Why Being Surrounded By Musicians Can Be A Problem

I know, I know – click bait title right?

In truth, I want to talk about perspective, specifically the perspective I have with regards to my own music. Its been well established on this blog (and in several of my songs) by now that I, like many other songwriters, have a very love/hate relationship with my music. Some days I can happily listen to my EP or play my songs at a gig and feel a real sense of enthusiasm, pride and accomplishment. Other times I wince at every little imperfection in my recorded vocals, or get frustrated at a slightly out of time guitar track that most other people wouldn’t even notice.

And that brings me to the crux of the topic.

I’m fortunate to live in a place just outside of Bristol in the UK. Bristol is world famous as a cultural, artistic and musical hub and is home to countless talented musicians, bands and songwriters. The town of Clevedon where I spent the majority of my life also has a thriving scene with many musical people. While these are great things to have in my life as a musician; it also means I spend a lot of my time amongst people who know about the ins and outs of making music. As a result I am very self conscious about the quality of my music and performances in front of them.

The important thing that me and people like me need to remind ourselves of is that these people are not our audience. Sure, due to mainly playing at open mics and other venues frequented by artists, they might technically and literally be our audience at the minute; but they are not our target audience.

The people who I need to get my music in front of are every day people who love my kind of music and use songs as an escape from the working week, chores etc. People who like to go to shows by their favourite singers, people who play records while having a beer with some friends round at home. They can appreciate the finer points of music, but they don’t necessarily play music.

None of us artists are going to gain much traction out of just playing for each other constantly. We need to play for people who will buy our records, come to our shows and engage with us on social media.

As soon as I figure out how to do this I’ll let you know!

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