Career Bytes Who are you question

Published on February 18th, 2010 | by Hugh Hession


Do you – your motto for success in music

About a month ago, I downloaded the Russell Simmons audio book Do You: The 12 Laws To Access The Power in You To Achieve Happiness and Success. When it comes to music – and particularly merchandising and branding (end result: making money), Russell Simmons knows how to DO YOU.

The competition is fierce, no doubt. Being you, is often a contradiction to the “formula” mindset that record companies embrace. It can be tempting to change what you do in terms of your music, your band, and your image if you don’t see immediate results.

The key to your success is in your own uniqueness. The music listening public aren’t naive and being someone you’re not will ultimately backfire on you. Simmons mentions that “any kind lasting change is rooted in honesty. If people think you are being authentic, they are going to support you. If they think you are fraudulent, then your success…is going to be very fleeting.”

Understand that being you isn’t just about your music. To be truly relevant and get the edge, it is essential to understand that you are selling the package. The music, your demeanor, the way you look etc. – it ultimately adds up to how you are perceived. Don’t spin it. Keep it real. You can win the trust of others, but when you lose it, it’s over.

Never change for the mainstream. Stay in your lane. If you are talented and resilient enough, the mainstream will come to you. -Russell Simmons

A good example of doing you, is Chris Daughtry. Daughtry didn’t change and stayed true to what he did best – an edgy rock singer. Perhaps the toughest thing for any American Idol contestant, is breaking away from the show and becoming an established recording artist. Daughtry did just that, and paved the way for David Cook and Adam Lambert.

To further my point, Daughtry turned down an offer to sing for the band Fuel and instead opted to put together his own band. When his debut CD was released in November of 2006 the whole world saw that Daughtry was a bona fide recording artist, songwriter and musician. Daughtry still holds the record for the fastest selling debut rock album in Soundscan history.

Have faith in what you do and stand your ground. Your goal is to have a lasting career without changing what you do best. Ultimately, this is what will win you a legion of fans.

This video has a business slant to it, but even so, it has some great info from a music mogul on what it takes to be successful.


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About the Author

owns and operates Emerging Artists Entertainment Marketing & Consulting, LLC - a company devoted to cultivating aspiring music artists, He is also the head of Hession Entertainment Group, LLC (artist management) and the Music Industry Liaison for the artist discovery site, TalentWatch ( He has over 25 years experience in the music business as a performer, composer, producer and artist manager. Hugh holds a BA in Marketing and is a professional member of NARIP and a voting member of The Recording Academy. He often speaks at seminars and workshops on artist development.

2 Responses to Do you – your motto for success in music

  1. Pingback: Making it In Music » The Top 5 Unforeseen Music Career Busters

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