When I was working on ‘Solo,’ I reached a point when I was deciding if I should approach record companies. I contacted a number of friends and colleagues and asked them for their advice. “Should I go for it?”
All of them, with the exception of Braid, told me to do it without a record company. Reasons varied, but were along the lines of: “You’re not ready,” and “It’s better to do it yourself.” I have two issues with this advice:
Firstly, it’s counterproductive. Had I taken their advice, I would have been responsible for artwork, manufacturing, licensing, distribution and publicity. Inevitably, with zero experience in any of these, mistakes would have been made, money wasted, precious time spent and most importantly, quality would have been lost.
There are experienced people whose job is to manage these tasks. Artists should be eager to work with them. They may not be eager to work with you, but nothing ventured, nothing gained right? Go for it!
Secondly, I’m afraid this counterproductive advice is part of a broader culture of negative education. I’ve heard many variations on these phrases:
- There are no gigs
- You need to teach to live
- Leave Canada to be successful in Canada
- The music biz is evil
- Record companies are evil
- Don’t go for it
These statements may be true for some people, but preaching them will prevent students from reaching their fullest potential. Let’s rethink this attitude because taking Braid’s advice was one of my best career moves; I’m extremely grateful for his insight.
Don’t listen to people who tell you not to go for it.