Major Misconceptions as an Unsigned Artist – Email Responses

Sometimes the truth hurts when we hear it…the purpose of Daily Unsigned is to share great music on a worldwide basis..whilst at the same time educating and informing those Unsigned Artists that care enough about their careers and want the knowledge. Having been in the music industry since 1994, I can tell you that I have heard 1,000’s of excuses from both Signed and Unsigned Artists as to why their music career is stagnant and not moving forward..and truth be told…it’s all about the song.

On Thursday, July 5th, I posted probably my best rant ever which was entitled “Major Misconceptions as an Unsigned Artist”. Since posting it, I have received over 300 email responses worldwide from Unsigned Artists, Music Managers, Record Label Execs and more…either praising the post or out now bashing it.

Below, please find an “unedited view” into my world!

Hope you all enjoy!

– Rob Daily

The Email Responses

Thank you Rob! This article rocks!!
– Music Manager

You say the stuff that I want to say but can’t.
– Publicist

This is awesome! Thank you! All of us.
– Unsigned Artist.

Great advise on what not to do now what 16 things can we do?
– Unsigned Artist.

PREACH! nice of you to let kids know whats up 🙂 Regarding #8 in the independent rap world, videos are a great tool, BUT you need an image, great songs and some what of a fanbase.I would have added to look to the people around you and see what talents they have be it a photographer or maybe a guy how can shoot short funny video updates or maybe someone who is ALWAYS on the internet who can try to help get your groups name out there more….again IF you dont have the songs, the image or anything anyone can get excited about, stay in the garage and dont come out until you do!
– Music Manager

Love this!!!
– Music Manager

Rob, Just wanted to let you know that you hit this right on the head, so awesome haha! Thank you.
– Unsigned Artist

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As an artist manager and social media strategist, I’m sending your newsletter to all my artists and my database today. I work with mainly unsigned artists, and I’m not upset with them for believing this… but it helps if they figure out it’s just not true.
– Music Manager

Honestly…for an artist like myself to read your email of pointers is like suicide. You have a very negative approach and no one wants to read that. Ever. The music biz is a mess and we really don’t need to be reminded like that because Its hard enough to follow our passion as it is. If you’d like to know who I am go to youtube.com/jezdamusic and check out my video “HELL” or go to reverbnation.com/jezda.
Thanks;)
– Unsigned Artist

Rob, I am printing this out, framing it and placing it in a prominent place on my wall!
The next time a manager/father brings in his 12-year-old daughter in a tour bus he rented and pitches me a story about how this is her life-long dream, I’m gong to point to my wall. God bless you for telling the truth!
– Music Manager

Thank you one of the most amazing things Ive read in a long time!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so very true!!!!!!!
– Unsigned Artist

Thank you Rob. Best article I have read in a long time. Can I share with your permission and credit on Facebook?
– Record Label Exec

Our band works its ass off and doesn’t need your ranting or lecturing to motivate us. Nice grammar by the way. How about you do a proof read next time you spout off. I tried to find a single productive recommendation in your message and couldn’t, and now I shall unsubscribe. Thanks for the memories.
– Angry Unsigned Artist.

Thank you! Perfectly said. 🙂
– Booking Agent

Well said 🙂
– Record Label Exec

HA HA THIS IS SO TRUE AND AWESOME! Thank you for your angry informative rant!
– Unsigned Artist.

Rob, love the read! Between the spot-on artists that you feature and your dead-on advice, not sure why you haven’t been hired by a label yet. Guess they are all sleeping like always.
-Famed Record Producer.

I cannot disagree with one thing here.
– Music Manager

Just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living now? Please call me. I would like to chat with you on this subject. I wish i would have known about the musician mental health organizations back then. Please call me.
– Uhhhhh?

Alright Rob. While I admire your experience and am always eager to hear advice and direction from industry veterans, I have a question. Let’s say I do have some amazing songs (subjective, ok…) what DO I do? I can’t imagine that simply possessing amazing material is enough. Even if it is amazing, who gives a shit? What do I do with it?
– Unsigned Artist

Very interesting read! Thank you very much.
– Unsigned Artist.

I LOVE THIS!!!! Can I re-print it and send to my clients????
– Publicist

Good stuff Rob : )
– Unsigned Artist

thanks so much for this! these words needed to be said to the masses of bands. especially with the current state of music.
– Unsigned Artist

Thanks, Rob. I agree with a lot of this, but you do need to find ways to speak up for yourself, even if it means putting your friends to work for you. The more people who work with you, especially if they’re passionate and you do put the music first, the better your career will grow.
– Publicist

Hey rob, thanks for sharing this with us some of our members were just talking about this earlier this week and i’m glad you were able to clarify this for us, if it’s not too much trouble i was wondering you could share some more of your wisdom with us?
– Unsigned Artist

THE TRUTH IS SPOKEN!
– Unsigned Artist

I enjoyed reading this. thanks for the time, to tell unsigned bands some straight up truth =]
– Unsigned Artist

Very well said. I agree based on my three years out on the road.
– Unsigned Artist

Good dude thanks!
– Unsigned Artist

Oh no, I started with a thank you because we here at Two Cent Sam value your opinion and appreciate the time you took to give us advice. However we feel most people in the “music bizz” are jaded and are never looking out for our best interest so please understand that an active band is going to challenge people like you. So with that said here’s my advice to you.

1.Don’t email bands with out introducing who you are and what you rep specifically.
2. When giving advice to bands that you randomly email keep it pithy and maybe start with 4-6 points of advice not 16. Are you writing an industry book?
3. When listing 16 points of contention try not to be a “negative nelly” in all the points of advice, it turns people off when you use terms such as “are you kidding me” and “Lol” being many bands are pursuing these goals you list.
4. We sold more records than “Let me smell yo dick.” and that song was on Tosh.O. So ha ha to you 5. If you expect every band to write Mr.Brightside, Last night, Just what I needed, smells like teen spirit, Bohemian Rhapsody, Thriller, Up town girl, hotel California, Hey Jude, or some other mega hit or minor hit or give up, then there would be no velvet under ground, Grateful Dead, The Pixies, The NY dolls, Two Cent Sam, Primus. Etc

So if your advice to these bands (our band) is write a hit or your nothing or it’s a waste of time. I then refer you sir to the bands you’ve listen to and loved with no hit. And that a hit song with a band that has no ears to hear because you refuse fb likes or refuse other platforms of exposure to promote it other than that wonderful song it’s self your pissing in the the wind. Your advice is obviously coming from a point of view of a person who never engaged in competitive music or was on the side lines. Again thanks for reaching out and don’t be afraid to pick our brains next time round. With a more articulate guide line or opinion we’d have more open ears.
– Unsigned Artist

I possibly may have missed that email. You have great insight and i love reading your info cuz your brutally honest. Don’t ever change what you do rob. And to be honest some of the crap that has tken over our airwaves and peoples playlists doesn’t sound like 10,000 hours of rehearsal it sounds like shit. And cuz some of it sounds like a band some old fuck record exec loved when he was young and stoned is what got them there.. Its not hard work its nostalgic crap that should have
been left to die in the 70’s every band thinks they have something great but what makes their opinion different from people like you that actually have a say? Or did or know who does.
– Unsigned Artist

Dear Rob Daily,
Not to put too fine a point on it but “Major Misconceptions as an Unsigned Artist” makes you sound like a 100% asshole. It is condescending and brimming with conceit.

I think it would have been better if you had written it in a more positive way that didn’t try bludgeon people with how great you are and make them feel like crap. Hopefully my advice helps.

Overall, I like your site. I think you make good points and have good advice.

Thanks for your time,

– Unsigned Artist

We dig your website 🙂
– Unsigned Artist

We are in love with your views!
– Unsigned Artist

Hi Rob,
Congrats on amazing piece totally 110% correct.
– Record Label Exec

I don’t agree. Any band at least working on reaching their dreams and goals are stars to us. Keep playing shitty or great music. If we don’t, music would be lost and our way of life would have no reason. we have a mgr we have a booking agent we have music videos and we all work as a team. Keep making videos keep recording. Do what ever makes YOU happy in the long run
– Misinformed Unsigned Artist

Hello! I read your July 5 article today and wow… Music to my ears. I’m a music manager so it hit home. I only rep one artist. I simply can’t afford to carry more.
– Music Manager

Thank you so much! That was very informative!
– Unsigned Artist
Rob… As a music manager, this is all music to my ears. I fight this battle daily.
– Music Manager

Thanks for the advice. We have a lot of work to do.
– Unsigned Artist

Hey, my band just got your email, and to be honest, I was quite taken aback. Why are you so negative? I wouldn’t focus on the things bands shouldn’t do, but rather focus on the things they should do. Preaching at bands that will never make it, and for the most part, have no business even trying is their own business. Most people will never get to open for a national act. For some just getting that opportunity will make all their struggles worth while. Please don’t shit on those people’s dreams. We’ve all heard that the industry has changed and as artists we need to adapt. I think that things are always changing. Every artist is different and is going to find success in different ways. There is not rule book for becoming successful. Success looks different to everyone. I’m not saying this to be a douche, but I truly believe your comments are not productive in any way. I do think indie and upcoming bands need guidance, but in a world of negativity, most bands just need a little encouragement and positive thinking. You’d be surprised how far that can take you. Most bands will never make a living making music, but why kill them for trying? At the end of the day, I truly believe that talent will reign supreme. Those who have it will find success in some manner. For the rest all we can do is pray that they enjoy whatever ride they go on.

If you actually read this email then thank you. I think you have good intentions but are coming off the wrong way. I don’t know who you are or what you’re organization really does, but I’m sick of all the negativity surrounding the indie music scene. As some one who has also been doing this a long time and prides himself on being an “educator” I’ve learned “Be good to people and be true to yourself.” this is the best advice I can give to an aspiring artist. Whatever road that philosophy leads you down will for sure be worth the while. Hope this reaches you in high spirits and good health
– Unsigned Artist

Hey Rob,

You make some great points. I believe our bandis always on the new cutting edge of the ever evolving music business and has huge potential for success. We are lucky enough have a booking agent which allows us to build a growing fan base across the united states.

I have to disagree on 2 points you made.

8. Music videos are incredibly important for gaining new fans and blog attraction. Our music video for “Salt Water Jackie” gained huge success on FUSE TV and won a many best music video awards in Film Festivals. With people’s lack of interest these days, a music video captures an individuals attention in more ways then just sound.

11. Every band has the potential to outgrow their manager, like we did. We had a very enthusiastic manager who tarnished our reputation. He helped us incredibly, but we risked losing fans and gigs to his behavior. All bands must make difficult decisions to stay afloat in these turbulent waters and you have to be ready to move on. Thanks for the tips Rob.
– Unsigned Artist

Rob

Unsure of how to let that affect me.
All of this is entirely true. You need to put in insane hard work yourself before you even begin to think about other people helping out your useless cause.

The problem I am currently having does not lie in the songs, but in the recording of the songs. Today’s music biz requires awesome production that I currently cannot do on my own. Until I have these skills.. What do u recommend? Keep putting out demos? Pay someone?

Thanks for this email.. You’re fuckin right. Sick of this shit running through my mind.. It’s all excuses.
– Unsigned Artist

It’s good to know there are still people out there aware of what it takes for unsigned bands. The songs are what will ensure the band has a strong career, without the songs, the career will never last.
– Unsigned Artist

Thanks Rob. No unsigned band gives a fuck about this email.
– Unsigned Artist

100% True Rob, I’m glad to read something that I’ve been thinking for the past year, and to see that my thoughts actually make sense.
– Unsigned Artist

ok then what?
– Unsigned Artist
Hahahaha Rob I love it mate!!! Love your insight!!! Point 16 was my favorite! Thanks for the words of wisdom mate! Cheers!
– Unsigned Artist

You are letting the biz give u a dark perspective. Don’t get all Bob Lefsetz It’s not the way!!!
– Famed Music Producer

I completely agree with all of this. Being in an unsigned band I’ve definitely committed some of these things in years passed and learned that “scumbag” and “idiots” are completely logical words to describe things of this nature. I’ve learned it’s about songwriting and appeal.
No one gives a shit if you aren’t worth their time.

Just felt the need to reply because it felt good to hear this in the words from someone who knows. Solidifies what I’ve been thinking in my head and what my band has working to achieve.
– Unsigned Artist

I hear terrible music from bands that have “made it” everyday. Their music is bad and they should feel bad haha. Seriously though, I agree with you and sadly my band is probably guilty of most of those things.
Thanks for trying to make me/us feel like crap for loving music and wanting to be in a band.
So please listen to my band and tell us how terrible we are so we know whether or not to give up.
– Unsigned Artist

Hey Rob!! No one could have said it any better!! Good job!!
– Unsigned Artist

So if none of that helps..instead why don’t you spew what does… Cuz what sounds amazing to one exec is total crap to another…
– Unsigned Artist

Hey Rob,

Lots of good info in there. We had an artist play here with 400,000 facebook likes. Needless to say, wasn’t our top draw.
– Venue Owner

This should be published somewhere, kudos on telling the truth, I fully enjoyed reading this. Another thing that’s been brought to my attention is the fact that bands think they need a manager and end up ‘hiring’ some asshole that charges a monthly flat rate to send out a few emails, book some local shows and act like they’re helping. I feel like unsigned bands need to know that guys like that are thiefs and that a real manager will find them if they want them.
– Unsigned Artist

Cheers! Well said. A very refreshing read.
– Unsigned Artist