Us musicians are a funny bunch. On the outside we are big egos, pumping out testosterone (even the girls). Remember that scene in the movie anchorman? Where Will Ferrell stands on front of the mirror and shouts “Hey everyone, come and see how good I look”? Yeah, there are times many of us are not far off from it. And I would go as far as saying, rightly so. You see, it takes balls of steel to stand in front of a crowd and pour your heart out in your songs and music. If you don’t believe in it, why should the listener? But on the inside it’s often a very different story. We have a desperate need to please everyone. That inner child begging for acceptance is unbelievably strong within us. We believe our country death metal we use as a musical tool to spread the word about our just little bit obsessed affection for cats is a music that everybody will love, once they hear it. And if only they would hear it…
Maybe I exaggerate a bit, or maybe not. But you get the idea. We believe everyone will love our music. If someone doesn’t, we get hurt and defensive. “What would you know about good music?” Our inbuilt self preservation system kicks in and won’t let us see the truth. We build this imaginary world in our mind where we are the misunderstood artist and the whole world is against us. Boo hoo!
I have been through these struggles in the past myself and that self preservation system is hard to switch off. I think a little bit of personal growth is required here. The thing is, you will never please everybody. In fact, you should never try to please everybody! The music has to come from within you, it has to be your true voice. If you start to alter it based on the latest trends, or what you think people might want to hear, you set yourself on a path to mediocrity. In other words, you might as well be in a covers band… Now if that is what you want, fine. But something tells me if you are reading my blog, that’s not what you’re after.
So here’s the thing, you do not need to please everybody. And if you are true to yourself, write good music and by good I mean quality in sense of songwriting and performing, not popularity, you will find people who appreciate it. Don’t go spamming everyone you come across, but look for the people who are into your music, they are your potential fans. And once you find them, treat them well, give them what they want. One true fan is much more valuable than 100 people who don’t really care, but just feel obliged to be polite.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get two of his free songs go HERE and click Download