An Inspiring Story of Indie Music Success

This guest post is by Bob Baker of the music marketing blog The Buzz Factor.

Capture22 Last week I received an email from a Canadian named John Ioannou. The message opened this way:

"Hi Bob. Here's a true story about a musician, his dream, and proof that opportunity knocks!"

I was on the verge of closing the email to read later, but something prompted me to continue. And I'm glad I did.

I've often reminded aspiring musicians over the years that there are many paths to success. There are no guarantees. What works well for one artist often will not work at all for another.

And some of the things that end up working seem so outlandish (and even foolish) at first glance. Such was the case with John's story.

The message continued ...

"There's a really talented kid named Scotty James who attended high school in Canada and decided after graduation that music would be his full-time job.

"Armed with only a guitar and a dream, Scotty humbly has been going door to door to people's homes busking for cash - ten bucks a song to raise money for his first album."

(Watch this YouTube video clip of Scotty's door-to-door adventures.)

"He came to our house on August 27 late in the evening to play. I was a bit skeptical at first, but gave him a listen and paid the ten bucks. The kid honestly blew me away - unique voice and some of the catchiest songs. I was hooked. I told him I run a music company and admire his hard work."

John met with Scotty a few days later and told him he would be interested in working with him. But ... Scotty had to take on three challenges:

Challenge 1 - Take Nelly's popular hip-hop song "Just a Dream," do an acoustic version of it, and give it the Scotty James sound. Here's what Scotty came up with:

Challenge 2 - Go up to random girls at universities/colleges, sing to them and record it on video. John wanted to see their reaction to Scotty and his music. Here's what happened that day:

Challenge 3 - Go up to random people and sing to them on a city bus.

John continues ...

"On September 23, less than a month after Scotty James first knocked on my front door, we met with a record producer. Scotty is now in the studio recording his debut album, called 'Crazy.' He met all of my challenges and for that I am paying to record his album."

John ends by saying "That's proof that opportunity really does knock!"

What actions are you taking to create your own musical opportunities?

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