In light of the Internet-music revolution, many question what being a music artist really means. Going from an age in which the chances of making an honest living as a vocalist or musician were ridiculously slim, to an age in which almost everyone knows someone who is supposedly “the next big thing,” is certainly an understandable concern. So, what does it take to be considered a “legit” artist in this day and age? It may not be what you think. On that note, I present the top 3 signs that you’ve discovered a real artist.
3. Good Tunes － This may seem to go without saying…but you’d be surprised! Artists are works in progress…but if their entire catalog sound like something that belong on a VH1’s “Awesomely Bad…” list, music may not be their calling. Certainly, there is much to be said about humble beginnings…but if an artist’s music has shown zero improvement, spanning decades of practice…perhaps it’s time to endure that painful ending.
2. The Creativity Gene － This is a huge one! Beyond stellar vocals and awesome stage presence…is this person innovative? Does he or she need someone to guide their every musical career move? If so, you are more than likely looking at a poser. Creativity is the very crux of artistry! Not to say that a good artist will never ask for help, quite the contrary. However, all great artists rely on their own intuition more so than input from any source. You often hear mainstream artists explain away their most ingenious hits with phrases such as, “I just felt inspired” and “It just felt right,” this is no coincidence. Great artists have a natural instinct to create, musically. They may collaborate, but their divine spark shines brightest expressing that which comes most naturally, their personal affinity for the creation of music.
1. Passion for Music － The number one reason why music is one of the most sought after career paths is because we all love music on some level. However, there’s a huge difference between someone who joined a band in high school out of boredom, and one who started a band in middle school, then again in high school….and again in college, the latter of which clearly being the one who has a burning desire to create music to be heard.
Furthermore, there is a huge difference between artists who give up because something doesn’t sound right…and those who record the same line 50 times (if deemed necessary) to ensure a track comes out as perfectly as what is heard in their heads. True artists love music and musicians from all genres. They extensively study and know all of their favorites by absolute heart. Passion cannot be faked, excitement and neuroticism are 2 other traits that often accompany passionate artists. Seems cool from the outside, but some of the greats have driven their camps almost insane!
The Bottom Line
Overall, the meaning of being an artist is defined by each artist respectively. In a time in which Youtube views are readily bought and sold by the thousands, the illusion…or even true existence of a so-called “fan base” is not nearly enough. Are they motivated by money or the love of the art? Do they truly love music or just like it a lot?
Answers to such questions reveal the true motives of a musician’s heart.