I get emails like this all the time, so there is obviously a disconnect between a lot of musicians and knowledge about how the industry works. This guy is from Liberia, but I get similar requests from US-based musicians, so it's not a cultural thing.
Does this sound like you?
HI DAVID,you are my old friend if you can remember,but you always let me down fanacially always when i ask you for some funds to help my self,you always ignore me. you should have got my album by now,but your hands are too thight. give and see what GOD will give you. i am struggling and finacially zero. so please try to send me some funds. my new album is great but no sponser,no money to help it come out.
its a great house music. some companies in the USA are asking me to send it to them. why not help me for God sake. i will inreturn send you some of my works. nothing moves untill we move. the law of physics.please respond
What can I say? Probably nothing to this guy, although I did respond and advise him to send his music to the companies which are interested in it. But to everybody else, I have a lot to say, specifically...
1. This isn't just about you. - If you're trying to get money from somebody, you need to sell them on the benefits of giving you that money. What's in it for them?
Usually, when people give you money, they do it because they want to make more money. There is more to this than just good music.
2. When you help yourself, others will help you. - In theory, you believe in your music more than anybody else. Nobody cares about your career as much as you do, right?
If you don't believe in your music enough to invest money in it, how can you expect other people to invest in it? Even if you're broke, at least make the attempt. Stop waiting around for other people.
This guy mentioned physics in his email and that is actually a really great analogy...
Inertia is the resistance an object has to a change in its state of motion.
It's a lot easier to get something going when it's already moving. In other words, when you start selling records, playing shows, and doing all the things you say you want to do, it will be a lot easier for somebody to come in and help you with those things, since they won't have to start from scratch.
I've always said that it's easier to take a band from 10,000 records to 100,000 records than it is to take them from zero to 10,000.
But zero to 10,000 isn't that hard. You just have to start. All it takes is one record, then two...then you start to see the momentum you're building. And sales will get easier and easier for you as you build on things.
Thoughts? Leave me a comment...