If you’re like many young, talented singers and bands out there, you really want to make it big. Let’s make sure we have all the ducks in a row. First of all, if you are a solo artist do you play an instrument? If not, can you write? And by write I mean, pop friendly lyrics, melodies and hooks? Do you know the basic rules of writing music for radio friendly songs? We will get into that later. But if you are going out there solo, your chances of landing a record deal if you don’t have either of these skills are going to be slim. If you don’t play an instrument or write, then you had better find yourself a fantastic writer and have a contract with them so that you have some good original material that you have rights to.
First things first. First thing you need to do is be realistic about your looks. Sounds awful doesn’t it? It’s an unfortunate truth in the industry. You don’t have to look like a model or be a beauty queen..but you do need to have a “look”. Something about you that stands out. In the music business it is sometimes referred to as the “it factor”. No one really can explain what it is, but it definitely exists. Please be realistic about whether you have this or not as it will save you lots of wasted time and money. How do you tell if you have it? Do all eyes seem to move to you when you walk into a room? Are you photogenic? Do you find children are drawn to you? Do you seem to catch peoples’ attention and admiration easily? These are all very good signs that you have that it thing! This is extremely important in the industry. You don’t have to be the best looking in the room, but you need to shine. You must have something about you that draws attention and know how to work that to your advantage. If you are a band, does the lead singer and lead guitarist have the it factor?
Okay, so you’ve determined that you do indeed have that it thing. Next…can you sing? Seriously, can you really sing live without being auto tuned to death? If you’re a band can your lead singer really sing? If you’re not sure about the answer to this, then maybe you need to give this career choice some thought. It’s a very difficult business even when you’re very talented. Make it as easy as possible for yourself and be sure the talent is there. If it is, you will know it because everyone who hears you will be full of praise…unsolicited praise. If you can carry a good tune and have a good ear, you can train yourself to sing well with a proper coach. Don’t give up unless you really just can’t sing. For the purpose of this site, we are going to assume that you are a talented singer. There are so many subjects we need to get into but we will save that for later.
So, you’ve got the it factor and you can sing, write and/or play and instrument. If you’re looking to be a pop or rock star are you 30 years old or under? It used to be that 20 years old was the cut off for a pop artist breaking out, but thanks to shows like American Idol and The Voice, that is changing a bit (That’s probably one of the few pluses to those shows in my opinion) again, a topic for another time. So if you’re not trying to do Country or Classical music, I say 25 or 26 is about the oldest you will break out, minus a miracle. If you’re still a teenager, you’re in great shape! Now people might not always like what I say but years of experience in promoting has taught me very well.
You’ve got it all! You’ve established that you have all it takes to be a pop star! But wait..there is one very very important last ingredient…DRIVE. Do you have the drive? Do you want it so bad that you will do whatever it takes, for however long it takes to get where you believe you should be? Will you sit on social media promoting yourself into the wee hours of the night? Will you make writing songs your priority every day? Will you spend hours in front of a mirror practicing your moves and performance? Will you practice boring scales and exercises and research new ways to improve your skills? If you simply want others to do all the work and feel you have the talent so it should just be handed to you…quit now. Even the best of the best must work at their craft. Drive is the most important ingredient. If you don’t have it no one can do it for you. You will not make it. Prove you not only want it, but deserve it. You deserve it because your whole being is wrapped up in this career. No matter how good you get, you can always get better or find other ways to market yourself in other areas. Write not just what you need to but more and more and more. Have a catalog. Spend hours researching the sites and tools that can help you. Nurture your admirers and fans. Even if you only have a handful. Cultivate those relationships. Put yourself out there for them, not for you. Drive is all of these things wrapped up together. If you’re more concerned with spending time with your boyfriend or girlfriend or worried you are missing out on things with your friends and would rather just have fun…well, honestly, this is not the business for you.
We’ve established all of the biggies! You’ve got the “it factor” you’ve got the talent, you’re the right age, you can play an instrument or write your own music and you’ve got the drive to propel yourself further. You want to be a star. Go for it!!