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Last night’s COR sponsored Music Break was packed with lots of powerful information for artists looking to expand their career.  These were some of the standout points from the panelists based on my personal experience in the music industry. 

1.  On developing your X Factor as an artist – “Ask yourself, what makes me different.  Then, ask yourself ‘What makes me REALLY different'” – Don Russo (owner Freeway Music)

2. On the current “DIY ethos”, that is so popular in music business advice columns – “You cannot do it yourself.  The music industry is far too complex to succeed without a team of professionals working with you.” – Dave Stewart (organizer of New Music Confab).

3. On funding musicians – “We had to go on social media just trying to give away the money” – Krystal Miller (Krystal Miller is the president of the Christopher Conner Foundation.  The foundation gives grants of up to $1,500 for continuing education for those attempting to make music a full-time career.  The foundation also provides $2,500 grants to assist in cases of medical aid for musicians or for addiction recovery.  If you are interested in pursuing music as a full-time career, I would urge you to apply).

4.  On what’s important for a musician to get noticed in the industry – “Make sure that you have professional photography and all of your websites have matching and up-to-date information on your live shows.  9 out of 10 bands are presented as bad bands with bad assets.  Don’t be another one of these “bad” bands and you will stand out.” – Rick Booth (owner/booking agent Intrepid Artists)

5. On touring – “Don’t try and tour all over the country as a band starting out.  Focus on your home market and then begin to expand into other markets.  If your home market is Columbia then establish a presence there and then begin to add in other markets like Charlotte or Charleston and continue the process.”  – Rob Lamble (owner of Ear for Music and talent buyer for many of the Wild Wing stores)

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