I just learned a little more about the music biz from the (so-called) "one hit artist" whose 1997 hit FLOWERS continues to generate calls in many places. For the past 2 years, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has performed more than 100 shows all over Europe. I just heard that he was releasing a new song, "The Circus Is Over" in Europe and emailed asking if I could hear it. He not only gave me a listen, but he also gave me a LESSON as well:
I own my own record label and I put almost all of the money in my pocket from every single record I sell. I presently sell more records than most new artists on any given major label. After only 2 years of pursuing a career in Europe and in the UK, I'm now headlining shows there, drawing crowds (young and old alike) in excess of 10,000. The future looks bright. Out of the 52 weeks last year, I held the number 1 spot on the European Country Charts for 26 of them. My new single, "The Circus Is Over" will more than likely debut at number 1 while well known American artists on major labels will be lucky to break the top 20 on any given single. Not only am I performing at large festivals, but I'm also playing in non-country venues as well to sold out crowds... venues where maybe only 1 or 2 country artists have ever darkened the door. I am breaking new ground.
I can go to Wal-Mart here in the States without getting all fixed up. Life is pretty damn good. Seriously, what I try to explain to people like yourself is that the world is much larger than the American borders. There are billions of people who love good music in all sorts of places. Just because we sometimes unknowingly choose to live in a small bubble, doesn't make our views pertain to every situation. Those views only apply within that bubble. I would suggest that you save up a few dollars and travel to Europe (if you haven't already) and attend a large country music show (you have to plan way in advance... those shows sell out months early). Norway would be a great place to visit (it really is beautiful). Switzerland is really nice too. You would see the passion and excitement and then realize the truth in what I'm saying. There is a large number of country music fans who are smart and know good music. They know who plays on every record, who wrote the songs... everything there is to know about their favorite artists. They know who our mainstream artists are and they typically don't like them. They like their music pure and simple, just the way Americans used to like it. It really is like stepping back in time.. and I mean that in a good way. I love this business. When I'm not touring in Europe, I'm in my office on Music Row writing songs and getting them recorded. I own my own publishing company. I have my own full time song plugger who works hard. That allows me to spend much of my time explaining and educating just as I am with you. I encourage you to continue doing what you do with great passion, but I also challenge you to break out of the bubble. You'll be glad you did!
I then sent him some of my photos of my last four trips to Europe, Greece, Great Britain and Mexico, to let him know that I understand precisely what he's saying. You might want to take his advice as well!