The most valuable thing we have is our imagination and it is important that we nurture it or risk loosing it. It is our imagination that sparks us to dream then achieve and the most important part of that spark is exposure. To be successful in the music industry takes a basic understanding that there is a much larger world outside of your own personal space and existence. To truly understand how to market to people you have to expose yourself to new things, experiences, people and cultures. One can not think that the world begins and ends with their neighbour hood, state, region . . .etc. I have played on and produced all kinds of records in many different genres and I continue to learn new things by traveling and working with artists and people that have a different life experience and culture than mine. What I have found is that each experience adds something to me and how I perceive the world, my art and even myself. Exposure is the only true gateway to unadulterated freedom. Most of us live our lives being slaves to limited exposure and experiences. For example: I often have discussions with young musicians on how important it is to master the music of your roots then learn, study and play music that is outside of your experience. Most people I grew up with were into R&B, Soul, Hip/Hop, Blues & Gospel but as I became a music business guy I discovered how vast the financial divide is between those genres I just mention and others such as, Pop, Rock, Metal and Alternative. Now I know that there are quite a few other forces at play that help make this a reality but it is still worth understanding all the same. I mean as much as I loved Frankie Beverly and Maze or Jodeci, it blew my mind to find that to this day there are people that have never heard of them. Now this doesn't mean that they are not great artist because we know they are. What it means is that the industry is set up to mass market certain things to a certain type of consumer. As another example, take your favorite R&B or Hip/Hop artist and compare their sales and concert attendance to their Pop or Rock counterparts and you will see a definite difference. Luther Vandross was one of the greatest singers that ever lived but I don't think he sold more than two million units per release, if i recall correctly I think he would go platinum but never multi-platinum verses an artist like Phil Collins that has sold upwards of fifteen million records on one release or an artist like Alanis Morissette who's debut CD sold twenty seven million. How do you sell these kinds of numbers? One word . . . Exposure. If we are going to be successful we have to understand how to make the world our home and benefit from ALL it has to offer us. Spending your whole life in one place is not at all healthy for the creative palette. Every city, state or country has it's own personality and inspirations. I love traveling and letting the city speak to me. I mean when you are in Atlanta there is a feeling in the air that just inspires thoughts and things that I could not get any where else just as when I'm in Paris I get yet another feeling and inspiration. The more you expose yourself the more you free your mind and open yourself to what success is all about and that my friend is FREEDOM! So embrace and expose yourself to the world. True success awaits you. Enjoy the journey.
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