I’m Blogging on My Artist Blog About Music Branding

by Matt @ Kurb on February 16, 2009

I just did my first artist blog in about 6 months.

Usually if I’ve got a big show on I’m throwing myself I’ll post something up, gigs I’m playing or have gone to, any new mp3’s or DJ mixes up, tunes I’ve been buying etc. pretty basic stuff, not really much good given I wont have built any following because it’s just been lying dormant for over a year.

So a lot of it is about going back to my roots with the rebranding that I’ve failed so miserably with here.

I guess I’m taking a new approach with my artist blog and getting real, which comes back to my previous post, about attempting to inject passion and drama and magnitude into your promotions platform because thats the part you simply cant pay some else to do for you.

A business like mine can project your voice, but I can’t speak your words for you expecting that to connect with fans in a meaningful way. You’ve got to break the rules and be different in your own way.

Perhaps that’s more about values than it is about marketing.

But no one else is going to give my art a voice except me so I might as well be upfront about it. There’s no point in playing it safe any more, that’s what being an artist is all about.

Being naked.

I can’t really afford to project the appropriate brand right now, but I’m working on it. I am not a musician any more. That’s the truth. I play music, I write music, a participate in a lot of events and also tour, but my main priority in my life is my businesses, so it just seems ridiculous to claim that I am somehow unique or deserving of special attention. I am an entrepreneur, I’m a marketing guy, and I DJ a bit around and I also make my own beats. That’s the brand.

It’s real. It would be nice if I was a better musician, but I’m not, so take it or leave it.

On my blog I’m talking about stuff like – what it means to sacrifice something you love, writing beats, to do what you feel you’re meant to. In my case that is making pots of cash. This is my life and this is the reality of my music. On my artist blog, I can talk about the intersections between art and life. I can discuss how it seems pointless to maintain this divider between the art I create and what it is I do each day to subsist, who I essentially am.

I think I, for one, am learning that branding can be pretty complex!

But not always. Let’s try some stereotypes shall we? Putting things in boxes makes them easier to understand.

In Hip Hop you might brand yourself with the values that music has helped when rise above an adverse upbringing

In Pop music, you might brand yourself by being sexually provocative which represents confidence and assertiveness to young people

In House you might brand yourself with the values that music represents the freedom of the weekend to party and have a good time

In Indie music you might brand yourself with the values that being in love with a boy/girl can be complicated.

Y’know . . . a lot of christian bands brand themselves with the values of jesus, who’s values do you represent?

What messages are they putting out and how are these messages being transmitted, is it as much in their pictures, writings, film footage, as it is in their deeds?

It almost seems like these days, recording music isn’t that difficult, but being biold enought to express a coherant personal brand that reaches and engages an audience who becomes your tribe is the real challenge.

And . . . you’re not going to do that by consistently playing it safe. By not bringing out some kind of voice, some kind of values in your brand, in the cohesive message that is presented by your image, this is the purpose of all this secondary content.

Finally, it’s all about the narrative. Remember, narratives, stories, plots, these are hooks that engage potential visitors on a deeper level. So you may not be thr greatest musician ever and you may not have a lot of redeeming qualities in the entertainment business such as looking like a swimsuit model, but stories and narratives, brands and images can alway over ride that to create genuine, authentic connections between you and your potential audience.

Who’s my audience? I don’t know, but I’m confident of one thing – whatever I do, as long as I actually do it . . . there will be an audience somewhere that my content will connect with.

Another point I made in the last blog about “getting real” in the music biz was about false assumptions, young musicians and there idea of “how it is”.

On my artist blog I’m free to give a voice to my concerns as an artist. I only ever got into DJing so I could showcase my productions. I had this assumption at the time, like lots of young guys do, that if I played out more I would get significant enough attention for my recordings.

Now I find myself what, 8 years down the track and I have almost ceased to create new music because the small amount of time I have in my life for my own music is spent running round organising gigs.

I did 2 demos last year. Well, maybe not that bad, but y’know, it was probably my worst year for song writing since high school. How depressing is that?

So as an artist I’ve been getting creatively frustrated. And there’s my blog, just waiting for more content. And I have got a lot of stuff to work through on my artist blog!!

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