For many artists, setting up release plans, schedules and a strategy is in itself a daunting task. Especially when handling all of these DIY management necessities, artists are regularly pushed to the limits of what they are able to achieve. Especially energy and resource wise.
Once finalized, the thought of breaking with that vision seems counter-productive, sometimes even straight up ludicrous. The reality of producing and releasing music is very different from the first conceptional steps.
And even if things run smoothly, plans will change.
Interesting things will pop up, planned instances will drop out of view or become impossible to realize – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you frame it right. Here are some thoughts on why breaking plans can actually lead to positive, strategic adjustment.
Flow state of mind
The more people are involved in a strategic outline, or consequences thereof, the harder it can be to break up with construct, and pivot to something new.
So – while forming a team around a project – it is incredibly important to establish a flow state of mind. This means opening up the possibility of change. Being agile. Experiencing musical brand development as a flow.
Communicate this. The whole team has to be on the same page, in order to successfully implement agile decision-making.
Every process needs a buffer-zone for adjustment and enhancement.
Unpredictability as a strategy
A great thing about controlled change of plans is the added layer of unpredictability infused in and around the project. Changing plans means stepping out of a beaten path. It can lead to interesting, unprepared and especially “out-of-the-box” stimuli.
It can surprise your audience, maybe even breathe some fresh air into the interaction. Be it on social media or within the listening experience.
Try to embrace any unforeseen change of plans as a step towards unpredictability. It will feel less like a loss of control, and more like added, narrative complexity.
Improvisation & strategy
The reality of the contemporary release landscape is – you never quite now if, and where a certain release is going to pop and make an impact. You can try your best, work with external pro’s and agencies, but you’ll never now until a release has actually expanded its full potential.
In other words – releasing nowadays means improvising and adjusting to unforeseen developments.
And while this can be experienced as an uncomfortable, maybe even burdening reality, it can and should rather be framed as a part of the game. You never know until you know.
Improvising in the digital sphere has become a trademark of many successful artists. This can be everything from reacting to user-generated content, to picking up on a platform trend and using that to promote the own agenda.
Being sensible and open to things that digress from the plan is a definite key to any DIY digital strategy.