“HOW DID THEY GET THAT?!” - QUIT COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER ARTISTS.
It’s at this point of the year that our timelines are filled of artists travelling around the country, playing at various festivals, or announcing their Autumn tours, and basically look as if they’re having the time of their lives and everything is going perfectly for them. And it’s also the point of the year where a sense of jealousy and frustration hits for a lot of artists, as well as artist managers.
All artists and managers want to achieve as much as possible. That’s how it is. And scrolling through social media at this time of the year, makes everyone question whether they’re doing enough, why they aren’t getting certain opportunities, why other people are, and when their break will be. Seeing other people appearing to do so well, can often be really damaging for artists, because they get into this rut where they believe they’re not good enough, and it can lead to people questioning whether this is the dream they want to be pursuing.
Last week I went to the cinema and saw the new ‘Yesterday’ movie (not an ad), and without giving any spoilers, the beginning of the film shows an emerging artist driving around the country playing gigs in empty venues and pubs with people not really paying much attention to them, and he had a manager who believed in this artist with every inch of her, and she knew he was destined to do so much. This really hit me as an artist manager, because I, and I’m sure many others reading this blog will connect with it so much, and fully understand how that moment feels. Let me tell you, as an artist manager, seeing your artist performing in an empty venue is heartbreaking but it happens. A lot. To all artists. I can assure you there will be artists you see on your timeline playing these festivals you wish you were playing at, will have gigs with less than 20 people in a room.
What I’m saying is, what you see on your timeline isn’t representative. No one is going to share a dead gig onto their socials, or promoters won’t want to work with them. There is no leaderboard in the music industry, there are no specific numbers you must hit, no set instructions, no right or wrong of going about things. Everyone wants everyone to succeed, and comparing yourself to others artists at the same level as you or the ones you manage is completely natural. It’s how you work with those comparisons that is important.
You can either take those comparisons and you can get frustrated and bitter that you haven’t earned those opportunities, or you can learn from those comparisons. What is that artist doing that’s given them this opportunity? Are they engaging with their followers constantly building their engagement therefore making them appear more appealing to a promoter? Are they regularly releasing music? Do they have connections that you could introduce yourself to?
But whatever you do, just remember that you’re working your socks off, and as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing, there is absolutely no need for you to compare yourself constantly to other people. Everyone is on their own journey, and opportunities will come to you if you continue to maintain the right attitude. The community of emerging artists we have needs to be protected and celebrated, don’t ruin it for yourself by comparing yourselves to others all the time. Who’s got time for that?!
If you’re struggling for motivation, and need help getting back on track and refocused, I run a consultancy service where we can chat one-on-one about your thoughts, and get a plan of action in place. More information about the consultancy sessions here.