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The DIY Movement, Pt. 1: Be resourceful

In today’s industry, artists do not have the luxury of being on the front line of a blossoming new movement, where bands and artists are getting signed “right and left” like those that came before us.

I am not saying they had it easy — because they earned every bit of fame and fortune — but when the music scene is growing overnight, it makes the odds of exposure that much better.

Today, it is a chaotic competitive market where standing way out from the ‘norm’ and being resourceful is the name of the game. What we do have is our own kind of movement we call it DIY (do it yourself), major labels do not want to dump tons of money into an artist that isn’t a definite money maker. There are thousands of bands and artists in every city around the world that we have to compete with, making the music scene flooded and over populated. So, how do they choose?


Well, that is where doing it yourself and being resourceful comes into play. This requires a lot of hard work, doing your research and putting your determination and knowledge in to play. In my experience’s in traveling ,touring and recording as a professional drummer for many years with many different styles of bands I have learned one thing: knowledge is power, and strong business relationships is the vehicle to success.

Building relationships with the people you meet while you’re doing your thing as an artist, is setting your =self up for your future. It doesn’t matter if it’s the local record store clerk, or a touring band you opened for at a local venue,, or promoter make a positive impression on them and they will remember you. Because one day when you need your album in a local record store , or you want to go to that touring bands home town to play a show, or put a show on yourself, you now have a contact to do so, thus giving you leverage and some validity.

Thinking outside the box and embracing the business and seeing opportunity, is what is needed to stay working in the industry. If you show the major labels you don’t need them, than you will attract them. It’s all about helping each other and growing as one. At the end of the day, we don’t need major labels.

As an artist, you always have to be thinking about your next step, how to get more exposure, how to create a buzz, etc. Well here is a tip that I have learned that can apply to the business of an artist. It’s called A.P.E = Anticipate, Prepare, and Execute.

  1. Anticipate your next move, or that new change in the industry, doing this will allow you to stay ahead of the game.
  2. Prepare so that you gain the most out of it as possible. Do your research on that next show or the producer you want to hire, and make sure you have all the facts.
  3. And finally, execute on your plan.


By following these steps, you will be the most effective and efficient you can, by doing all the work yourself. There are so many websites for information for indie artists, and site’s to generate capital for recording an album or going on tour. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions to those you share the stage with, make friends with, or go online send emails out and get the info you need to get moving forward, failure is not an option.

Here are a couple sites I use and have used to get info, or raise money or get press from time to time. And as always don’t be afraid to email me, I am here to help, educate, and do all things DIY.


— Derek Upton – A&R of Invengo Records (e-mail)