Guest post by indie emcee Epiphany ‘Big Piph” Morrow.
We’ve all heard the “album is my baby” metaphor, but after seeing my friends with children and one actual birth, let’s agree that it’s not quite that. However, any artist who has been through the process completely understands the dedication and roller coaster ride of emotions that accompany an album from conception to release execution. I think we can agree that it ain’t easy. Although arguably nothing in life that is worth it is, I still think we can enjoy ourselves a bit more. Given such, here are my 7 tips for enjoying the process of putting out an album more (in no particular order):1 Put enjoyment as a “goal”.
Yeah, it’s that easy. You know when you make out the list of goals for your new project? (You do do that, right?) Just include “enjoy the process”, or some variation of it, as a goal and treat it as such. With this destination built into the core mandate of the project, you’ll adjust when you veer off course.
2) How long do you think it will take for you to finish it? Well, double that.
If you’re anything like me, you like to have timelines and schedules. Also, if you’re anything like me, you’re prone to miss them by quite a bit related to musical endeavors. As a result, unless there’s a definitive reason why I can’t, I now have an easy rule of thumb: however long I think it will take, I double that.
Ok, I abuse acronyms, but WCS=Worst Case Scenario. Before a project begins, decide what would your situation look like if not one single person listens, purchases, attends, and comments on anything related to your album. Can you live w/ those financial, psychologically, and other results? If so, get to making what you were intended to make. (Side Note of Hope: WCS almost never really happens.)
4) Change the way you react to problems.
There’s a 100% money-back-guarantee that you’re going to have some type of unplanned complication with the process. Given such, plan for it. Contradictory, maybe? Ok. what I mean is, if you know problems are going to occur, don’t trip when they get there, instead react like, “Oh, there you are. I knew you would come eventually. Now, how can I fix you as effectively, efficiently, and creatively as possible?”
5) Your work is important, but not Beyonce levels of important. Plan accordingly.
Ok, chill…your work is as important or more so than the next artists’. However, your fans and demographic might not think so. It’s just the nature of the beast. So, if you heard Kendrick Lamar is planning to drop his new triple disc album with accompanying Occulus Rift biopic starring Idris Elba at 2p on Friday, the 24th…don’t release your project at 1p on some “I’ll show him!” You’ll find yourself angry and “unfollowing” friends who repost him and not you. Realism and flexibility work well together.
6) Make the non-music content fun to create.
We know you’re dope at making the music, but who says all the other aspects that have to be formed need to be a sludge to create? Have fun thinking up that marketing plan. Make creative social media posts. Stretch your imagination planning that listening party. You’re a creative being. It doesn’t just stop with the music.
7) Prepare & Delegate
Let’s be real, most of the folks who sincerely ask to help you on your journey have no worthwhile skills for your needs. That sucks. However, what if you could think of just one thing that all these people could do at the same time that would have impact. Folks want to help, they just need guidance sometimes.
Piph just released his new video “CELEBRATE” from the album of the same name. (Please check it out!) He’ll also be amped if you’ll follow him on Facebook or Instagram. Believing his responsibilities span far outside music, he also is a leader in Global Kids-AR and Books & Bagels, two programs serving youth in underserved communities. He most recently was selected as a Next Level artist and will be performing and serving residency in Burma/Myanmar.