By Troi Charity
Social media has unlocked a new way for individuals breaking into the music industry to market themselves.
Lisa Kato, professional singer for 10 years and former member of the 90’s group Seek, explained why newcomers should take full advantage of social media and self production.
“It’s actually easier to be a part of the music industry,”said Kato.
She added, “Social Media, YouTube, iTunes, the many programs out there for home music production – these have empowered writers, musicians, producers and singers to get their product heard by the masses while cutting out the middle-man, the label.”
With the help of media in this century many artists are choosing independent labels or self producing.
“You don’t have to fight to be heard and seen by a label any more – you don’t even need a major label anymore to get your product to your adoring fans,” said Kato.
Kato suggested that today’s generation of artists are somewhat more focused on the business end of the industry and not spending enough time working on their craft which got them through the door.
“Media perpetuates the fantasy and there is a general image of what is hip, fashionable, what sells, sex, what pushes pop culture,” said Kato.
She added that media can make or break an artist and as an end result destroy the artistry of making music.
“There are a lot of artists just racing to get to some ‘star status’ and the music industry has definitely become a revolving door,” Kato said. “You have to work at your craft very hard, let it develop at a comfortable and solid pace.”
Kato advised that students looking to break into the industry realize that everything is not as it appears on stage and even in a celebrity’s personal life.
“The industry is all about promoting fantasy so the person you see on stage or in a video or even in their semi-private lives, is an image perpetuated by the industry machine behind the performer: Public relations staff, the label reps, managers, etc.
Kato encouraged aspiring artist to, “live for your art and create or perform because that’s who you are.”