Selling your soul for fame and fortune doesn't always have to be as extreme as making a deal with a crossroads demon just like Robert Johnson did, or selling yourself to the Illuminati once you hit a certain level of income. Selling your soul, our selling out as many like to call it, is a simple matter of giving up something that is significant to you for a chance at success, fame, and money.
Most people who walk this path don't realize what's happening to their "soul" when this process is actually happening, and may only see how the music industry has drastically changed them only after it's too late.
Are you looking for a quick trip to fame and success? Or, are you looking for some red flags on your route that you will want to avoid as you journey through this amazing and crazy thing called the music world?
Regardless of your true intentions, I'd like you to ponder on a few ways that we as musicians and artists can lose ourselves (or our souls) as we try to make our music career a successful one. While these methods may be able to get you up the latter faster, will it be worth it in the end? Probably not.
Bad deals aren't only coming from major record labels in the music industry. There are tons of ways that big companies including labels, publishing companies, and even TV competitions can screw you over for years if you sign a contract that you don't understand.
Bad contracts can make it so that you are literally a slave to another company. You can get stuck with low profits, deals where you have to make a certain amount of albums before you can leave, or even deals that say you can't make or perform your own music without a bigger company slapping their name on your work.
Signing a bad deal is a quick way to get some spotlight if you have the talent and you know how to work with an audience, but it can be a huge headache in the long run that can cost you so much more than money and time.
Don't rush into a deal you don't understand just because someone is coming to you from a big name making big claims. The bigger the company, the more you'll need to be careful and get someone with experience to look over the contract for you.
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In this day and age where social media is a drug and we love to see people acting a mess, you can get on a quick train to your 15 seconds of fame if you are desperate enough and get a lucky break.
We all have a different set of morals that we strive to follow day by day, and most of the time we don't agree with something another person is doing. But if you're looking for fame and fortune, try abandoning some of your principles and you may find that attention will come your way, although all attention isn't good.
Putting out music that feeds people's darker obsessions including sex, drugs, and violence is a pretty good way to chase fame these days. We all come with a certain threshold of what we allow and what's going too far when it comes to these types of obsessions, but the more you loosen up on your belief and lose your inhibitions, I'm sure some fame will come to you. It may do you more harm than good from the jump, but you may find that abandoning your morals can help put you on the map.
This one goes for those who are chasing fame and success and may not necessarily be looking for the spotlight in the music industry. All the best companies in the music world are the best because of one thing: money. Putting money at the top of your priority list may seem like an obviously smart thing to do in any business, but the more you walk that walk and put other priorities behind it, you'll see where things start to get dangerous.
Putting money before values like giving, the love of music, building relationships, and spreading positivity can be a real way to lose your soul in the mix. Once you get a taste of success in the music world, you'll get wide-eyed and start to see that money more than you see the people that are responsible for getting you where you wanted to be.
The more you get successful, the more you'll start treating people like objects and less like human beings. The more you find riches, you'll begin to use and manipulate people for your own selfish benefits and give away pieces of your pure soul to the industry and the dollar.
Often paired with a bad label deal, many new artists give up their creative freedoms in exchange for that financial investment that a big label or similar company can offer them for a chance at success and fame. While many will still recommend this method even today in order to get your name out there first, giving up your creative control in the music world can be a truly soul-sucking experience.
At first, you'll be excited to just get your foot in the door, but the more you're used and seen as a product rather than an artist with a voice, the less you'll be excited to wake up in the morning and do your job every day.
Do you know how they say that the grass is always greener on the other side? These words have never been truer than with new artists as they adjust to a world where no one cares what you think or feel and they just see you as an asset to control.
The more you are in tune with the creative process as an unsigned artist, the faster the novelty will wear off once you get that big deal and go through the motions as a signed and successful artist in the industry (and that's IF you reach success).
I'm not writing these thoughts to get preachy on you, but I do want you to truly consider some of the dangers that may come the more you reach your goals in your music career. While music, in general, is a magical art that I believe is a gift from God himself, the industry can bring out the ugly in people's hearts and souls.
Some people are willing to go through the darkness and won't be that damaged from it, but others will really go through hell and transform into a much worse version of themselves. Brainstorm on what this journey can do to you in particular and be prepared for many surprises (good and bad) along the way.
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As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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