Hello and welcome to the inaugural post of ADVICE BY THE SLICE! Why did we just caps locks the shit out of that? Because this is exciting! We are pretty amped up by the response we’ve already had to this (thanks for stroking our ego a bit) and we’re ready to get started.
So first things first.
#1 - CREATE SOMETHING GOOD
That’s right. You heard us. Our first piece of advice is to make a good product. Sounds kind of ridiculous when you see it written out, right? Well, we think so too, but in an age where anyone and everyone CAN put out their song/EP/record does not necessarily mean they SHOULD. You see… we were once brand newbies also. Hearing the sound of your (or your artist’s) recorded voice coming out from your computer speakers can definitely be exciting, but it’s time to put on the breaks right there. Screech to a halt, my friends, and ask yourself one thing: “Is my mom the only person who has heard this and thinks it’s great?” Ok maybe that’s not the one thing you should ask yourself, but it’s a good start. If the answer to that question is “yes” then you need to go to your room and think about what you’ve done. Don’t come out until you’ve thought this through, mister! If the answer is “no, my BFF and my dog ALSO like it” then your job here is done - slap a sticker on it and put it out to the world!
No, that’s not right either. Shit.
Jokes aside, this is the first piece of advice because it is, hands down, the most important. Whether this is your first release or your fifth, your effort here is going to determine the path you take next. In a digital age where everyone is becoming an entrepreneur & it seems like every social media post is trying to sell you something, it’s more important than ever that you create something that stands out. If you are just starting out, try to create connections with other like-minded artists like you (hello, internet!). This way you can form a circle of trust and share constructive criticism with each other. If you’re NOT just starting out, chances are you have figured out who is going to give you positive feedback at this point. Quit sending your music to them. A peer review is SO super important at this stage. Workshop your baby until it sounds & feels like nothing more can be done. Yes, of course this takes longer, but what is the point of putting something out that will make you cringe later? TRUST US, it sucks when you do that. So take the time. Create something good.
REASON TO IGNORE THIS ADVICE: THERE IS NO REASON TO IGNORE THIS. However, if you are Bon Iver and created a masterpiece in the woods alone then you don’t need a circle of trust. You are perfect.
What am I reading? Advice by the Slice is a weekly blog giving independent/growing artists small pieces of advice throughout the year. Through growing Ron Pope’s career from baby-sized part time gig to (what most consider) a successful independent full-time thing with millions of streams, sold out tours, and living as a mostly full grown adult, we get questions all the time about how to “make it.” Full disclosure: We are not experts and there is no formula. However, these are things we’ve tried along the way and have proven to be positive for an artist. Why one piece weekly? Well, we often feel like throwing a whole lot of advice/opinions at someone makes them want to crawl in a hole and say goodbye to the music industry forever, so this feels a little more manageable. Also, by the slice pizza joints are the best spots on earth, so this is also our homage to those guys. So, here’s to a year’s worth of tricks to try and slices of pie. Cheers!