MOVING TO THE PROMISE LAND

Originally poste 3/31/16 MOVING TO THE PROMISE LAND by Marc-Alan Barnette  
(FOR ARTISTS WITH DESIRES TO MOVE TO NASHVILLE)  
   
ARTISTS BEFORE MOVING TO NASHVILLE.  
 An artist is all about LIVE PERFORMANCE.  There are Internet artists who make a big splash on the World wide web, but at some time, they have to get out of the living room and make a personal appearance. Especially in Nashville. And the more you know your audience, the better you will be.  
 Live performance is what leads to personal contact with an audience. And that is EVERYTHING when you are trying to do any of this. Building your own group of people who support you, buy your product, follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Snap chat, Instagram. The people who come to your shows. Who show up in the areas you are performing in the first time you go to a new area. So the rest really is of MINIMUM IMPORTANCE. Live is everything. 90% of a first few years in Nashville are built around live performance.  
   
An artist needs to be performing a MINIMUM of 8-10 times a month. This would be a couple of times during the week, open mics, writers shows, open stages. In Nashville, there are dozens of those so they are easy to find. A lot more people trying to do them, but more opportunities. But they also exist all over the country and in other countries. You just have to find them. A GOOGLE search helps direct your efforts. Once in a few of them, you meet other people who do this and can direct you to others.   
An artist has to UP THE QUALITY of their shows at all times. Going from the OPEN MICS (anyone can play) to INVITED NIGHTS (Their own slot, invited rounds of multiple writers) to the SHOWCASE slots, which would be thirty minutes to an entire evening dedicated to them. To do that, and each step up REQUIRES PEOPLE COMING TO SEE THEM PERFORM. Without fans and an audience, the venue does not stay open, pay for the light bills, salaries, employees, food, drinks, insurance, licenses’. So they focus totally on people who will BRING in other people.  
   
This is what you do when you start out playing the free shows and building fan base. Those people follow you to your more exclusive shows. The more people, the better the time and night slots.   
ONLINE PRESENCE.  
An artist in this day and age have to spend a majority of their time online, interacting with fans, building FACEBOOK, SNAPCHAT, INSTAGRAM, and whatever THIS WEEK'S format of the minute.  
This is all ADVERTISING. Since very few artists have deep pockets and unlimited budget, they have to make up for that in TIME DEDICATED to presenting themselves. Again, a majority of this is done AWAY from performing, recording. It is ALL NETWORKING.  It is normal for mainstream entertainers to spend around 5-6 hours a day maintaining their VIRAL PRESENCE.  
Everything should be done presently to be building up your ability to continue this in Nashville. Building a LOCAL fan base is ESSENTIAL because you will need those people in any deal conversations with publishers, managers, or record labels. The first question of those entities is always "WHERE ARE YOU PERFORMING AND HOW OFTEN DO YOUR PERFORM?" Followed by "How many people come to see you perform?"  
   
 NASHVILLE  
There is a PECKING ORDER when it comes to Nashville. You are known by WHO KNOWS YOU AND HOW THEY KNOW YOU? It starts with CO-WRITERS. Finding several of them, plugging into their groups, getting into THEIR writer's rounds, getting better time slots, going again from open mics, to invited rounds. It all starts over in Nashville.  
With each step the writer/artist has to be INVITED into these groups. There is nothing they can KNOCK THE WALLS down except by being VERY GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO AND HAVING A VIABLE PRODUCT AUDIENCES EMBRACE.  
   
WRITING WITH "ESTABLISHED" and HIT WRITERS.  
"Established writers" are those that have been in the community for a while, respected by their peers, known by hosts on the writer's nights, have relationships with publishers, either with active deals or former deals, have had cuts, been artists themselves.  
HIT WRITERS are as it says, HAVE HAD HIT RECORDS. These usually either have current publishing deals or are well known in the community. More and more in today's markets, these are also the PRODUCERS, THE PUBLISHERS AND LABEL HEADS artists will have to deal with.  
   
The process from here, is new artist comes on the radar screen of the hit or established writer, are pulled into THEIR writing and performing circles, are talked about "behind the scenes"  
There is a PECKING ORDER when it comes to Nashville. You are known by WHO KNOWS YOU AND HOW THEY KNOW YOU? It starts with CO-WRITERS. Finding several of them, plugging into their groups. Getting into THEIR writer's rounds. Getting better time slots. Going again from open mics, to invited rounds. It all starts over in Nashville.  
With each step the writer/artist has to be INVITED into these groups. There is nothing they can KNOCK THE WALLS down except by being VERY GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO AND HAVING A VIABLE PRODUCT AUDIENCES EMBRACE.  
   
Everything is done ONE STEP AT A TIME. Just put one foot in front of another and opportunities present themselves.  
Have some faith. And while, many of us might never become the huge stars, it is very possible to find our own pathway when it comes to this. Just keep at it. All you can do.  
   
MAB

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