." - Hack the System
The attention and value most of us put to touring we put equally less time to our online culture. Please, don't get me wrong, touring is essential and the cornerstone of music/fan relations and culture. But we resent having to go online daily to attract and connect with fans via the dizzying number of social platforms available. Where do we have the time to develop a strategic online marketing plan? Lets just get signed or have someone else (if we can find them) handle that. When do we have time to think of a clever way to visually represent our music (ie a serious song, doesn't neccesarily need a serious video)? What are the factors that create a youtube meme? How do we push or get our fans from the shows or social networks to help push the music and video(s) for us? What are we offering them beyond our musical brilliance? Does the show end when we leave the stage?
All of these questions should seriously be addressed and answered before even considering putting the fate of your hard work in someone else's hands. I encourage independents with evrey post of this blog to immerse yourself in the future and stop suckling off the sour fruit of a dying music industry.