Becoming an overnight success in music isn’t for everyone.

Here's a post from Brian Thompson over at MTT. He raises some very good points about the downside of becoming an overnight success. I posted a comment on his original article, but I'll reiterate some of my points here.

I've been in this business a long time. I've seen artist come and go. Sometimes they burn out, maybe they want something more or they simply want a laid back lifestyle. Starting a family and creating a "normal" life is probably the biggest reason for voluntarily leaving the music business.

More often than not, however, the biggest reason an artist or band is no longer in the business is because they received too much too soon. They weren't prepared for the potential consequences of being an overnight success. If you're in the music business, no matter what level, you want to make a living creating art. We all do. There are, however, some pitfalls and I think Brian has outlined a few below that most new artist should be aware of.

When one of my clients says "My dream is to get signed and become famous!" I always reply with "Be careful of what you wish for. It just might come true."

10 Reasons You Shouldn't Wish For Overnight Success

Be careful of what you wish for.

1. You won’t be mentally prepared to deal with all of the fame, fortune, and international attention.

2. You won’t be well-rehearsed or experienced enough and your performance won’t be ready for overnight global attention.

3. Critics and fans will eat you alive for every little misstep you do, crushing your soul and spirit in the process.

4. You will have a very short career. Overnight successes do not create life-long fans.

5. You will spend most of your money while being consumed in the excitement and frenzy of your new-found celebrity...

6. Substance abuse and addiction is virtually imminent.

7. You won’t have the wisdom of past experiences to guide you through the confusing and often deceitful industry.

8. You won’t be able to repeat the same level of success ever again.

9. True success is all about the continuous journey of improvement and the satisfaction you get from enduring the tough times and accomplishing your dreams and visions through persistence and hard work

10. Your values and ideals will be compromised.

These are only the highlights for each item. To read the entire article head over to Music Think Tank. Brian has done a great job of laying it all out for the newcomers. Also make sure to read the comments. Our peers are very passionate about this subject.

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Becoming an overnight success in music isn’t for everyone.”

  1. Brian Thompson at

    Hey thanks for sharing this article of mine Dave, appreciate it.

    Just a heads up, since this article created so much discussion we decided to use it as the topic for this week’s episode of The Music Biz Weekly Podcast, Episode #61 which will be published on my site on June 1st.


    PS – Great site by the way! Glad I’ve stumbled upon it. It’s now in my Google Reader.

  2. Dave Lopez at

    My pleasure, Brian. I really found it to be right on the money.

    I know some of the people over at MTT disagreed, but I imagine that none of them have ever been a part or witnessed an unprepared artist get a so called “great” deal. My real advice for anyone working with the majors is READ YOUR CONTRACT. Have your attorney read your contract and explain every item to you. It isn’t glamorous – at all, but it will save money and frustration down the line.

    Cheers, Brian.

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