LAMC: Music Industry Tip #1, Story Is Everything

The Latin Alternative Music Conference hosted five panels last week to inform and inspire visiting and local attendees alike.  I donned my artist hat, took the wheel and sat down for a spin.The room was full of working artists and producers from Mexico to Argentina, and from Puerto Rico to Chile asking questions, and seeking a more complete picture of their industry.

Tip #1: Story Is Everything!

Licensing your music can be a good source of income for artists.  Carmelo Rodriguez from Vidal Partnership, an advertising agency, said that when he is searching for artists to license for commercial purposes, unknown artists are actually in the best position since larger artists tend to “eat” the commercial their music accompanies.  Most important is your skill at storytelling within the music. Besides the lyrics, does the music tell a story?

Also, can you tell your own personal story and does it translate to your audience and to corporations interested in using your music?  The way you talk about your journey is important.  Roberto Isaac from mun2 seconded the idea of story being vital to an audience “getting” the musician.  He said that people fall in love with an artist’s story and then they find the artist’s songs.

So, go crazy, tell people where you were born, where you grew up, what first inspired you to play and write music, who are your mentors and idols and what makes you tick.  Be generous with your life details and people will be generous right back.  Check out the Wikipedia, Last FM, and Myspace pages of your favorite artists to see how they did it.  Bands with good “stories” include Calle 13, Carla Morrison, 3BallMTY, Ximena Sariñana, and the list goes on.  Make it easy for people to learn about who you are.  The clearer your story, the easier it will be to promote and license your music.

Tip #2 will be about licensing your music.