It’s Not a Competition!


I’ve noticed a weird and disturbing trend amongst some independent artists. Many seem to think that supporting and promoting other indie musicians comes somehow at their own expense. As if by helping a fellow artist, they are enabling them to achieve a level of success that they themselves have not attained, thus elevating said artist above themselves. And let’s face it – most musicians want to be the best, and don’t relish the idea of anyone else receiving more recognition.

There is so much wrong with this mentality! Not only is it unbiblical, but it actually does your career more harm than good. The music industry is 1% musicianship and 99% relationship (okay, so I made that statistic up, but I’m illustrating an important point). Most great opportunities come through people who know you and like you. You do not want to get a reputation for being selfish. No one will want to work with you or help you. When a great opportunity comes up, people won’t want to offer it to you, no matter how good you are. That fellow artist who was really supportive of you but whom you were reluctant to support in return might just make it big, and guess who they won’t be calling when they have a great opening slot available at one of their gigs in your area?

I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. As much as I might love an artist’s music, I’m always going to want to first give back to those who have taken the time to show me support, and I think that most other people probably feel the same way.

We independent artists should be going out of our way to help and support each other. We’re all in the same boat, and we need each other! It doesn’t matter how talented you are – if you want to be successful, you need people. Don’t alienate yourself by thinking otherwise.



Photo courtesy of Mike Liu

4 Thoughts on “It’s Not a Competition!

  1. Well said Mali, I agree completely! One thing: connecting purely in the hope of getting something out of it is just as bad. I won’t share or promote someone’s music just because they’re my friend, it lessens the impact when I share something I really want people to know about :).

    • I completely agree, Nate! I will share what I love, and don’t expect anything in return. The reason I don’t use ReverbNation anymore is because I got tired of the endless transparent comments (“Cool tunes – please check out MY music here…”). That said, I can’t understand artists who never share anything by anyone other than themselves, as part of what I find awesome about being a musician is getting to meet/discover/connect with other musicians, for the pure LOVE of music. When I hear something that inspires me, I can’t wait to share it with people!

      • Concur 100%! Been contemplating leaving reverbnation myself…it’s just junk mail 99% of the time! I do like their Press Kits though…hmmmm

        • I also stuck around for the Press Kits for a while! But now I think it’s probably better to have a Press Kit page on your own website (which can be set to private, so that only people you send the link to can access it). That way you can include high quality WAV downloads for radio stations, etc. It also means you’re keeping all your information centralised, rather than having to send people to other locations!

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