Shipe is no April Fool

After the promo barrage of my last album, Yellow House, my web presence increased, and I found myself getting contacted out of the blue. This should be a good thing, right?

Not always.

If you’re a devoted songwriter/recording artist, doing your sacred work somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd tiers of the Music Industry, here are a couple of guidelines:

1) If you gotta pay for an opportunity, it ain’t an opportunity.

2) The Biz is densely populated with working talent; no one “gets discovered” any more.

This second one is vague, so I’ll elaborate: Scouting agents are not scouring the vast regions of MySpace, Sonic Bids, and ReverbNation just to find you. Anything good that might happen for you, such as a recording contract, radio airplay, song placement, or a publishing deal, is happening for artists who are already within geographical or virtual proximity of the Biz entities that make those things happen. They do it better than you, and literally closer to the industry than you.

So when I get contacted by someone I’ve never heard of, telling me how excited they are about me, I recall what Groucho Marx said: “Never belong to a club that would accept you as a member.”

Oh, that sounds discouraging. But it only means what it means for everybody else in every other line of work. You have to show up and apply for the job. And you have to show up over and over and over again. It takes time, persistence, and patience.

If somebody e-mails you from Hollywood with a movie project that needs background music exactly like your latest masterpiece, and for a one time registration fee, they will add you to their select roster of song-placement clients, remind yourself of the two axioms above.

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