Creating art as a DIY musician or in a band, you are constantly working with externals. Be it during the production and songwriting phase, touring or plain day-to-day, you work with and for people. Transparency matters
During this process, you are probably going to hit it up with various forms of professional players. For example: job-types, just working on the process to reach some form of mid-term goal, passionate-types, in it for the long haul and ready to “grind through”, people with agenda and people without.
If you respect people they will be inclined to work with you. Chances are high, you will enjoy the musical endeavor because you understand how the dynamics work. And with dynamics I mean how relationships work.
Many difficulties tend to arise when different expectations and work-ethics clash. By accepting the idea of diversity, you start blending all of these figures into a complex scheme of things. Most DIY musicians have had moments in their careers, where they felt let down or disappointed by important collaborators not sharing the same drive or energy.
Clarity needs to be a constant axiom that all parties are trying to maintain. For some people it becomes hard to stay straight up, especially if deep rapport is developed. Collaborators don’t want to let anyone down and would rather go with the flow than keep a very real perspective on things out on the table.
Good start, smooth process
I’ve also encountered people worried about wether an early drop into “realness” or assessment of the situation and business conditions would lead to a stagnation of the creative process. To be honest, things usually turn out a lot worse and destructive, if important – often also unpleasant – sides of a professional interaction aren’t thematized early in the process.
To cut to the chase of this little excursion – this is why transparency in music matters.
Keeping your motives on the table lets anyone involved know exactly why you’re here and what you expect from it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong about adhering to the fact that you are in it for business related reasons. Every pro will understand. Of course there’s great luxury in working on a “heart-project”. Still, that’s something that can and has to develop on its own, it can’t be forced.
Too many musical relationships have suffered under a complete mis-communication due to cloaked motives. Honesty is the kick-off factor that will gain you respect and rapport.
Try to remember that when sitting at the table with new creatives. It will not only help you make your point a lot more clear, you will also make contributors feel increasingly comfortable, because they realize you respect their individual position in the process.
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