Thinking about a topic for "Digital Minds” the past couple of weeks has been tough. There’s so many things I want to write about in terms of creativity, the tour, and the new single we put out. However, last week there was only one relevant topic: the election and what it means. And you know what? It still feels like the only relevant topic.
While there's a lot for me to reflect on personally, I do want to try and push Digisaurus past it. I've gotten to the point of overload online, and I want to steer the conversation of this blog back to being an artist in 2016. I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on here the last couple of weeks and it’s become clear to me that a lot of people who read this are also creative in various mediums. So I'm going to use this weeks post to write about picking your platforms.
As the cliche goes, there’s so much more to being an independent music artist outside of just making music. There’s the obvious support activities of making videos, making artwork, booking, marketing, etc. But the biggest thing that pushes music is the story and personality of it’s creator or creators. Crafting and pushing that context can be really easy or really hard depending on one question: How much of yourself are you willing to expose to people?
This relates a bit to what I talked about a couple of weeks ago about not being honest with myself as an artist. However, this time it deals with being honest with an audience. If you're not all in about being open with your audience, I think it's going to be very difficult to get anyone interested in your art. But the hardest thing for music artists to do in 2016 is figure out the right ways to provide that voice. We live in a world dominated by social media platforms that encourage reactionary and off the cuff personalities. We've gotten to the point where these mediums sometimes feel like the only option, and there's a lot of musicians I know who on participating in it. But if I’m going to be honest with you (see what I did there?), it’s not me. Participating makes me judgmental of others based on surface level reactions, and in turn, self conscious about how others might judge me. I’m pretty calculated as a person, and as my bass player, Eric, and I both discussed this past week, far too existential for my own good.
So how else can artists convey their message? For Digisaurus, I've created this blog with a format that I dictate. I’m in the habit of posting here on Thursday’s, and I have a whole week to collect thoughts, reflect, revise, and let you know my story. Obviously, Digisaurus is still on social media. But it’s not a platform for my main narrative. It's to point people to places that do a better job of conveying it, like the music, videos, art, pictures, and this website. On top of the music and everything online, the biggest sticking point for conveying my message is still on a stage and talking to people in person. That’s a big reason why Digisaurus has started touring so much this year and will continue to do so in 2017.
It’s taken a while for me to find my voice and consistently practice the things that work. But I’ve definitely noticed how much providing context drives my music with listeners. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't despair. Get out of the idea of being pigeon-holed to just a few options and figure out what works to progress your story.