Randomness: What Makes You A Good Artist?

Many people, including myself, are always talking about good music and good artists. But what does that mean, exactly? In my opinion, it doesn't mean that there are good artists and bad artists. There are many things that make you a "good" artist. With that being said, I made a list of 10 things that I think make you a good artist. (with a couple of things added by my boy Vince)

Top ten things that make you a GOOD artist:

1. "Money Don't Mean a Thing."
A true artist makes music for the love. They're not worried about how much money they're going to make or how many album sales they get. They make music because they love it and because there are people out there that love it.

2. Staying True to Yourself.
You don't have to sell out if you want to be a good artist. What is selling out you ask? Conforming, basically. Hopping on a track with Drake being drowned out in auto-tune. That's what it is. If you make music the way you want to, you will get true fans. No shade towards Mary J. Blige by the way. Just do you.

3. Performing Your Tail Off.
This is very broad. If you love the music, you'd love to perform. Everytime you perform, you'll give it your all. It doesn't have to be at a major venue, it can just be at a small show. At either location, you perform with all of your might. And when it comes to performing, most artists' live performances are better and different each time. I don't know what it is...but an artist who can put on one heck of a show blow my mind.

4. Good Attitude.
Nobody likes a stuck-up artist or a hater. If you can acknowledge another artist's talent and greatness, you're amazing. The artists I follow on twitter are constantly showing love to eachother which makes me love them even more. You're all in this business together, no need for hate.

5. Meaningful Lyrics.
No one wants to hear anything about you "[insert expletive here] every girl in the world." We want something we can relate to. (And if you can relate to those lyrics...please click the "X" at the top right of your browser. Thank you.)

6. Don't Let The Industry Take You Over.
I'm not an artist, but from what I have seen and heard, the business is very stressful. Don't let them see you sweat, though. I know there are artists that can't seem to catch a break, but yet they don't quit and they stick it through. Good things come to those who wait. Don't lose yourself.

7. Love for the Fans.
When you make good music, you gain fans. Fans who love your music and who love you. That can ALL change when your fans meet you and you act like you don't care about them. You + Fans = You doing something right. We love interaction :)

8. Good Personality.
People love to see that their favorite artists love having a good time and to joke around. Also, we love it when you're nice. No need to take yourself too seriously. If you can't have fun while you're doing something you supposedly love, what's the use?

9. Define Your Music, Don't Let Your Music Define You.
Let that marinate.

10. Work Hard.
A good artist doesn't get "success" the easy way. Success doesn't necessarily deal with album sales or anything of the sort. I don't believe success can be handed to you on a plate. You have to get up of your bottom and go get it for yourself.

All of the artists I mention on this site are good artists. But maybe the word good isn't strong enough? Who knows. And again, these are just opinions. I may be leaving some things out, and if you have something else to add please do.


Anonymous said...

I love this list and I agree with it. You should do more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous.....being true to the things you love is true love.thanks for the info

Jay-bee. said...

yes, i agree too!
too bad some "artists" these days don't share your wisdom! =)

Phil Watts, Jr. said...

I'm a little stuck on #1: Yeah, you have to do it for the love (because what's th point in doing a job if you don't enjoy it?)...however, love never paid one month's rent.

I remember reading some of the liners from the reissues of the Isley Brothers' 3+3-era albums. Even though they were experimenting and developing their musical identity, they still had to think commercially, i.e., HOW CAN WE GET PEOPLE TO BUY THESE RECORDS? This is still a business, and you still need to come up with material that can hook people into buying your records and coming to your shows. BUT to make a good artist, you have to develope your musical identity, find aspects in it that can hook people and using it.

Problem is, no one these days has a musical identity apart from what their producers give them, and it seems that every single Hip-Hop and R&B artist goes to the same 4-5 producers, making EVERYTHING sound the same!

So as far as I'm concerned, #9 (DEFINE YOUR MUSIC...don't let it define YOU) should be #1 to me. If you create your own musical identity AND you can hook a lot of people with it, you're already ahead of everyone else.

Thomas in tokyo said...

New reader. Good stuff. keep bloggin!