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Break That Gate

Don't wait for permission.

Photo by StP@. Copyright 2020 No Idol Music Group, LLC.

The Myth of Marketability

When we founded No Idol Music in spring 2019, we did so because we were tired of being forced into a box. We wanted to liberate ourselves from the constraints of the music industry. Our art collective embraces "no idols" as a concept; remembering that everyone is human. No one human is inherently better than another, and we all deserve to actualize our wildest dreams.

Gate-keeping is the process of denying certain people access to resources or opportunities. The music industry is full of gate-keepers. People who dictate what you have to sound like, who you can know, what you look can like, and even where you have to be from, before you can get an opportunity. And now, if you have under 100,000 social media followers, it's also a mark against you. To be honest, it’s bullshit and I’m not here for it.

I’m not going to change the way I look and sound just for the industry to throw me a bone. They create these boxes and call it “marketability”. In reality, it’s just what they want to market. They control what is "good music" and what is not. Those of us outside of that very small margin of people who are “marketable” are made to believe that we are the opposite; that no one would want to hear our music or no one would appreciate our art.

This is a lie.

There Is Room For You

There are over six billion humans on the planet. A large part of that group enjoys music. If you’re pouring into your art and it’s well-done, authentic, and uniquely yours, you will find fans of that art. It matters not what the industry deems as marketable. That will always change and is primarily driven by money and fleeting trends, not actual talent or specialness.

There have always been and will always be mainstream sounds and styles of music, clothing, or any sort of subjective thing. However, the myth that people can’t have successful music or art careers outside of the conventions of their generation, keeps people from pursuing their dream. I am a fan of popular music and trends as well as lesser-seen, underground flavors of art. There is room for both, and both have thrived.

Do It Yourself

What is No Idol Music's answer to this issue? Break that gate.

The only memorable people in history have not wasted their time trying to conform to get a foot in the door. They spent their time and energy following their passion and putting their “stuff” into the world. Forget the algorithm, forget the formulas, don’t stalk radio execs all day, or beg people to acknowledge you.

If you want to perform at a festival, throw one yourself. No one is Superman, and no one is God. That means whatever someone is doing that they won’t let you be a part of, you can probably do it yourself. Do you want a record deal? I’ll quote Nas again and say, “start a label, run it, sign yourself. That’s a major key. “

I’m not saying don’t seek out opportunities from the establishment. If you see a hole in the gate, jump through that bih! I'm imploring you not to let somebody else’s perceived authority keep you from pursuing your dream. You are an artist if you say you are. You don't have to get someone else's validation or approval before stepping into your passion and purpose.

Do It For Your Fans

Mainstream media and gate-keepers underestimate people's ability to be multi-faceted consumers of art and in turn tend to box everything into a simple, basic package. Treat your fans as if they know better and deserve better because they do.

There are tons of sub-genres and subcultures of like-minded people. The only way to find your tribe is to put your stuff out into the world with as much energy and effort as possible and they will hear your call and join you on your journey. Humans are hard-wired to connect and create groups that give a sense of belonging. There are people out there who feel just how you feel and who like the sound of what you’re making the same way that you do. We all have a few artists who we feel can read our minds. Artists that for whatever reason, have made us feel validated in our emotions and sentiment. You might be that person for somebody.

Do it for your future fans.