Producing is not a Recipe

You hear people talk about a “recipe for success.” Motivators, in particular, are guilty parties. They are always touting how easy it is to arrive at one’s goals. Take a cup of ambition, add it to a ½ cup of talent and a ¼ cup of will, grab a hand mixer or other handy kitchen appliance, and there you have it! Instant results. No need for an oven to let things bake a bit. In my business, producing music is an art, not a recipe. There ‘aint no online kitchen appliance reviews that are going to help you. However, I suppose you could loosely use the concept to come up with a formula just for starters. There is business savvy combined with opportunity and timing. You add people skills, the ability to discern talent, and voila! You may make it in the industry. I wish it were that easy for those aspiring to climb to the top.

But there is so much more. This is not a profession to take lightly and no, not everyone can do it just because they desire it. My own recipe has varied over the years. Adaptability and fortitude have to be big components. But every entrepreneur has his or her secret ingredient. Music is an evolving industry that has drastically changed in the way people listen to it on digital devices and the way they download it. There are different markets for kids, teens, young adults, and oldsters. There are so many genres that it is impossible to count them on two hands. There are cross-over surprises all the time.

Sometimes you get lucky and enter the industry as an intern of sorts and work your way up. Other times you are born into it, marry into it, or buy into it. Yes, the business depends on investors, the money people, to keep it going while it is fueled by those with the right ear and the ability to spot winners. Good artists are out there waiting to be discovered, but many do not have the stamina and will power to make the grade. You have to have it, too, as you wait to find out. Money and reputation are on the line, and both are important.

Building a successful music business has its great rewards. It is an exciting realm of constant innovation. New blood pushes out the old, even though some of the seniors survive (the world is full of aging rockers). It is all about the here and now. What spoke to people decades ago has become retro or nostalgia. Tapping into your time is an art and you may lead the way as you build your own road.

Music is universal and I am thrilled to be a part of it. It never stops surprising you as to what the public likes, accepts, craves, and adores. The same with movies. Hits can be sleepers and blockbusters can fail. Only producers with some foresight (and no one has a crystal ball), their fingers on the pulse of pop culture, and sheer genius can win in this very competitive arena.