The Ingredients of a Successful Music Career – Part 1

Like any recipe for success, there are certain ingredients that go into a winning career in the music industry. Here are the ingredients any aspiring artist or musician will need to add to their mix to make it in the modern music climate.


Among the most stressful aspects of being an artist in today’s music industry is knowing that timing really is everything. No matter the amount of looks, charm, or natural talent you feel is paramount, timing ranks above all. Market demand for the music you’re creating or the niche you’re in will determine how much attention your music gets in any unit of time.


Music varies in demand, like any other product or service out there. If a local area is well served by an artist, it may appear that there is great demand for that artist. In a larger area, however, they could find themselves lost in a crowded market. It isn’t easy to create demand for music and the majority of artists give up long before they become something of a local celebrity.


This one may seem obvious but it’s also one that is often misunderstood. Talent is a term that is often used in terms of an artist’s voice or ability to play an instrument. However, in reality, it embraces a wider spectrum of abilities than that, such as songwriting, stage presence, dancing, and audience engagement.

So, the concept of talent must be first viewed in its broader sense before being broken down into its many parts. Essentially, however, talent pertains to an artist’s overall package. Mick Jagger, for example, isn’t known for his excellent vocal ability but his songwriting and performance skills make him an artist of considerable talent.

Personal brand

What an artist looks like, what he talks about in interviews, and what he represents, are all important factors in determining a successful career. When it comes to image, knowing what separates you from the crowd is crucial. There are too many instances of an artist copying their heroes or whoever is successful at the moment.

Songs sound similar to others, hairstyles are almost exact replicas, and clothing fits in with the culture of the genre a little bit too perfectly. The music buyer admires originality but also likes something of which he’s already familiar with.


No matter what else you put into your career, experience remains the greatest teacher. It isn’t just the effort you put into rehearsal. It isn’t even how many gigs you’ve performed at. It’s about the pitfalls you’ve had along the way and carried on regardless.

It may be that you’ve had a number of gigs that went wrong but you still saw them through. Or it could be that there was an industry executive you were certain would have you sign on the dotted line on a contract but didn’t. Or it may be that you may have been reviewed negatively by critics who called you a joke and yet you didn’t let that deter you.