Every time you meet an artiste, the topic you will dwell on most will be music, and their music particularly. They just won’t stop talking. They will go on and on without changing the subject and of course this gets boring! By the end of the conversation, they haven’t communicated much save for bragging about the next ‘big hit’ they are soon dropping.
Truth of the matter is; you really stand no benefit having the media talk about your music if you are blank. It is a huge waste of precious time IF you can’t comfortably answer these questions, just in case they come up (they always come up as a matter of fact!).
1. Do you have a UNIQUE/CLEAR description of your music?
If you live for your music the way you want to talk about it, this shouldn’t be a difficult one to answer. It’s like asking for your name; you will not hesitate to answer. You MUST be able to confidently describe your music without hesitation or deviation. If you can’t do this, take time off to fully and truly understand the type of music you do.
2. Are you a good listener?
I don’t know who needs to hear this but no one likes someone who blows their own trumpet! At all the events and workshops I have attended, there’s always that one artiste you’ll talk to and it seems like they are doing you a favor. They will talk and talk, until you have to find an excuse to run away.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama once said, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
Develop the ability to listen since you’re not better than everyone backstage; everyone around you knows something you don’t which brings us to No.3…
3. Can you ask ONE GOOD question?
Naturally, conversations are supposed to be two-way, and that is best possible if you ask the right questions, questions that are open-ended. You need to get the other person to effortlessly open up.
Take a situation where you meet the Bell Jamz Brand Manager, do not ask questions like “So, when is the next show?” What if there’s no next show! Instead, ask a question like “Why did you guys come up with this concept?” The ‘why’ bit will prompt him or her to open up, and this will earn you points for you will be exuding confidence and intellect.
4. Do you have a clear ambition?
Having the ability to outline your specific goals can be extremely helpful in any conversation. The person you’re talking to will easily decide whether to work with you or not.
The many times I interact with young artistes who need promotion, it is during the chat that I determine whether to work with them or not. The majority do not even know what they will be doing the following week! How am I supposed to work with you then?
5. Can you handle criticism?
When it comes to your craft, very many people will throw all kinds of reactions and feedback at you. If you’re the kind of artiste without thick skin, you’re bound to give up even by just reading comments on a Facebook post about you. It is of no use going quiet in the face of such a challenge, keep going, keep asking, keep saying hi and keep making friends.
The purpose of this article is to help you prepare for the next time you have to meet and interact with a stakeholder in the industry. Don’t get it twisted and stop talking about your music, just get prepared next time.
Until next Friday, join me as we build this Industry brick by brick.