False Titles, Ego and Competition
|From Drop Box|
The entertainment business is ego driven. When I entered it, I was wide eyed in terms of what to expect. I hadn’t been burned or disappointed, so for the most part my expectations weren’t ego driven. I always had an ego though. It’s par for the course in this business. But when does too much ego begin to affect your world and those involved in it?
Let’s start with false titles. As soon as you enter the game, you immediately meet hundreds of “CEO’s,” “A&R’s,” “Presidents,” “Producers,” “Directors,” and all types of people with false vanity labels they bestow upon themselves. The key is to navigate around these folks. If someone considers themself a boss, but you sense they don’t have much to offer, steer clear of them. This is not even from a financial point of view. Support, guidance, and learning from someone can triumph over a check any day. People are manipulative and cruel in this business. You can become a puppet quickly. Most importantly, false titles yield false egos. With false egos comes a losing team.
Have I ever given myself a false title for my work? No. If anything, some people don’t even know exactly what I do. In a business where the model is changing daily, how can anyone have a proper lane or title? My advice to you is to accumulate as much information and knowledge as you can in the music industry. Do everything and do not limit yourself. I created my lane pretty much on my own. I continue to do so daily. You should be creating your own brand too. If you work for a big corporation this is a different. If that’s you, you’ve most likely signed contracts disallowing this. However, if you’re molding your own career, sans corporate gig, be a sponge for information and have an open mind to learn from anything and anyone.
In my first column, I wrote, “I do not concern myself with Diddy or Jay Z’s latest signings.” I represent several artists who are arguably better than what those executives represent. I reiterate, if you are a newcomer it is discouraging to compare yourself to executives with multi-million dollar budgets. But what do you do when these older artists won’t step down from the mic? Or better yet, start to promote their own artists with their name attached to it.
It’s difficult enough to break a new artist. Now imagine you are going up against these established executives plus their new “cosign.” It quadruples the degree of difficulty for your quest.
Everybody wants the crown. It’s understandable; this is show business. But there’s a time when the older artists and executives need to pass the torch to a newer generation. If they don’t, what do you do to take control of your own destiny?
It’s a tough call. But don’t be afraid to carve your own path. If you are a young entrepreneur, be a pioneer for what you believe in no matter what. Do not allow the masses to create your vision. Do not allow anyone to give you a title or stop you from evolving. Navigate through this business with no fear or regrets. Explore uncharted waters. Shake things up. Say what you feel and seize the opportunity no matter what type of platform you have. The more you stay quiet in this game, the less people will you hear you. The less people hear you, the less you will eat.