I had lunch with a friend of mine yesterday who’s been a professional musician for over 30 years, mostly touring with bands who were big in the 1970’s. We got around to talking about putting out original material and how very few people will pay any attention to it. Some artists take that on the chin and others get frustrated and take it personally. I reside in the latter camp although I am looking to move.

I’m consistently astounded though, as I see artists I adore suffer similar apathy in response to events which really should be celebrated. The creation and release of original music. Live shows. Music videos. Those are incredible things. We don’t seem to live in an era which values that.

Eleanor Rigby starts playing and we both stopped to listen to it. The only break in conversation in the two hours we spent together. I don’t think either of us could tell you any other song from that playlist before that happened.

We spent a few minutes wondering why, after 60 years, are the Beatles so special? I personally am not a fan of much of the solo output of any of the members of the band. Can collaboration really make such a difference?

I still have no idea. And not everybody likes The Beatles. So the only relevance, perhaps, is that collaboration – in any form – is probably a good thing.

Get to the point

Which leads me onto the point of this newsletter. It’s all about community. Many of us will likely be artists. Some are music lovers who still value talent, even if it comes without status on the world stage.

I believe it’s important. It’s not just musicians who suffer from lack of attention. Everyone feels it. We have online access to almost infinite music, tv shows, films, books and articles. And idiots on TikTok. We can contact people any time of day via way too many messaging systems. Yet very few people really pay proper attention to each other.

I’ve come to realise that the apathy with which people receive the news that “I’ve recorded a new album” isn’t necessarily because it’s not very good (although it still could be that…)

Still get to the point

It’s because we as artists aren’t taking care of our potential audience. It’s not enough for a song to resonate with people anymore, because we have enough great songs in the world. If we want to tempt people back to caring then we need to stop shouting at them. It’s impossible for them to hear you.

Instead, we need to find what it is about ourselves that can really make people feel seen.

Cue SoundHive Social

At SoundHive we’ve been doing this with our ‘audience-first’ approach to events.  It worked better than we could have imagined.

We created something where the people attending were the most important people in the room. And they immediately reciprocated by paying more attention to the artists than I’ve ever seen.

It might take us a little longer to get it right in this digital format, but the beauty of a community is that the conversation flows two ways.

Ultimately we want to find a way of celebrating artists and audience (each and every one of you). Hopefully our common ground is brilliant musicians, some of whom you’ll fall in love with.

Our Next Event

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