What initially inspired me to write this post was a question I keep getting more and more lately.
"When do you plan to come play in [insert a city]? When are you planning a tour?"
I haven’t been ignoring those questions, but the answer is a bit more complex, so I wanted to be as transparent with you as possible!
Let me start off by saying that I definitely plan on touring in the future!
I miss doing live shows.
It’s one of the most stressful but at the same time exhilarating and rewarding parts of being a musician😊
Having said that, I know today that when I do plan a tour,
things will have to be different than they were when I did my last shows...
Let’s go a bit back in time to explain...
I’m not sure exactly how long we have “known” each other,
but I'm willing to bet I "met" most of you long after I released my first album,
I didn’t have much of a fan base back then (maybe apart from my immediate family😉)
and I also realize now that I was doing lots of things the wrong way 😉
One thing I don’t regret to this day,
is that I never let myself be persuaded by any "experts" in what would sell...
I never let anyone tell me how I SHOULD sound,
what kind of songs I SHOULD do or what was trendy at the moment.
I was completely fine with the fact that my music wasn't going to be everyone's cup of tea.
and I wasn’t going to do anything that went against who I was.
Maybe that’s why I still feel quite proud of this album (if I do say so myself😉 )
even though some years have passed😉
However, when you do go the independent route, as I did, you need a plan.
You need to educate yourself and become an expert in much more than
just creating music.
Otherwise, you’ll basically end up creating music that no-one will ever hear about😉
And art is meant to be shared, isn’t it?
And yeah, well, I didn’t have a plan!
So here’s how the story went:
It took a little over two years and a lot of money to record,
produce and release my album.
I absolutely loved that process.
I lived for it.
It came from my heart.
But I had no vision beyond that, no plan and
absolutely no clarity about how to proceed after releasing my music.
Hoping for the best is never a good strategy, as it turns out 😉
Yes, my music did end up getting recognition from strangers
and I even won a few internet contests.
I managed to put together a band of great musicians
and played a few shows.
The problem was I kept losing money…
MONEY - such a “turn off” phrase when it comes to art…
And yet - both you, me, and the musicians I hired to play with me -
we all have to eat and pay our bills 😉
So yes…I had propositions to play in different clubs, just for tickets sales.
Imagine - I would need to pay my musicians, pay for transport across the country - in the hopes of maybe making something back from ticket sales...
And like I mentioned before, I hadn’t really built a fan base
that I could contact and tell about my show.
It became clear that the way I was going about it,
my music became a hobby that was too expensive to keep up with.
Even if it was what I was most passionate about in my life,
my frustration kept getting bigger and I couldn't figure out what to do about it.
It ended up with me getting depressed...
and abandoning music altogether for more than a year.
Luckily, that wasn’t the answer either 😉
My subconscious kept nagging on me until I finally had to get my act together and figure out a way!
I started learning about marketing.
Another term that seems very unromantic, especially related to art.
But I view marketing as a way of figuring out how to get in front of the right ears -
and building real relationships with people who love my music.
To decide if they love it or hate it, they actually have to hear it first 😉
If it wasn’t for marketing and social media,
you and I would probably never have met!
And you wouldn’t be reading this post, let alone be interested in whether or not I would ever do a tour 😉
And when I often say that without YOU,
none of this would make any sense or even be possible -
I mean that from the bottom of my heart!
When I now go on to create the next album,
I know I’m not only fueling my passion, but there are actually people out there who love my music and are waiting for new things to come.
I’m not sure you understand just how important that is to me,
so I want to make it extra clear!
You probably already have a hunch where I’m going with all this 😉
Touring is expensive, especially if I go abroad.
Do I hire musicians here and travel with them?
Or maybe hire them in the destination country and account for the extra rehearsal time there?
What will the sleeping and transportation arrangements be?
It will require planning and a budget.
SO WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR ME TO TOUR?
The main thing is to make sure that there is enough demand.
When I do a tour, I’m going to jump in with both feet!
I hate taking half measures.
I want to create a great experience
and I need to know there’s enough demand to justify the effort 😉
The best way to ensure a tour happens
is to buy an album.
This tells me and concert/festival booking agents that there's demand in your town!
The more demand there is,
the more likely it is I'll travel to
your city and play for you LIVE.
It's the old principle of supply & demand.
You demand, I'll supply! ;)
It also won’t hurt if you stream my music or spread the word to your friends if you love it 😉
I hope that answers your questions regarding touring and where I stand at the moment.
I love the possibilities social media gives fans and artists
to really connect without involving middlemen.
For the moment, I'll remain a recording artist,
but I'm confident that will change in the future😊
Let’s show the world that MUSIC is more powerful than corporations
and that independent music is worth listening to and supporting!
Thank you for reading all the way to the end!❤️ ANIA