Updated: Feb 27
Dealing with the stigma against artists who have a dream.
And it's not just one person but quite a few. My name is Sonya Marlene and I am a rising victorian electronica music artist at the start of my music career. And I was at the very beginnings of learning just a few years ago. And if you are an artist that is just learning how to produce music but may not know how to do it yet, I'm guessing that maybe you have received the same scrutiny as I have in the beginnings. And if you haven't yet, you most likely will. Every artist has critics. Every artist. Read on.
A while back I had posted a couple of song ideas on Youtube. I have always wanted to be a singer and a songwriter since youth. I was very passionate about what I did, but at the same time; I had no idea how to produce professional music yet, nor how to break into the music industry. I didn't have the right equipment I needed at the time for recording or what was needed to soundproof a room for recording. I was an absolute beginner. Everyone has to start somewhere.
One guy quoted:
(("tbh your music isn't that good at all. Your singing is average at best. You're production value overall is quite bad.))
Just when you were making some progress in learning some guy decides to throw this at you with no useful critiques. Instead, they just tell you how bad you are.
What this guy didn't understand was that I was only at the start of understanding how to produce music correctly. I was perfectly aware that it wasn't top-notch or to the standards of the music industry... yet. The two music videos were only to showcase what I have done so far. They were not the finished product of my work. They were just demos and not to be sold or promoted in the music industry.
In a video I made called "Overcoming Shattered Dreams - A Music Artist's Path to Success In Today's New Music Industry", there are four things I addressed.
1. I spoke of my personal experience, as a teenager in the late 90s, and my bad luck waiting to be discovered by professional producers or agents. I will clue you in on one thing: It didn't happen for me, not in those days. Being discovered back then was like winning the lottery. It didn't happen very often. Back then, you had to be in the right place at the right time. You had to know the right people.
2. What about the artists that made it, then? How did they do it? Often it wasn't without a price. Never sell yourself out to someone else's agenda (or the Illuminati) in order to make it to the top, as many mainstream artists have.
3. How today's music industry works and how it differs from yesterday's music industry. You no longer have to wait to be discovered by professional producers or agents nor do you have to sell yourself out to get yourself heard. Anyone can do it!
4. Addressing the hows and showcasing the equipment you need to get started with your music. I presented and links to people who have the knowledge of music marketing business and promotion.
One person quoted:
((Stop blaming conspiracies and start being completely honest to yourself. Yes, you said you shouldn't compare yourself with mainstream artists, but even when you compare yourself to other unknown artists you should notice quite a few things: Their video quality isn't a shitty filter turned up to maximum in 360p with 20fps and made with Windows Movie Maker.))
People and their assumptions... I guess he didn't realize I was using Apple iMovie. But I'll let that one slide. Also, imagicam, which was discontinued in the App store; was pretty cool if you ask me. And it's quite disappointing that it was discontinued. My opinion, and I don't think it's bad to use filters for videos.
You have to understand, many of these mainstream music artists have professional equipment to work with. Well, excuse me for not having the back-up system they have which costs 1000s. It's great to know that I don't have to buy 1000s of dollars worth of equipment to make a great video. Get over yourself!
What this guy didn't realize, because he was probably born in the 2000s: Back in the 80s and 90s, you had to get in touch with these professional producers or agents to be heard on the radio or shown on MTV. And it cost an arm and a leg to get your music on cassette or CDs. You had to rent a music recording studio to get your work done. Often it would take over 30 hours to do with a whopping 50 per hour. And the many people who were blessed enough to afford one often had no idea what they were doing. But back then, it was the only option.
Kids today will NEVER understand the struggle. They have it too easy. Nowadays if you have a laptop, a pair of earphones, a DAW mixing board, and VSTs (which you can download for free) you can produce your own music from a click of a mouse, and buy your own recording software and hardware for a fair price.
Take a look at what you can get for under 1000 dollars:
And here is the thing for someone my age... it's not too late to get started even if you didn't get to do it when you were young! Imagine that!
((Their description has links that actually work. They have put out more than just 5 songs (and even if they use freeware their songs doesn't sound like created all with a $120 Keyboard pre-set background music) and their website overall doesn't look like straight outta 2003))
For all I know you were probably born in 2003. I've got an awesome website and style to top it which I am always improving. Many people wondered why I haven't produced more than five songs. I wasn't ready at the time. I had to learn some things first. So what is your critique? Don't have one? Typical.
(("$120 keyboard pre-set background music"))
Sounds like fun if you ask me. Do you also know that professional artists also use presets such as guitars and pianos? Some people don't know that. Yes, many artists do download their music presets for free and use them to produce their music. Nothing wrong with that, right? So what's wrong with investing $120 to buy some good VSTs and presets or a keyboard to use in your music? Isn't that what EDM artists do anyway? What's your point?
Sure, someone with no experience or success in the music industry will have all the answers. Please, tell me more about that million-dollar music business that you run.
Oh, wait! You don't have one! So why should I listen to you?
I could understand if you are someone who has already been successful. So what have YOU produced that anyone has ever listened to? How many records have you sold? Or do you have a music career at all?
So, next time someone brings you criticism like this under your well thought out video, ask yourself this question: "Is this someone I should take advice from?" And again, if these critics don't have a clue how to produce music themselves, I would not take them seriously.
On the other hand, if it was from someone that had already been successful, and they are giving me constructive criticism, I would gladly take it.
Who says your music sucks? Prove them wrong!
Here is the progress of my work and I will continue to improve. This is a song I wrote called "My God Will Never Forget Me" Electronica song. Here I showcase my demo and final version back to back:
What I love to do is prove my haters and critics wrong. I've got more coming!
If you need your song mixed or remastered at an affordable price, search for professionals on Fiverr.com. they have a wide selection to choose from that will charge you a fair price!
Ignore The Haters
But what happens after you prove them wrong? I am making good music and people are still trying to diss my hard work! What is up with that?
Although I do like doing "responding to hate comments" videos and blogs for fun, I will also suggest that you stop focusing on the people who don't like you. It's ok to do response videos every now and then for fun. But now is the time to stop giving people permission to control your life: People who do so little for us, who don't like us, who are not rooting for us, and with their best word to put hate on us. We need to stop giving these people so much power and control over our lives.
We allow people to stop our greatness because we are so afraid of what people are going to say. We're so afraid of being judged. Don't you know you are going to be judged anyway? Don't you know someone will talk about you anyway?
No matter how good you are, they'll be saying that you aren't good enough. Somebody somewhere in the world at some point in time is going to have a problem with you. You don't have any control over that. And you can't live life expecting everyone to like you. We can't live our lives that way! Everybody is not going to like you.
You have to realize where hate comes from. Hate doesn't come from a happy place. Hate doesn't come from a person that is loving life. And usually, people who aren't happy are going to hate on you.
So when somebody sends me hate, I just laugh because I know where it comes from. I know that they're not happy. I know that they're not living a fulfilled life. So the best thing I can do is give love back. I'm going to give love back because I know that they really don't hate me. Because if they are here watching me, they don't hate me.
Realize, people cannot stop you!
A hater cannot stop you.
It's like that comment someone made under my video stating:
((Your music is honest to god just Not Good.)) Guess what? I'm still going to make music. They can't stop me.
Somebody can say:
(("Your videos, I hate 'em")), guess what, I'm still going to make my videos.
((Oh, your vlogs are horrible)), I'm still going to make vlogs.
We give too much power to the people who don't like us. And I get it. When even the people that you know and are the closest to you don't support you or your dreams, it can really cut deep. Sometimes it's hard to deal with. It's like what this same guy told me under a video I made called "Why does my family/friends not support me or my dreams?"
((It's not wrong that other people don't believe in your dreams. I don't believe half the shit people tell me. And that turned out to be way more beneficial to me than believing anything."))
But also know that these people cannot stop you. Do you realize that?
(("The only person that needs to believe in your dreams is you."))
Is he wrong? Not this time.
((If they underestimate your abilities you haven't given them a reason to prove them otherwise.. ))
But... I have.
((...or would you want them to just lie to you? Be happy they are honest, prove them wrong. If they simply don't care just fuck them, don't let them hold you back. It's good they are not always jumping on board and give support from day one. You need to do the first steps, it's your dream not theirs, again, you need to show them why they should believe in you.))
And I say:
They don't believe in you? Who cares? Believe in yourself!
Let that be your motivation if that's what it takes, and that summing up the conclusion of the video.
Haters vs Confused Supporters
If somebody truly hates you, they aren't going to be subscribed to your life. If someone is subscribed to your life and they know everything about you, they don't hate you. What they really do is love you. They just have jealousy. They just have an ego that won't let them admit it. So they aren't haters. They are just confused supporters. So I wouldn't suggest you go blocking your confused supporters unless they are being downright obnoxious. Let them have the front row seat. If they want to sit and watch you, as long as they aren't being disrespectful, let them have seasoned tickets to watch your greatness. Because one of two things are going to happen, either they are going to turn into fans, or they will unsubscribe.
But stop giving your focus on people who don't care about you. Stop giving your entire focus on people who just hate on you. There are plenty of people who will love you. There are plenty of people who will support you. There are plenty of people who are rooting for you!
I understand the frustration sometimes, but some of us stop our dreams and stop our growth, we stop our vision, we stop our greatness because we are so afraid of opinions,
We're so afraid of people not liking us. Who cares? They cannot stop you!
You are the only thing that can hold you back
It's not the haters that are holding you back, it's you! It's you giving them too much power and credit.
Haters cannot stop you without your permission
And that is a fact! So when somebody gives me hate, and I don't give them the response that they want? Guess what? They stop trying. And as a music artist in the public eye, if you do something in the public eye; they are definitely going to bring that up. Especially haters (fans in disguise). They'll know everything they can find out about you. They'll know your boyfriend/girlfriend's name, they'll know who your parents are, your backstory, and some people will say some of the most disrespectful things. Even when it comes to your personal life. And the worse thing you could do is give them the response that they want, meaning that you get mad and say something back to them. At that point, they know they've got you.
They know that if they can take your focus off of what it should be focused on, they got you.
That is what so many of us do. We fix our attention on the things and people that don't matter. I see it in people. And what haters do is mess with you the rest of your journey because they know they've got you!
The best response is to laugh (because that is not the response that they want). And then go on making more music. And who knows...? Maybe I might win the Christian music awards. And what would happen then is that they realize: (("Dang! We're really fueling her. So maybe we should shut up." "We're not stopping her. We're probably helping her."))
I'm not suggesting you do it for your haters. But if anything, let them feel you. And as I said before, if they don't believe in you, who cares? Believe in yourself. But don't give them the response that they want. Do not give them your attention. Do not give them your time.
And don't block them. If you are on Instagram, restrict them.
So, in 2020 and beyond we are not going to let confused supporters stop our greatness!
We've All Been There
At some point in time, we have been haters ourselves. I used to say that Britney Spears sucked even though I listened to her music and wanted to be where she was at. I was always being compared to her. Therefore there was a certain expectation that was put on me by others as an artist that was simply unrealistic unless you got promoted and discovered, and back then that was like winning the lottery.
Unlike her, I didn't have the backup system I needed to get my voice heard. We didn't have Youtube, Vimeo, Odessey, or Rumble back then. We didn't have social networks yet. The internet was still fairly new. And we were still very much in the old way of thinking when it came to the approach of making a music career happen. We had to go through record labels and that had a huge price tag attached to it: something only a rich person could afford. But I kept writing songs and writing more, even though I was hurting inside because I wasn't fulfilling my dreams as I wanted. But I did not give up no matter how hopeless my situation seemed to be.
You see, these artists had the finances. They were given the opportunity I was never given. I would often ask myself why them and not me? I looked at them with envy and thought it to be unfair!
Ever been there? Do you feel me? That struggle was real. But now I have come to realize that if you want to be successful, you can't be hating on people. That will get you nowhere! The world is changing. Today's new music industry is different. Your success depends on you. And once you finally got out of the old way of thinking and onward to the new, you'll begin to see that light at the end of the tunnel, just as I did. I realized that I don't have to measure up to the mainstream media expectations, that I don't have to go through record labels or wait to be discovered.
Now, I am no longer hating on those who have already succeeded. Instead, I am allowing myself to be inspired by them, and to let their success be a motivation that keeps me going. Because I can also be successful. I am making my dream happen. Because it is up to me. And it's up to you to make your dream happen.
If you are hating on other people that means that you are not working on yourself. And if you recognize that about yourself, you can recognize that about others and it will be easier for you to forgive them.
Hating on other people just means you aren't loving yourself. Really understand where this hate is coming from.
Let them talk
Often after people get out into the public eye, they start complaining when they see people hating on them and their work. And I'm thinking... who cares what they think? It comes with the territory. You will be hated on. You will be criticized. There will be those who will compare you to other artists. I got so sick and tired of being compared to that Britany Spears. Who cares??? Let them talk! Let your character respond. Let your greatness respond.
Do you know who will look stupid after you keep elevating your life? Not you. It's going to be your haters.
People are going to hate you for no reason at all. It's crazy. But you just keep elevating your life. At some point, they will have to realize that their hate is not going to work. Their hate only works if you allow their hatred to control your life, and that is not without your permission.
People tell me: "The music on your channel sucks."For them, it might be true. But their "truth" doesn't have to be my truth. And who knows who I'll be reaching who would not otherwise know the truth! Stop giving these people power over you!
They even hated Jesus. Even he had critics. So who are you to think you're not going to be hated on? If you don't want that here are your options:
"There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
So if you want to achieve greatness realize that some form of hate is coming.
If you're not hated, you're not doing anything important.
Let's also look at the fact that everybody isn't hating on you either. But don't let someone's opinion become your truth if it's not the truth. But if you plan on being in the public eye, that's coming with it. So if you plan to give your gift to the world, understand people have the right to judge it, to hate it, to criticize it. And you have the right to ignore them.
So, my suggestion to you is:
"Never let the 1% of hate take your focus off the 99% of love."
- Trent Sheldon
As human beings we have a tendency to focus on what is going wrong in our lives, and who said what about us. At the time when we are focused on those who are trying to tear us down, we could actually put our focus on those who want to build us up. Which do you see would be more beneficial? Because the people who love and support you that will be the ones who will take you to the next level.
Time is precious, don't waste an ounce of your time focusing on these people who hate you. It's really selfish for you to put your focus on someone who doesn't matter instead of those who do.