Do Music Not Drugs

North Carolina Music Network Star Search

In the Know


Dear Little Fox—

It is the hope of NCMN to bring encouragement to the Independent Music Artist. As perhaps we have a different view of the many goals and dreams of the Independent concerning the music industry at large, we are hoping not only to encourage but to warn of disappointments along the way— as in trying to move too far, too fast...too soon— as the pitfalls are many. Becoming a Music Artist is just like any other profession; the road taken must be traveled one baby step at the time. Getting caught up in a world too big for one's own comfort is the surest way to fail. Let us encourage you to start where you are... “bloom where you are planted.” NCMN's gifts and callings are for encouragement, however, please consider that Nashville may not be the place for the beginning artist, just yet!—be of good cheer and....KEEP SINGING!

Be Prepared

RULE #3—Preparation & Promotion

You will find that this Business of Music is one of the most intriguing of all endeavors. The rags to riches aspect being one of the things that makes it so appealing, and phonemically mysterious. There are those who study and work for years who never seem to quite make it; and then by the same token there are those who seem to over night shoot like a silver bullet straight to the top of the charts. I think I have found the secret. No matter how well studied you are, how great a singer or practiced musician— there are two things always necessary

—Preparation and Promotion.

Who am I?

Are you an imitation of your favorite music artist? As this is a familiar trap for many a young performer—Remember! If you are trying to be just like someone else you will always be second best. Before you begin to follow the aspirations of your dreams you must ask yourself, “Who am I? Am I the real thing or a copy of someone else. As you pursue your dreams in the field of music you must come to know and accept yourself for who you are. As the better rendition of yourself you are already “Number One.” So don't be afraid


*Note: “To thine own self be true.”



If you are planning to manufacture and distribute copies of a song which you did not write, and you have not already reached an agreement with the song's publisher, you need to obtain a mechanical license. This is required under U.S. Copyright Law, regardless of whether or not you are selling the copies you made. Note: You are liable for your actions not your recording studio. Note: You do not need a mechanical license if you are recording and distributing a recorded song you wrote yourself, or if the song is in the public domain. If you are not sure whether or not the songs you are looking to record are in public domain—it is suggested you do a search.

(This notice is not intended to take the place of legal council)

Ticket Sales? Why?


Since audiences do not materialize but are strategically created when a performer reaches out to pull others into his circle of friends, winning favor is part of the process, becoming established in the effort of moving one's career forward. If you can not reach out to others, your singing abilities are of little significance. Record companies and major labels, etc. are looking for the whole package; creating a listening audience is part of a successful package.

Tickets sales are an indication the performing artist has the ability to reach his or her audience, the general public at large. As it is not enough being able to merely sing, but to have the whole of one's act together, thus creating an audience is merely a due process. As a successful performing artist it is quite important to understand the relevance. It has always been said the cream rises to the top.

RISE— Independent Music Artist

Help Wanted...

As an Independent Music Artist...on your way to where ever it is you plan to go...unless you are the Einstein of this crazy business of music you will need many hands of support along the way. There are fellow singers, writers, musicians, producers, and marketing people of all kinds; booking agents, managers, many talented people that you as an aspiring artist will be in need. So... consider it wise to remember: Perfecting your ability to sing, and yes, perhaps to master the instrument of your choice, and then to perform always at your very best, will bring you perhaps to a certain point of continued success. So it is that you shall also be music is not a business one can do an Independent you will have to find your own field of force by including others along your way. So let the IMA be reminded: The most important need you have is in reaching out to others. I have never met an artist who has made it on his own, neither have I met a performer who did not need an audience.

It is by far your most needed talent, your greatest asset...far beyond your capabilities for making bring your fellow music artists into your circle of friends. Remember, when you stand stand alone.

And once again to be reminded— A good performer is not afraid of competition. Your fellow artists in performing are neither better than you nor worse...merely different. When you believe in your own talents there is power in your passed on to others. The time will come when the power of your thinking will bring you not only to your desired audience—but—a well desiring audience.

In conclusion: Do not be afraid, dear IMA, being out there when and wherever competition is going strong....where the real music of life is taking place. Remain in keeping with the rest of the music world as much as possible, keeping a level of confidence, and—whatever you do— don't forget to support your fellow artist along the way, and remember...the same shall return to you.

Do you have "it"?

Do You Have What It Takes?

So, you want to be a part of the music industry and you want to know what it takes?

PROFESSIONALISM - Whether you are a performing artist, musician, or songwriter, your first consideration in evaluating your abilities should be, "Am I as good as my competition would be if I already had a major label deal?"

If you ask yourself this question, you will soon realize your limitations. This will help you better evaluate your capabilities. In turn, this will give you the direction you need for improving your professional image.

Major label heads are looking for professionalism. They do not have the time to develop talent from scratch. BE CONSIDERATE! Get your act together and save yourself a lot of embarrassment and discouragement. Be realistic when you approach a major label and you won't be told "No" so many times. Remember that you are asking them to invest money in your talents, so BE PREPARED by being professional.

HUMILITY - You must be willing to start at the beginning. This is accomplished first by becoming a part of the local industry (your own home town).

When you have convinced your local audience that you have talent, then you can move on to outer territories and then greater regions. If you think you are too good to start at "A", then it's likely you won't have the wisdom to get to "B".

Never consider any audience too small or too meager. Always be willing to give yourself completely to any audience no matter how unimportant you think they might be. You never know who is listening or whom they might know. Never underestimate the power of the traveled word.

BE FOCUSED - You cannot know your destination until you make up your mind where you want to go. BE SPECIFIC. Ask yourself, "Where do I want to go and how far am I willing to go?" In other words, will you still have the same desire when the going gets tough or you are told "No."

There are great sacrifices to be made in any challenge. Are you willing to make the necessary ones in order to get where you think you want to be. Be honest with yourself, remain focused and keep your eyes on your goal. DETERMINATION is just as important as talent.

ENDURANCE - Be strong in your endurance. The road to the majors is long, hard, and rocky. The few that make it are the few that endure until the end. That means don't run for shelter at the first sight of rain.

If you can't stand a little rain, you are not going to be able to weather the storms of the industry. Be tough! Learn to accept defeat when necessary by learning to use it as a tool for making you stronger.

Professionals are people who don't allow temporary failures to cripple them. When you are told "No" ask "Why?" Use the information to become better at your craft. Remember, as said before, "You cannot know your true capabilities until you know your limitations."

Learn from your mistakes and keep your eyes on your goal in spite of setbacks. ENDURE to the end. Reaching the major label is a wonderful experience, but remember when you do, you are in a whole new ballgame. You will have to start the training all over again, except this time it will be even tougher - for now you are playing in the "Major Leagues."

Sandra Wheeler

"A voice of the local music community,
A catalyst to the majors!" 

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