I really do not consider myself an expert in this music business, because there is always something new to learn. Because of the always changing music industry you should make it your business to know the ins and outs of the music business. Research any questions you might have and don’t rely on anyone else’s word. Always know what’s going on. Never take this business personal. It’s never personal, it’s always business. If you are prepared, and equipped with knowledge, no one will be able to take advantage of you. If you rely completely on others to handle your business, you will leave yourself open to be taken advantage of.
I always try to be prepared for everything, even the unexpected. In this business, like any business, what you think won’t happen, sometimes will happen. You have to be able to adjust on the fly. Especially if you are not with a major label. If you are an independent artist, everything will fall on you. The good and the bad. For me personally, as a recording artist, I think it’s important to stay true to your craft and artistry. It is equally important to have a great team surrounding you. Great does not necessarily mean large in numbers. It means those who are in your circle, will openly and brutally be honest with you, and have your absolute best interest at heart.
I remember when I first started out, and was searching for something as simple as a person to do my hair. I found someone who was very talented, but also grew to know me and my likes and dislikes. I have been using her for over 20 years. Yes of course it’s important to have back-up just in case your go-to is not available. I am the type of artist who will keep my circle tight and small. A lot of people travel with an entourage not me: (less is more) for me. Have an organized team so that things move as smoothly as possible.
If you are an independent artist, you will have the opportunity to build your team; however, if you are signed to a major label, you will not have that option. You might not get along with the people assigned to you. Keep in mind that the label will be your boss and you will become the employee. So, it is important for you as an artist to be able to stand up for yourself when things don’t quite feel like they’re going in the right direction. It’s vital to be able to have a say-so in the development of your career.
For me, as an independent artist, I am my own boss––which allows me to have the final say. However, the team is always involved in the decision making. I know that my team will never steer me wrong. I trust them. You and your team should be able to criticize each other without feelings being hurt. It’s not what is said––sometimes it is how it’s said.
During my long career in the music industry, I have come across, and worked with so many talented people. It was good for me to keep an open mind to working with new people. They might be able to bring something unique to my team. Never dismiss anybody. The base of my team will always remain the same. I am open to adding someone who brings that positive vibe to the team. But at the same time, it’s okay to say no. If you don’t think that person will be a positive asset to you, then you must say no.
Be sure to make the people around you feel like they are important to the process. Whether it be your makeup artist or your stylist, remember they are all a part of your success. I absolutely love my team and wouldn’t know what to do without each one of them.
Stay humble throughout the process, no matter how successful you become. Be confident, not cocky. Once you develop an ego, and that ego begins to take control, that is when you as an artist will begin to lose control of your career. There are millions of artists out there, and the industry can make anyone successful. It is a crowded field. So don’t think that you are the all and all. Never think that you are the only reason for your success. Between your talent and the people around is what makes you a success.
There will be rough times in your career. It’s how you handle them that will be your bounce-back factor. Remember, people will always have opinions on how you should handle your music career and the music you make. You will not be able to please everyone. Stick to your game plan and you can be a success in the music industry.
Success is not always going mean you made a lot of money, it could simply mean you have achieved your goal. Success will come to those who are prepared. You will need a full plate of patience and mental stamina before you reap the benefits of the music industry. In the process, enjoy the ride that this music industry takes you on.
NY’A, is a singer and songwriter. Her Embrace album went Gold, selling 500,000 units worldwide. She has 15 #1 hit singles, with multiple songs hitting #1 on both the European Top 100, and World Indie Top 100 music charts. As well as a Platinum award from WBNC Break-N-Chainz Radio for having 3 #1 singles on their station. Ny'a's songs are impactful, with strong messages. From R&B, club, and inspirational lyrics. Her musical style reaches all cultures and ages. Songs like “We Are Strong” offer hope and encouragement to people dealing with COVID-19 and economic challenges. Currently Ny’a’s new release Waiting is topping the charts at #1. This song hits just right for the springtime. It’s a whole vibe. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Kenny Black, the track has a new fresh sound with meaningful lyrics to make it a hit across the world.