Music is always said to be the intangible medicine. The peacemaker. The message of the unspoken. If people are able to join together with uncommon grounds and enjoy one night, forget their worries and celebrate; what is everyone scared of standing up for what they believe in after the show is over? What is it about music, let alone a live show that people feel connected with one another? How come we can stand as one for a favorite creator of music but diffuse ourselves in the masses to hide for what we want or believe?
For several years music and fashion helped create identities for those looking to seek acceptance within groups. At this moment in time hiding in identities doesn’t help with any problems people face including losing their jobs, politics, health, family and friends. Really at this moment collaboration across industries, cultures, personalities is more critical than ever. In the music business it is no different. Since music is so important to most and allows people to set their differences aside, I feel it has more of an impact now than ever and those in the industry need to keep pushing great music to reach out to people.
Matisyahu’s show at The Knitting Factory was quite an experience for me and maybe that is his phenomenon. Bringing people together with one message and expressing it clearly through his words and wardrobe. An identity many feel couldn’t accomplish themselves; instead hoping their music idol sheds some of it off to them at the show. What did it take for him or any other artist to get to the point where they are now with their message? If the outspoken or the odds in a group are out numbered and keep getting pushed aside how do they excel?
I’ve played my own broken record for years and it’s been stuck on the track called “teamwork”. Sometimes people don’t understand what that is unless it is by default. Others don’t understand it unless they see it being implemented by others. Far and few, the innovators or risk takers; those open for new ideas usually are the most reliable with ideas and are willing to work in teams because they understand the risks. If they fail they fail as a team and if succeed they share the results together. They are willing to take a risk for a greater gain than they currently hold than not take a risk with something with little to lose. It is more of a risk for them to not be risk takers.
What does this have to do with music and reaching out to people? They are the risk takers. They create something that speaks to more people across cultures than anything else. They are the painters of sound and beyond things we can’t put into words. Think of all the people who like music. All the different cultures, communities and businesses that like music and incorporate it in everyday practice in some way. Radios in offices, special events, festivals, background music and more. People are always seeking music. Most importantly I think people are seeking something they feel they can identify with but they don’t feel they can become or express themselves as well as the music or artist has conveyed. It is a long process to get to the point to be able to send a message out to hundreds of thousands of people and have them listen to you because they want to. They are paying to see you and you are providing something that they can take it or leave it. Have you every thought of the complexity of writing, performing, producing, touring, marketing and managing music? Can you imagine doing all of that yourself with millions of people watching your every move expecting more and more? Teamwork.
All musicians have different goals whether it is touring, licensing, popularity or lifestyle to name a few. What do you think it takes for them to be successful at their goal? The musicians you see on tv or hear on the radio didn’t start over night. Many have played in more bands or played more instruments than they can count on both hands. Some got lucky. Some networked with the right people building up their contacts throughout the years of festivals and tours. Some to this day, are still playing in a garage and haven’t even been heard at all. So the successful artist/musician or as I would like to refer as the expressive innovators; found their team and became who they are in front of the masses. Many viewers applaud them for their expression making them who they are, while others will criticize their success. Either side of the debate you choose you have to admit they had the right team. The right collaboration whether it is between the band doing it all themselves or letting people with other professions help them out; the mix of qualities is a benefit. The writer, the promoter, the booking agent all focus on specific aspects to focus on one goal. The goal is fed by some sort of passion from someone in the team. I think we can take a lot from the practice of music across to other industries. How do you start a new businesses and increase the number of customers in a condensed amount of time? Look at what musicians have done from their creativity, business models and networking. If we create businesses in which we are passionate about do you think we can have fans like musicians? Instead of convincing people to come to our business or using incentives, wouldn’t it be great if they found us and continued to be loyal? If so wouldn’t our economy and lifestyles be so much different? The audience members are a part of the team, just as the customers at your store or the listeners on your radio. Can we start a revolution beyond music? Let’s create more businesses less conventional and more experimental but more importantly: passionately.
I’m still astonished by those seeking to be accepted by a group or groups but idolize the music that is made for shock factors. Psychologically it makes sense. Confiding in someone or something that we desire to become but put our energy into the desire instead of becoming something of it. I hope one day they can wrap their head around it. When they do the fans or customers will be going to a show or grand opening with the possibility of meeting everyone at that moment and walk away and say “I remember when I saw that band play their first show(or the day they openened)”. The fans and customers feel more empowered and become loyal. In the music scene they feel more connected to the music than before and have a chance of becoming lifetime fans.
I will continue to work on this ever lasting battle of new music and the masses while seeking those passionate businesses to collaborate with. Matisyahu can tour the world with his message on stage and I hope to continue touring; eventually the world and send my message one band, one business at a time.