I have my own "thing" going on and I don't need anybody. Surprisingly this is what I had heard from the majority of the amateur artists I've been dealing with. I have lost count on how many times I was talking to an artist or a secessionist and offered them a long-term production service – just because I simply liked their music. And in most rejection cases, the reason was that they had their "own thing" going on and they were not keen to even hear the offer. The examples here I am referring to, are the people who were not even open to just hear the offer. I mean listening for 20 minutes is free, right? If they had heard it and then rejected it for any reason, then it was a whole different story. But these are the ones who were so confident – in their own mind – about what they're doing that they didn't even hear anything, which not to judge but to me it sounds like a type of insecurity! Most people of this type did not last in the industry more than 2 years.
One recent example was an amazing guitarist who turned down a profit-sharing album production contract – which means we would produce his album free of any upfront charge and we would just take a cut from the sales, no strings attached – only because he believed that he is made to be on stage only and his “mission” in music is not to play in the studio! This can be understandable to a certain point, if he had been playing in a big or legitimate band or anything close to that, but the problem was when I found out that he is only playing in a very small local pub and he wants that. I tried to explain for him that he can keep up with his pub gig and at the same time he can have his own originals to play in that pub or anywhere else in a much bigger scale, but he was insisting that his only mission in music in to play in that pub. A few months later I heard that the pub owner had decided not to have live music anymore. When I asked around about him, I found out that he is looking for a job in another pub. So, I approached him again, although I knew what the answer would be, and as I guessed by the time that I met him, his “mission” had changed to another pub.
A person with this mentality never can be anywhere in the music industry!
The ego. There was one case that I had an amazing chance to be one of the producers for a single for the big Snoop Dogg and I had been in a position that I could introduce an artist to be featured in that single. I was new in Singapore and didn't have much connections but I had one of the rappers in mind to approach and while I was looking for his contact, I happened to run into him in an event. My friend who was with me in that event and he knew that rapper in person introduced me to the said rapper and told him about the opportunity. That rapper (who already has a reputation for his attitude) didn't even bother to look at me or even to speak to speak to me directly. He just told my friend to ask me to leave my name card there and "maybe he will call me back". So, naturally I did not leave my name card there and took another singer for this opportunity. Now, few years later the rapper with attitude is not in this business anymore while the other singer is touring the world.
Being short sighted. There are many people who are just simply unable to look at the big picture. They want quick fame, quick fortune, and quick stardom. Well, they can’t be any more wrong!
We had an artist singed in Flipside. In his very first day after he signed the contract he was supposed to come down to the studio. He called me to ask "what time the car pick me up?". He gone on and explained that as a label we have to send him a respectable car to pick him up for each studio session. Thankfully he was okay of the car is not necessarily a limo. I'm not kidding. This is word by word, what he said. Well, again, of course I didn't send him any car - when he was signing the contract, he could see we are a very small label with limited budget, plus, these behaviors are for the show for a superstar not for someone who just got accepted through an audition.
This person was with Flipside for almost two year and every week he was showing me signs of how short sighted he is. Unfortunately right after the release of his first five singles followed by his first album, he suddenly felt he is too big for Flipside now and left us for another company who had just DM-ed him with no basis and promised him the world. He never made music after he left us and he lost a lot of money to that DM scam!
Conclusion of all these is, be open minded. Hear people. Trust your teammates and work harder than anyone else, even harder than you did yesterday.