Music Business Strategy According to Jeffry-Wynne Prince
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on April 28, 2012
Jeffrey-Wynne Prince makes his living as
both an interior designer and independent producer/engineer/musician. His band The Kimberly Trip earns
money from shows, CD sales and music downloads. They were distributed by a major label long enough to
figure out how they could develop their own strategy for reaching fans of their unique new wave
music. In less than two minutes, this video shares the kernel of the knowledge that Jeffry has learned from his pursuit to share
his music with the world. Although it's impossible to sum up all the details of a music career in any
book or video, the purpose of this video is to provide inspiration and a clear path toward building
a career not just in music, but any industry.
The essence of Jeffry's advice is to approach a career more like a game of chess than throwing darts.
While both games are fun - and some people might argue that darts is a more popular game at parties and even more
fun for the common person, chess is closer to real world scenarios for achieving success. Throwing darts
does involve precision but it's also an all or nothing game, whereas chess represents an accumulation of
knowledge and strategic thinking. In other words, once the game of darts is over, you've either won or
lost depending on how close and often you can come to hitting a bullseye compared to other players.
Chess, on the other hand, involves planning several moves ahead and isn't dependent on a degree of perfection
with every move. In chess, every move counts but not every move involves trying to put the opponent in check.
Running a successful business involves planning that accounts for changes presented by unforseen, uncontrollable
external forces. In many ways failing to plan yields the same result as planning to fail. In the game of darts,
defense isn't so much an issue, whereas chess champions build their strength through defense, much like
football, basketball or soccer. Developing a career or running a business isn't about hitting a bullseye with every move. It's about
learning from every move and reshaping your thinking several moves ahead as the game evolves.
The most sensible strategy for building a career in music has never been to put all your darts in one basket and
rely on hitting bullseyes. Yet that seems to be a more popular approach for many independent artists. The journey always starts with a dream
triggered by musical influences. By pre-internet standards, the bullseye was to get signed to a record label, which was like trying
to knock down an iron wall. Most artists, even signed artists, however, found themselves closer to bankruptcy
than wealth by taking this appraoch, draining their cash on gear and recording and pressing records that they could
shop to labels. That's because only about five percent of all recordings on the market ever turn a profit,
according to music industry experts.
The beauty of chess is that one does not have to win with a "checkmate" to feel a sense of achievement.
The game itself strengthens the mind and reminds us that everything in life has cause and effect relationships
based on a series of decisions and chance events. These days, not getting signed to a record label has advantages that may not
have been visible to last century's artitsts. Many of them now fight for ownership of their recordings
and wish they had never signed on the dotted line. Many artists also went broke because they spent their cash
advances on wasteful parties (temporary bullseyes) instead of planning ahead to reach their musical goals. Others simply never
got paid even though they got signed.
Jeffry's advice may not necessarily point to wealth, but it does provide a better roadmap to
happiness, which is more attainable for the common person. An individual or business should strive to be a winner, but it
should also have a back-up plan in case the prize never happens. We can't all be champs at the same thing, but we can at least
all be happy and successful if we plan ahead. That's why setting several goals beyond one trophy helps a career grow.
Chess is a great metaphor for many things because it represents the matrix of life, whereas darts is
closer to a one dimensional focus. This video was shot on April 21, 2012. Read more about the Sacramento music scene and other regional indie scenes at
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