Don't ask for my opinion

Occasionally, artists will drop their tunes to me and ask for my opinion on their music. My opinion is this: Unless it's material you're still working on, don't ask for opinions. I ask for opinions on buying a new shirt because 1) I'm colorblind and 2) I think camo is a legit dress code. If I already got the shirt in the closet however, your opinion is useless. I'll still wear it regardless what you think.

As an artist, there's a lot of time and effort into getting a 3-4 minute track together for airplay. From writing down the lyrics, to coming up with that solid riff, working with other collaborators to make it sound right... then to make it sound tight, plus all the hours of rehearsing, tweaking, trying different things, and this is all before it even is considered ready for recording. Once that process is completed, the mixing and mastering process takes it's time and due diligence, and needs to be the way the artist needs to hear it (last week I mentioned about how an artist needs to build a village around them that works for them, read "Know Your Worth" for details there)

In the end, by the time the tracks are presented, the countless hours it took to get to that stage won't accept "you know, if you did this differently" in a positive fashion by any stretch. Doubtful the opinion given will actually be taken into consideration unless it's praise for their work. As a result, you, the artist, aren't looking for an opinion. You want to be heard.

By promoting your music with a "tell me what you think" attitude reduces confidence in your ability to write music effectively. Of course you want to be heard, in my humble opinion, it's human nature. Truth be told I can't stand to hear my own voice when singing recorded vocals, but I still appreciate the feedback when the track is played. When I hear my own material being played on the radio, I turn it down a couple notches. That by no means says that I'm not proud of doing it, it simply means I remember the efforts, the trials and tribulations it took to get to the point of considering it acceptable for others to enjoy. If you come to me with an opinion on it on how it could be better, or it's not exactly something you can get into, it won't change the fact of what it is, and won't change my opinion on distributing it. I did it, I'm proud of it, and whether it's heard and appreciated by millions or a select few, I'm glad I had the opportunity to be heard.

Be proud of what you create as a musician, because whether it's a multi platinum track or a filler on an album needing to be released, it's still something you created with your village, and anyone's opinion won't change what you've done. So how do you promote it without getting feedback to see if it's any good? The answer sounds simple enough, but needs to be remembered.

Share your music for everyone to hear. Whether it's on your social media platforms, sent out to radio stations, hitting up the music distribution sites to include in their libraries, the list goes on. In some situations if you're working to make a living out of your material, you'll need to cut a demo to promote the song, and let everyone know where they can buy/download/etc - another role that could be filled by someone in your village.

If your followers enjoy your material, they'll be willing to share as well, especially if you request them to do so. Ask them to share instead of asking for what they think. When you submit to a radio station, let them know they can request your songs on WXYZ station. The actions will speak louder than any response they provide.

More reputable stations will be able to advise whether your songs are being played, and some will even be able to say how frequently. For Creation Station Radio, I can look back on our playlists and see artists and commercials played on general rotation. I know my tracks were played a grand total of 5 times today, 3 of one song, 2 of another.

You're welcome to tell me what you think, but the blog is already written and posted. If you like it, share it. If it's something you don't necessarily agree with, you're welcome to reach out to me to discuss/debate the issue. Who knows - you might be able to change my viewpoint on a future writing, but it won't change this one.


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