The landscape of music today is really about finding your mojo — one that is unique to your style, music, and career. This is exactly what Juan Sanchez did with album “Rebirth,” and this is the foundation of his breakthrough as a musician — a feat all musicians strive for.
In an interview, Sanchez shares some of the advice and strategies that got him where he is today — living comfortably as a successful musician. These are valuable insights from an exemplary musician, and they could be incorporated into your music career from now on.
1. Know what is good out there
“The first step in creating a truly great business is to really know what you have to offer, of course, you have great music, but I want you to take time to think beyond this. Today, there are so many ways to live from music, from music videos to concerts and traditional recordings of covers, remixes, and arrangements.”
It’s about doing a little self-examination and asking yourself what you’re good at and what you like to do.
Maybe you’re an artist at heart with a penchant for organizing people and tasks, and you love making music and videos, the key is to know your skills and then focus on career building surrounding them, from here, you will be able to identify the tools that will help you achieve your goals.
In the end, you will have a career around the things you really like to do.
2. Hard work is truly everything
Sanchez believes, “this is the best time in history to work as a musician,” and he’s right! “Today’s musicians have more opportunities at their fingertips every day than some musicians of the past had in years. You don’t have to wait for a label to give you money to start recording, you can connect with millions of people online to sell your products, collaborate, and carry out what you want.”
It is, however, much more work, the days of the Rockstar idea are behind us; these were replaced by serious music entrepreneurs who hardly have enough time to sleep.
That does not mean that having a music career is not fun! If you are really doing something you like, you will enjoy the play, no matter how long it takes, most musicians like Sanchez who built his career from scratch and has so much love for his work that he is perfectly fine with the demanding job.
“It’s a lot of hard work. Sometimes I work 24/7, it’s fun, though! I mean, I love making music; I love recording, but it’s not parties and drinking on the bus. The start is sometimes at one o’clock the morning, being absolutely exhausted. I look at a list of things to do, and after having covered much of these, I realize what I need to fix, add, or omit.”
3. Start with what you have
“You can start making music in your bedroom for next to nothing and hang blankets on the walls and reach millions of people today. This is particularly inspiring.”
The barriers that once prevented musicians from entering the music industry have been broken down. You can start with next to nothing — some instruments are very cheap, low-end recording, software, and the Internet — and build your career.
The fact is, waiting until you can buy time in a studio or tour the region, maybe it will never come, start with what you have, create the highest quality music according to the tools available.
Find some Followers, make some money, get a good team, and start the process again. It is a slow task, but you will be more and more ahead of when you started.
4. Hire resources according to your needs
“Ask yourself what you need, and then hire that person.”
This is really out of the previous point when you start for the first time. You will not be able to pay a manager, a booking agent and an editor, most likely you will not even be able to attract their attention to grow in your music career and get a nudge on the market.
Like everything else, in reality, this is a construction process, when some money comes to the project, it is not necessary to jump and hire a full team, you should ask yourself:
- What do you have under control, and that is working well?
- What kind of help do you need?
- What barriers stand ahead of you?
- What responsibilities are becoming too large and overwhelming to solve?
If you are making great efforts to stay up to date with your finances and at the same time, you are having difficulty getting concerts in bigger places, which you know you can fill. The people you hire and the end for which hiring them really depends on you, and their skills, the experience will be different for each person, but it will surely have many benefits.
5. A balance between Music and Business
Today’s musician needs to play both as a creator and as a business executive and needs to do both of their work full time in a short 24 hour day. This can be really overwhelming, but with a little bit of good time management, it is totally possible!
The first task is to really figure out how they work best. Some people do their best to work in the morning first, while others prefer to work at night, some people are multitasking, while others prefer to focus all their energies on one task at a time and get it done.
“I don’t need obstacles in my creation time, everyone works differently, and everyone has a different balance, I take the time I need, and I don’t really do a lot of business at this stage.”
Try to use whatever calendar tool you have available to block your time. Let a half hour each day to reply to emails, 20 minutes to schedule your social media posts with an additional hour to reply to your followers during your business hour. Lunch.
We can also set a few hours a day of the week to brainstorm marketing strategies for your next release, and a day to record and mix your song.
6. Build your own model
“One thing I should emphasize enough is what works for you in the right way. Do what you have to do, it’s amusing, I think there is a tendency to want to be the real thing.”
There is no longer one size that fits all models in the industry. Now more than ever, groundbreaking musicians like Juan Sanchez are finding their own success on their own terms. Today, their career really depends on a thousand little factors like music, skills, and fan base.
You can’t just copy a strategy of success like that of Sanchez and hope it works smoothly. It’s really about knowing who you are and what you’re good at, trying new things, learning from your experiences, and adapting your strategy.