If the artist’s intention is to tell his or her story, the strategic considerations must be taken into account in the narrative. It is not one and the same thing what the artist tells, if the story aims to influence the artist’s prospects or the artist’s image requires it. Part of that strategy is guided by the artist’s own ambitions and the other part is driven by necessity. Some parts of the storyline requires a certain kind of response, while in other respects the artist is free to decide what is being produced at any given time. It is clear that some parts of the story are trying to create and open new grooves while the other parts are intended to confine the story and its content.
It is of great importance where the artist is in his or her career stage. At the beginning of the career the narrative aspirations are different from the situation where the artist has already created the relevant career. If the artist is world-renowned and there is no need to struggle to improve awareness or with the feed rates, the main focus is probably on the content issues. Instead, the artist who is just entering the industry and maybe gained some foothold in their home country, the situation is different – if it is to reach wider market. In this situation, in storytelling, it is hardly worth going ahead. The events around the artist and the success achieved create its own unique frame for the story. Pop music news flow has an essential part of the pursuit of success. Just for this reason, it is hoped to be included in the story of an ever-increasing number of artists – either directly or indirectly.
The best thing is always to stay in truth and practice what you preach. In the early stages of the career staying in this ideal is difficult if your music cannot find the listeners and your success is to be done under the terms of your story. This does not mean that the artist should color the story at the expense of truth. No – it’s more about giving efforts to improve the attractiveness of the story.
Earlier the greatest desire was to get the music to the widest possible public play in radios and television and tell the story to this end. Success in those channels would boost the sales of album and increase other copyright derivatives. The same goal is still being pursued today. However, there must also be success in the provision and presentation of streaming service providers. In the past, the commercialization of marketing was to bring the artist’s albums to the record stores and preferably, well-presented. In the streaming era, this same idea is to get the artist music to the best possible positions on the streaming supply, in their internal playlists and as quickly as possible to click. Before the artist has achieved the desired market position, the story must support these efforts. Therefore, the business reasons may limit but also dictate the narrative of the story if it has given such status.
The artist often uses different versions of the story in different geographical and market areas, depending on the feedback they receive in there. In many situations, this is even necessary. At this stage it is worth recalling the need for coherence. Bearing themes should not much differ from each other. So much to the public should not strive to influence that each market area would have a different story – the story that is appropriate for that area.
If the artist is just landing to some particular market area, no big achievements should be included in the story – they are not yet happened in this area. In this situation, the story could emphasize some other components, for example, artistic perception or artist’s personality. Of course, if success in some other geographical area has been so significant or noteworthy that it could have an effect outside that area, you should consider incorporating it. If the artist has achieved platinum sales, for example in some remarkable market, it may be relevant in another market area too.
The artist’s story must take note the structural aspects as well. The artist’s story is well written if it indirectly brings with it the elements such as those that the industry can capture. This is crucial at a time when the artist is still unknown to the general public. When the story of the artist reveals expectation-worthy factors, the recording contract will be considered in a different way than in a situation where there is still no evidence of this. If the artist is getting a television performance or own spot at some relevant festival – this is worth pointing out in the story. If something abnormal happens in the artist’s communication system, it is also worthwhile to include in the story, even if it seems insignificant. They for sure bring their own twist in the story. It is not uncommon for some genre to be particularly impressive in some particular geographic area. If the artist’s music goes through an area where the artist’s style is not usually popular, it is almost an obligation to point out. All this brings the value to the artist’s story and makes it interesting.
It is good to note that story lives all the time, even if its core would remain the same. A very few artists can pass through the story by dictating the terms of it. The public and industry’s reception makes it impossible. Especially during the early stages of the operation, all kind of monitoring is important when the artist is waiting and searching for the place to go through. If the popularity for some reason is growing or decreasing, the reason for this would be good to locate. If the number of audience or fans to a new artist is increasing from one thousand to ten thousand, and this change takes place in a short time, there is probably some reason for that. At this stage, in storytelling, it is worth focusing particularly on those factors and the channels in which that growth is taking place – even though the artist’s story would require something else. You can leave that back-to-back action and activate it when the current hype starts to fade. Especially the new artist must take advantage all the moments in which awareness of their existence and music grows.
The same is true in another direction. If something makes the artist less attractive or lowers the number of listeners, there is no point in targeting energy. It is good idea to change the plan and focus on it elsewhere. The attention should be taken to the places where the artist and the artist’s story seem to be more interesting. It is important for the story to continue and never stop.
Hence, the story of the artist is the root theme – a stone-based designation to respond to everything around. On the other hand, it is also the popularity and the business that is built for that purpose. It is characteristic that it changes in the artist’s career at different stages.
Your story may require a disclosure of some matter. Even your own desires may require this. However, if events around it do not support that decision, it is worth moving to a better time. Some specific theme around the artist is always framed the most. Importing a new episode may mess up previous patterns and cause confusion. As a rule, one could say that a new season cannot start until the previous one has been exhausted. Strategically interesting is the moment when the artist moves forward in the story or changes the emphasis.
There are two things to follow in particular – the hit accuracy of your own feeds and what people are really interested in. This makes us wonder what the artistic freedom is and whether it always exists at all. Fully strategically, proper communication may turn into plastic if it is obediently followed. It is good to note that it is life that happens within all this – with all its mistakes, successes and failures. It is these distractions that make the story interesting and thus a success in achievement.
The artist’s story has many narrators, one of which is the audience. A good story begins to live a life of its own. The more popular the artist is, the more the artist usually has resources to invest in this task. If somebody else is writing your story, make sure you can bear it. The music industry is characterized by the fact that the story of the artist is told partly by other facets than the artist him- or herself. There are reasons for this. The artist is not always the best interpreter of his or her story. For example, in the contract negotiations, the subject matter and the essential things is often presented by the artist’s manager. Internal communication in the field is a completely different matter as it is to the public and media. Still it is about the same story. In these cases, the root story does not always play the main role. That’s why it is important that the management speaks on behalf of the artist in forums where other vital details of yours are to be expressed than the story itself. Skillful management can place the promoting and selling arguments so that the story of the artist does not suffer.
What I am trying to say – it is usually necessary to share experiences, feelings, and of course to promote oneself to get the answer. Some of these feeds have some cool lively stories, vitalizing elements. Others are again invented ideas and perceptions that are not fully thought out. It is important to understand that all those messages form the image that you give about yourself. In an ideal situation, it is balanced with your goals and takes into account your needs and aspirations at any given time. Sometimes it is not in harmony with your story. The harmony might get broken as a result of some external matter, your own actions or the reaction of the public.
Tracking and analyzing your own communication is a professional way to deal with it. A well-designed operation may fail completely. In this situation, your choices are often the cause. Once this unbalanced state is set to return, it is important to remain faithful to the root of the story, the idea that everything is based. It is usually about finding a new or alternative display to return the course. Anyway – the experience is the best teacher. The story tells you how to develop. Mistakes should not be frightened. In the era of electronic media, its communication can be quickly changed and repaired – it can also react quickly.
The artist’s story requires it to be told all the time while the artist’s career is at the active stage. Sometimes it is written by the artist, sometimes someone else. Other noteworthy things than what this article demonstrates are there. It would have, however, longed the already long article. The purpose was to bring perspectives on this constantly topical issue.
© Mika Karhumaa 2018