March 23, 2014




There are all kinds of books telling you everything you need to know.  When you’ve run out of books, there are websites.  If you’re too lazy to read what’s on the websites, you can watch YouTube videos.  Too time consuming to watch videos?  Don’t worry – there’re people tweeting advice to you.  And if you can’t learn everything in 140 characters, give up now!

For every person “destined” to be a musician, there’s a company or product trying to convince you that they can make you a star.  So many artists, desperate for a foothold in the industry, believe them!  Thus millions of careers are born and killed in the same credit card billing cycle.

A while back, I worked for one of the leading direct-to-fan platforms in the biz, and I heard the same complaint over and over:  “I signed up with you guys and you haven’t sold ANY of my music.” It didn’t matter that the company never promised to make people rich and famous and never promised to actually sell a single track.  The company sells a tool;  how you use it is what determines sales and success.  But in the musician’s mind, it’s got to be their fault.  Who else could it be?

I’m writing this book specifically for those people.  These are the “musicians” who feel they are destined to be famous.  Somehow, they feel that the right break is going to launch them into the stratosphere, and soon they’ll be throwing their iPhones at their personal assistants when they bring them an overly dry cappuccino.

There, but for a dream …

These are also the people who are the quickest at coming up with excuses as to why their dreams remain unfulfilled.  The one commonality amongst all of them:  it’s never their fault.  Always somebody else.

I worked with a fairly well-known musician. He came to me because he “needed social media.”   My first step was to clearly outline what social media was, what pieces could be managed by me, and what the client would need to do on their own.  The instant response was “oh no, I don’t actually want to do anything – that’s why I’m paying you!”

Clearly the concept of social media eluded him – even though he “needed” it!   More on social media later…

The first lesson for today’s musicians is “don’t suck.”  You won’t fool anybody by over-marketing shitty music to the masses, and you can stop right there if you think I’m being at all witty and sarcastic.  The marketing braintrust pushing Justin Bieber on an unsuspecting/undeserving world are brilliant.  They are expert marketers who know exactly what they’re doing.  It shows with every paternity suit, Ferrari purchase, and TMZ exclusive.

Want more proof?  How many Justin Bieber songs can you actually name/sing/hum?  I’m guessing none.  Maybe one or two tops.  But I bet you know all kinds of fun details about his life, right?   Score one for marketing!

If any of the preceding logic upsets you – please stop reading now.  You’ll likely find the rest of this book insulting.

For everyone else, this book is designed to be tactical, strategic, and direct.  I despise books/lessons that speak in vague generalities and never actually offer any real advice.  The kind of people that say “don’t suck” are the ones that probably can’t take you too much further with advice of their own.

I’m not trying to sell you on my, or anyone else’s, services.  Instead, the goal is to create a solid foundation for your own future musical growth.

Ultimately, the only musicians that will survive are the smart ones.  If this book makes you smarter, then I’ve done my part.


–Scott Feldman & D.I.-Why

November 2011


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