So how do you get people to care about your music? Let's take the normal scenario that most artists experience. You're up on the stage playing a song you wrote during a dark or exciting time in your life. You're giving it all you've got. You can feel the emotion in your voice, the feelings come back just like when you wrote it. You finish the song expecting/hoping that everyone else felt what it was you felt up there and………….nothing. People are watching the bar tvs, talking to each other, playing darts or just not giving you the response you were hoping for. What's their problem? Did they not just see the emotion and heart you put into that song?
Now, let's look at it from the audiences shoes. They had a long day at work and just want a beer or to hang out with their friends. They're in the middle of a conversation with a friend they haven't seen in a while or maybe they just had a kid and it's their first night out in a while. YOU as the artist are competing with all of these situations and more when you're playing.
Making them care? Here's a newsflash, they're not going to. It's YOUR job to do things to make them care!! So how do you go about doing that?
Obviously a song can make a connection with someone and while this is the major way artists expect to make people care, how is that working for most of you? While we could say you need to work on writing better songs (and you should always be doing this regardless) if your songs aren't making a connection, there are other ways that can bridge the gap.
Just like we talked about with getting around the right people, how many times do you go into a show early and meet everyone in the place? Do you go up and talk to the bouncers, the door person, the bartenders, cocktail servers, bus boys? What about the actual people who are in the place? Do you go up and have a conversation with as many of them as you can BEFORE you play the show? If not, you need to start……yesterday!
This again goes back to people are more willing to give their time and attention to people they know, like and respect. Meet the people, mention their names from the stage (people love to hear their names), mention the bouncers, bartenders. Talk to them all before the show and then go back and talk to them all after the show and even offer to buy a couple a beer or two.
This is how you get as many people on your side as you can. You can even drag people up on the stage to sing with you if you know their favorite song. Your job is to make it an experience for them. That's how you make people care about you first and by default they are much more likely to want to listen, watch and buy your music. If you create an experience or a memory for someone, that person goes out and tells your story. Who knows where that story will go, but who ever it gets told to now already has an idea of who you are and why they should pay attention to you.
Now imagine someone who heard about you from someone else happens to come to a show to see you and you walk up to them and strike up a conversation. You just made that person that much more interested in you and you can bet their going to pay that much more attention to what your songs have to say.
The music business is hard, but making people care isn't that hard. You just have to give them a reason to care that's not about you. It has to be about them!