Recently, thanks to my guitar-obsessed 13 year old, I met a young musician called Tamar Aphek. Tamar finished her law degree, studied classical music, and was well on her way to starting a “main stream career” until she partnered up Guy Shechter to start the Israeli indie band Carusella.
Carusella is defiantly independent–their sound focuses on heavy drumming, distorted guitar sounds, and melodic vocals. It has a veneer of chaos, but underneath the demands composition and construction are there. (Listen to Carusella tracks)…
Having heard this music I was fascinated by the question: what does it really take to establish a career in music today? Further, what does it take to find your niche? I find this proactive capacity to push ahead in the most avant garde world of music fascinating. Tamar and her friends created independent rock festivals–outdoor events that became multi-cultural gatherings that brought together artists, photographers, and musicians. She also began performing in Europe and has developed a fan base.
Artists that are successful tend to be strategic business people. They understand their competition and are very aware of the nature of their product. Artists develop their image on the nuance of their presentation and are forced to be aware of their own niche.
What strikes me is that Carusella’s niche is on the cutting edge. It’s not middle of the road music. How can an artist push towards the edge, succeed on it, and then make a living on it?
When I ask Tamar “Will you or won’t you make it?” She looks at me perplexed–she’s already made it. She’s established a base, she has a clientele, she created a fan base.
So the question isn’t about ‘making it’. It’s about moving ahead and making progress.
We often forget that just because it’s called art doesn’t mean it doesn’t require discipline, focus, the proactive capacity of execution, and entrepreneurial skills. The successful artist has much in common with any successful entrepreneur, high tech or otherwise. So the next time your son or daughter tells you they’ve decided on an alternative career after completing law school or a MBA program–take a deep breath and go for the ride. Proactive capacity emerges in many ways.