Two things remain constant in the music industry: the song, and the voice. However, we live in a world where talent alone often is not enough anymore to ensure longstanding success in the biz. The “rest” – or admin, shall we say – contain details that must not be overlooked to help you on the path to success.
I was handed a very interesting book called ‘Artepreneur’ which should become essential reading for all creatives. It posits the hypothesis, “Why creative professionals can’t just be artists.” Across creative domains, artists find it difficult to sustain a career in the arts. Issues about relationships, personality, support, creativity and the particular industry itself deter nascent artists from making it in the long run.
When author Lukas de Beer explored the impact of coaching on the career of the artist in his master’s thesis, it became apparent that an entrepreneurial mindset was key to a sustained creative career. ‘Artrepreneur’ is a call to artists to confront their real-life issues and find meaningful ways to continue pursuing their dreams.
As technology empowers more artists to create professional products and offer it directly to the consumer, many artists experience tension between being an artist and also running a business.
Furthermore, because of these advancements in technology, certain creative sectors have changed dramatically and as a result impacted directly on the artist’s livelihood. For example, streaming services in music have the major labels skimming the cream while independent artists and labels struggle to find a place among the endless choices consumers face.
How are creative individuals to deal with these realities?
‘Artrepreneur’ is loosely based on the findings De Beer made in his thesis while completing his master’s degree at Stellenbosch University’s Business School (USB) in 2014. In sampling a small group of artists within the South African music scene, it emerged that creative individuals could effectively benefit from embracing an entrepreneurial mindset. In essence, this book is about the intersection between being an artist and being an entrepreneur; taking into account that the line that creative professionals toe between being an artist and being a business, is a rather fine one. Read the book and please let me know what you think.
The bottom line is never stop learning and asking questions, as this is the key to longevity in a notorious industry.
The slap, or whatever went on with Black Coffee and AKA this last weekend, will soon be forgotten and become a part of folklore, but it is the music that ultimately remains forever. Is that not what all artists want?
Gig of the week
Khanya Jazz Project at The Crypt, Wale Street, Cape Town
Friday, September 30 (8pm to 11pm)
If you are a fan of Cuban outfit Buena Vista Social Club and Tito Puente, you will love this band. It features Granville V on piano, Keegan Daniels on drums, Jason Ward on percussion, Byron Abrahams on sax and Ricky Moss on bass and vocals.
R85 gets you in.
For more information and to reserve your spot, call 079 683 4658; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.