Things have changed over the past decade. Technology has transformed how we interact, how we do business and how we share creativity. It changed everything about the music industry, with widely available information, cheap distribution and home recording gear that sounds as good as any professional studio. DIY is the way to go for many musicians and creatives. After that, and putting aside the actual quality of what you’ve created, whatever happens is a function of marketing and good luck.
I did a lot of reading to gain as much insight as I could on how to go about recording and releasing my own music in the most professional and cost effective way, since that’s what we are all aiming for as indie musicians.
But once you get past that point, as a new, independent artist, how do you measure success? Is it sales? Likes? Follows?
Those things are cool, but I’m not sure any one of them really hits home for the purists. Most of us, though now functioning in this new internet-centric day and age, didn’t grow up in it. When we were first entranced by a chorus or a guitar lick, there wasn’t any way to quantify it. There was no social media, YouTube views or trending artists. Sure, you could look up album sales, but I doubt you cared about that. What mattered was the feeling you got from it.
There was just you and the feeling.
It’s the same feeling you get now when you find the right chord, or the right rhyme, or the right order of tracks. The same feeling of playing a song you love before an audience that is happy to hear it.
The compass that guided you here, will surely take you all the way to where you’re meant to go.
Measuring success by the feeling you get from what you’re doing is independent from anything or anyone else. There is no one to agree or disagree with, no numbers to compare, and there’s no limit on how successful you can be or who can be successful with you. That doesn’t make it inaccurate though. In fact, it’s the most accurate measure of success you can find, because it applies to everyone in this creative space.
If you’re true to yourself, playing the music you want, how you want, when you want, you’ll always have that feeling. And as long as you have that feeling, you’ll have success.