It’s far better to create the next trend than to ride the back of a wave -says Mark Baxter, acclaimed vocal coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls and many others.
Ironically, your chances of making it are far better if you don’t sound like what’s popular today.
Music changes like fashion; what people are wearing today is out of style in just two years. It takes at least that long to build an audience — so successful artists take a different approach.
They make music that moves them and then set out to make it popular. It’s far better to create the next trend than to ride the back of a wave.
Twisted Sister’s Rebellion Against Disco
Back when I was performing in a rock band, disco was becoming popular. It was so pervasive that many groups were being tempted to sway in the direction of that genre.
There was one band, though, that stuck to their guns: Twisted Sister.
I was lucky to be their opening act often and I learned a lot from that experience. They never apologized about being anti-disco.
In fact, they repeated “disco sucks” chants until everyone in the room joined in. It became their battle cry. By the time they made MTV they had been honing their sound for years.
Find Your Like Minded Listeners
In the week ending on September 30, 2012, Mumford and Sons’ second album debuted at number one. Not since AC/DC released Black Ice in 2008 has a rock album debuted at number one.
It’s hard to imagine two more different sounding bands.
Let their success remind you that whatever your genre — especially if it’s not the most popular at the time — it’s your job to find like-minded listeners.
Don’t apologize about your style (even if it’s Disco!).
Mark Baxter has worked as a coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls — and many others. He is the author of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival, creator of The Singer’s Toolbox instructional DVD, Sing Like an Idol instructional CD. Mark operates vocal studios in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and online via Skype. Visit his website: VoiceLesson
You can see more of Mark’s work here.