One of the coolest - and most frustrating - things about the music industry is that there is no one right answer. No magic formula. On the cool side, that means you can always create your own road map and still have a shot at success. On the frustrating side, it means the road maps created by others who have gone before you won't necessarily lead you to where you want to go.
Of course, not everyone shares my opinion that there is no one "right" way of getting things done in the music industry, and I hear about it frequently in my inbox. I always welcome the discussion, and I always come away feeling like I've learned something from these discussions, even though we still might not ultimately see eye to eye. But there is one notion - a theme even - that I hear a lot, that I always find surprising. I need your help figuring it out. This notion is - talent doesn't matter anymore/talent is not enough anymore.
On one hand, I would have to say that talent has never really been "enough". You could be the world's most gifted musician, and if you don't have the drive or the means to let people hear you, well, it's not really enough (unless of course you play music for your own personal joy and have no need to share it). Nothing has really changed there. Talent has always needed a hard working, business savvy and lucky extra hand on deck. But doesn't matter? Whoa, there. If I could blame the decline on music sales one one thing, I'd blame it on the attitude that talent can be manufactured if the look/style/blah blah blah is right. Talent is our product in the music industry. Why in the world would we think that customers will want to pay for a shoddy product if the packaging is shiny enough?
So I say, ignore talent at your peril if you want to make in the music industry. It may not be enough on its own, but we're nothing without it. But I know not everyone agrees with me. So you tell me - talent - does it matter? Is it enough? Let me know!