Strategy In Narration


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 story requires a certain 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 open new grooves while the other parts are intended to confirm the already existing content.

It is of great importance where the artist is at his or her career stage. At the beginning the narrative aspirations are different from the situation where the artist has already established a career. If the artist is world-renowned, there is no need to struggle to improve awareness. The main focus is probably on the content issues. Instead, the artist who is just entering the industry, or maybe gained some foothold in their home country, the situation is different – if it is to reach the wider markets.

The best thing is always to stay in truth and practice what you preach. In the early stages this can be difficult if your music cannot find the listeners. This does not mean that the artist should color the story at the expense of the truth. No – it’s more about to give efforts to improve the attractiveness of the story.

Earlier the greatest desire was to get music to the widest possible public play in radios and television and tell the story to this end. Success in those channels boosted sales and increased other copyright income. 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’s music to the best possible positions on the streaming supply, to their internal playlists. Before the artist reach 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 for different purposes, depending partly on the feedback they receive. At this stage it is worth recalling the consistency. 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 – as they aren’t happened yet. 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 already exists or can be noteworthy, you should consider incorporating it. If the artist has achieved platinum streams 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 if 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 are no sights for this. If the artist is getting a television performance or own spot at some relevant festival – this can be worth pointing out. If something extraordinary happens in the artist’s operations, it may also be 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 is increasing from one thousand to ten thousand, and it 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 if 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 with the newcomers, the 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 numbers, there is no point in targeting energy. It is good idea to change the plan and focus elsewhere. The attention should be taken to the places where the artist and the artist’s story seem to be best performing. 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. If you willing to read more about the story root and what it really means, read this book.

Your story may require a disclosure of some matter. Even your own desires may require this. However, if the 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 monitor 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 exists at all. Fully strategical, proper communication may taste like 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 success as an achievement.

The artist’s story has many narrators, one of which is public. A good story begins to live a life of its own. The more popular the artist is, the more versions the same story usually have. 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 partly told 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. That internal communication within the industry is a different matter as it is with the public. Still it is about the same story and the root story does not always play the main role. That’s why it is important that the management speaks out on behalf of the artist in forums inherent to the manager. A skillful management can embed the promotion and selling arguments in the story in a way the artist can’t. 

What I am trying to say. Some of these feeds are cool lively stories, vitalizing elements. Others are invented ideas and perceptions that are not fully realized yet, or you haven’t thought it out. It is important to understand that all these messages you send, form a foundation how people begin to see you. In an ideal situation, it is in balance with your goals and takes into account your needs and aspirations at any given time. Sometimes you misstep from the road. The harmony might broke due to some external factor, your own actions or the reaction of public.

Tracking and analyzing your own communication is a professional way to deal with it. Even a well-designed operation may fail completely. In this situation, your can always change the tune. Once this unbalance is returned, it is important to remain faithful to the root of the story – the idea on which everything is based. It is usually about finding a new or alternative display to explain the story. Anyway – the experience is the best teacher. The story itself is usually the thing that guides what to do next. Mistakes shouldn’t be afraid of. They are belonging of all this. In the era of electronic media, your communication style can be quickly changed and repaired – it can also react quickly.

The artist’s story requires 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. However, you as an artist, or as an artist manager always have a choice – how much you are willing to talk about yourself. When it becomes clear, then – just begin your narrative! 

Strategy in narration can be found from this book - The Art of Music Business Management - For Artists & Managers