INSIDE THE MUSIC BIZ
The following is the fourth episode of a talk show programme titled 'INSIDE THE MUSIC BIZ' co-hosted by Thaddeus "Teddy" Laidley every Wednesday at 3:30 to 4:00pm. The programme is aired on HOT 102 FM during "THE HOT MIX", with Richie B 2:00 to 5:00 PM. 'INSIDE THE MUSIC BIZ' is aimed at offering insights into the music business for aspiring artistes and industry personnel.
Last week's article made mention of, 'branding the artiste as a product'; however quite often the term branding and imaging are confused. There must be a clear distinction between the two, Artiste branding speaks really to the products/ services of the artiste that differentiates him/her from his/her competitors. Branding is vital to the overall success of any artiste, and in essence, a major part of branding is image. The artiste’s image entails the shared concept of his/her work, which should both go hand in hand.
Many talented emerging artists are confused by the issue of an image and don't have a sense of their own style. So, they either copy things from other people, or are just bland. Few artists actually have a true, distinct style. In today's entertainment environment, the first impression is as important as ever. However, style is only one aspect of an artist's first impression. Just imagine, an artiste who sings conscious reggae Music but attires him/herself like an American artiste who does rock music; how contradicting and confusing. I must admit such contrast may be considered being a figment of the imagination, but I suspect the main point is being conveyed, ‘there must be a match/balance between the artiste’s sound and image’.
Imaging is important to an artiste because it sends a message to his/her target market and identifies him/her with a specific brand. The perceived image of any artiste will have a big impact on capturing his/her target market. In today's Music business, recording artist is in reality, a multimedia artist. Therefore as a new artist, image and sound are crucial as they are factors of success, and have to be developed. In creating the image, there should be a balance between trends and originality, in so doing much focus should be on the factors of image building. Such factors are: the artist recording styles and sound, selection of material, song writing (image must match content of song), Content and style of his/her personal appearance, mode and style of dress, speech and physical appearance. A classic example is, Luciano a Rastafarian who does conscious music and is at all times clad in simple but tasteful apparel reflecting his faith. There are many other Jamaican artistes who have managed to maintain their distinct image.
The personal appearance of an artiste begins with the proper grooming of the recognizable parts of the body, because believe it or not fans/targets pay keen attention to such areas. However another important aspect of an artiste image is manners and etiquette. If an artiste falls short in meeting the expectations of there targeted fan, then all interest may be lost.
For best practices in image development, Artistes are advised to follow three main steps, they are:
* Educate yourself so that you can dictate your own style: Start to notice what you're drawn to and what you like. Notice what styles work on certain people and what doesn't, also what works best for you.
* Create a point of view and direction by uncovering your imaging themes: Think about your favourite artiste. Notice their defining characteristics and traits. Then get clear on your own gifts and quirks. Learn how to accentuate your strengths. A combination of your favourite artiste traits, along with your own defined uniqueness will form a Point of View and Direction. An image is formed when you consistently put forth a clear direction.
* Illustrate your themes and direction in the way you dress, accessorize, and act: Once you have a clearly defined direction for your image, the next step is to portray that in every part of your look and in everything that you do. For instance, what's the belt buckle, hair style, or colour combination that clearly represents the new image that you want to project? Your photographs, website, and other presentation materials should all reflect your image too. Then decide how you can express your direction in your live performance, studio sessions, and daily life. Live your artistry in all that you do.
Entertainment is a business of first impressions. People make a decision of
what they think about you in the first few seconds of seeing you. But here's the key - People don't get an impression from you; they get an impression from the image you project. That's why talent is not enough to make it in this business. Many musicians have talent. But if they're not doing all they can with it - if they're not packaged in a way that it truly connects to others it won't work. They won't attract the industry attention they deserve.
Research done by: Mariesha Spencer, final year entertainment student at VTDI.
Part of the article was derived from pre-existing materials done by: John Battaglia,
“Re-thinking your image, creating a signature style” www.musicbizacademy.com
Teddy Laidley is an entertainment consultant with years of experience with touring musicians and event production. Email him with your comments suggestions, and questions at: