Ladies and Gentlemen, I am out here hustling and grinding. I know that the struggle is real. However, I want to offer you guys some advice on trying to get your projects funded. Granted, I don’t have any “credentials” on this as I have never done it on a professional level. However, I am involved in promotions, run a lifestyle website, and I have some real life experience.
In the past, and in some cases now, the label takes on the project of funding your work. Be that with the advance, or simply covering everything. But most of us are not signed to labels, so that means that we either shell out the cash ourselves, which is the way I have always done this. Or, we ask people to donate money to our cause.
First things first, let’s define what art is on the lowest level. There will be 101 different interpretations of this, but on the lowest level, I think art is a form of self expression. As a musician, my music expresses my innermost feelings and thoughts. I put it out there in hopes that people will enjoy it, and that it can be shared and spread.
Speaking of which, here you go! Play this in the background as you read. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything, in fact, if you like it, just press download and get it for free. LOL.
In some cases, the art is loved by many, bringing you fame, fortune, and you can become a megastar like Michael Jackson was. In other cases you experience smaller or no success at all. I have a song on Itunes that many claim to love, yet I haven’t sold a single damn copy! Go figure!
Success varies on many factors, right place at the right time, number of fans, or who it is that you know. I won’t drop any names, but there are several famous artists out there that are complete and utter garbage (my opinion) but they are famous because of who their friends and or parents are. Let’s just leave it at that.
Appreciation for art is extremely subjective. I have seen some art pieces that sell for more money than I will ever see in my entire life, and it is just a dot on a white canvas. To my eyes, that is just really weird contemporary art. But to the person with the fat wallet, it is beautiful. So, as I said, art is extremely subjective.
That being said, if you want people to support your work, they should see, watch, taste, or hear it before you approach them asking for money. Think about it, why in blazes would I give you my hard earned money to fund a product that I have no idea whether or not I would even like it? Let us examine a few recent encounters I have had.
I saw that TLC was out there raising money for a new album. TLC! So we know that one of the members passed away, Rest in Peace. The other two remaining members provide mixed feedback on searches as to their net worth. One of them apparently has a net worth of about 10 million dollars, while the other seems to have a worth of negative 1 million.
So between the two of them, they have at least a few million dollars. And they have the audacity to come out here asking us for money to fund their new project? Are you freaking kidding me? My unemployed, broke ass has been able to record over 40 songs! And you guys, who have at least one rich person in the mix are going to tell me that you can’t pay for your own album? Fund it yourself, and if it is good, it will sell and you will make your money back and then some! Hell you may even become huge again.
You are talented, but as an artist who has never seen your level of success, or had as much money as you, I am utterly insulted by the notion of you asking us to fund your album. Come on now, we are poor people. You guys are the stars. Shameful.
By the way, they actually raised the money, and I do wish them success. I just take issue with this asking for money, when they have more money than any of us do! Does that make sense to you?
Some band I won’t name
This group was on their Facebook wall complaining and saying this:
Since no one has donated to our fund raiser, then I guess you don’t want to hear our music. So we will stop making it.
Really? You sound like a child throwing a tantrum. If you are an artist, you will make music, period. That’s the way it goes. You can’t expect people to donate money to a project without a sample, or some form of “interest.” If you have established fans, they will probably donate as they want to hear your music, but then your level of success with that fund raiser will depend greatly on how many fans you have.
They can share the work, push it, but the people that don’t know you or your work will simply scroll right past the request for money. You won’t make it in music because you don’t have the drive. I make music on my own, no one pays for it, and in most cases no one even listens. But I put it out there for the universe. I don’t cry and biznatch cause it’s not selling, or even being taken when given out for free. You need to reevaluate your ways, or maybe you are right, stop making music.
Hip Hop Artist I won’t name
Now this guy, this one is a piece of work. He followed me on twitter, and as a courtesy I followed him back. As always, I make an effort to connect and engage with the new people I “meet” online. You know what the first words this guy sent me were? Please donate to my project. Hello? Bro, I’m reaching out to you to talk, and the first thing you do is ask me for money? I don’t care if you are offering me a song, or whatever, the least you can do is engage in a conversation and generate a genuine connection.
There is so much fail happening with this guy, that I had to bring it to his attention. If someone connects with you, make a genuine connection with them so that they want to help you succeed.
Recently I wrote a heartfelt piece about Samantha Leon, and I have covered many other artists. Samantha didn’t ask me to do this, she didn’t approach or hint, she just did what she does, and I loved it. For the last few days, her post has been one of the most viewed on this site. Why? Because she is amazing, and people want to know more about her. But my point is, she didn’t ask me for a damn thing, she doesn’t have to, I WANT to promote her.
But this guy, he just wanted to use me, and was not interested in anything that I had to offer on a personal level, he just wanted my exposure. “You have a lot of followers, and I know you’ve done tv, so can you help promote me on your twitter and blog?” I tried to give him a chance, so I told him that I made music that was inspirational as well, real life stories, and sent him a link to a song I wrote about my son. He didn’t even acknowledge it, he just continued talking about himself. What a self centered prick.
So as a courtesy to him, in hopes of helping him improve upon his social skills, I brought the matter to his attention. But this guy was just not getting it, he was so focused on “My message, Me, Me, Me” that he didn’t hear a damn thing I was trying to say to him. Shortly thereafter the guy blocked me. He save me the trouble of unfollowing him, but I have to admit, his nerve pissed me off, and it prompted this article.
You don’t have to know me, to relate to my message. I’m trying to bring people together he says.
Bring them together where? Here is one trying to connect with you, but you have no interest. You are solely interested in a one way relationship. I have no need for that, so, with all due respect, you and your message can PISS OFF. You won’t be getting any exposure from my outlets, even negative exposure. Zero press.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.