Music As Career: Staying Focused As An Artist

11Maintaining a successful career as a musician is by no means an easy task, and it is critical to their success that they maintain their focus on the correct areas of career development, lest they become bogged down with distractions.


Guest post by Joel Ford of Reverbnation

2A few tips and suggestions on how to stay focused as an artist vying for a successful music career.

I too often encounter artists and bands who are obsessed with their musical career. Any driven individual could be described as ‘obsessed’ which I think is great, as long as your focus is on the music and honing your craft. I find that many young artists are too distracted by self-managing tasks and get bogged down in areas that take away from the very thing that will make you successful; creating impactful, deep and innovative new music. Here are some tips for staying focused:

  • A&Rs, agents, managers, label heads, etc. will be impressed if you deliver cohesive/inventive music and performance, regardless of your ‘numbers’ at shows, or what your press kit looks like. Obviously being organized will help you, but the best chance any artist has to break through the noise lies in refining your creative process and vision.
  • Ask your peers for feedback and demand that they are honest with you. It’s great when you play a show and all your friends say “awesome show man sounded great!” but that’s not really helpful feedback. Before you play a show designate someone you trust to watch and listen closely and ask them to give constructive feedback so you can improve your songs and performances.
  • Don’t Google yourself! Spend more time working on your music and less time looking at yourself on the Internet. 
  • Trust your creative self. Know that you’re killing it and doing something that no one else is doing. When you truly believe you’re the best at what you do it will rub off on all the people around you.
  • Make creative goals for yourself. Things like money, recognition, and respect will come when you start innovating and consistently putting out new ideas in your recordings and on the stage.


Joel Ford is a ReverbNation CONNECT Manager and has produced, mixed, arranged and composed music for artists on Downtown Records, Mexican Summer, Virgin Records, Warp Records, Ghostly International, XL Recordings, Cascine, Captured Tracks, Domino Recording Company, and more.

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