Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Development Dilemma

So it's hard updating this thing when life travels at the speed of light, but a couple of things have happened since I last posted (barring the last post of course).

So my good friend, FLR, recently completed her first year of law school and is now back home in NYC interning in the legal department for a couple of labels. She has a friend who works at the label that I auditioned with back in February. Now, if you have been keeping up with me, then you know this is somewhat of an on-going saga, mostly for me though because I am the one trying to break into the industry.

Well it just so happened that because of her connect at said label, she met and talked to the 'label exec' about me. He didn't really tell her more than he said to me, only different terms:

Her-say: He thought you could sing, but you're not developed yet and nobody has the time or money to develop an artist these days.

He-told-me: You can sing, but I want you to work with 'the producer.'

Translation in industry-speak: You need to come to the table with more than a good voice; you need someone to vouch for you as an artist.

After hearing what my girl had to say, I was slightly distraught because I didn't understand what 'developed' actually meant. It's cool not to like my material - but I guess he's looking to see what my sound is? Or does development actually mean, that you have to be vetted by someone who has previous proven success in order to get put on in this game?

I went through a whole list of reasons that teetered on self-pity, but I snapped back. It's really unlike me to be so gloomy - but then again, it was that time of the month.

But in terms of Development - I feel stuck! I still haven't been able to nail down a schedule to work with 'the produer' and I can't help but feel as though I am doing something wrong. If I have access to him at my fingertips, what's my problem?

Is it money? Is it a lack of swagger? Or am I too nice, because I feel on a sub-conscious level, that he's doing me a favor? If the latter is true, then what are the deeper implications?

Recently, I auditioned for the Leimert Park Idol competition. One of the judges at the audition had such outstanding praise for my performance saying that I "performed from start to finish, like a true artist. [I'll ] go far in this industry." I took those words to heart - after all, this particular judge has written a platinum hit for Prince among many other notable accomplishments - she knows about this industry.

Still and yet, I can't help but wonder what the discrepancy is...I know I have all the promise and potential. Not unlike many others, I am standing at the gate waiting for my point of entry - but the difference is, I'm holding the key - I just don't know how to use it.

Going forward, it's possible that I need to change my perspective on some things. As I completed the first two days of competition on Sunday, I am proud to say that I am one of the top contestants in scoring thus far - but I knew I'd thrive and excel in a competitive environment, that's my nature. But what I've also come to realize that I can always afford to make adjustments and push myself to move out of what is second nature to me to obtain just a little more than I might have once reached for.

I gotta get "developed" in the way that it is meaningful.

*searching for my swagger*


Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha...i like the "searching for my swagger"...ima use that...no seriously.

girl...i don't really know what to tell you because this is not my area...ill just keep you in my prayers and advise you to keep hustling and sanging for any and everyone who is willing to listen...someone will bite.


9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Developed - The industry insiders say that "you've got talent" and "you'll go far", they mean you have a great start on your career - but that you are at the starting line. They want you to use your resources and keep recording until you've reached a certain maturity in your artistry and experience level that will have you prepared with an "Almost Distribution Ready" demo in which the label can choose the most prominant tracks to master and distribute for sale. No one wants to put the time and money into your developement, they'll leave that to you and check back to see how you are coming along. If you are progressing, they'll keep watching your development. If no progress, they'll stop being interested in you. People can't suddenly decide that they will take the great talent they have and go be a star. Timing, timing, timing. To win at this you must take your talent and combine it with education and expierence (development) and then watch for the opportunity. Taking advantage of an opportunity before you are ready (developed) will only waste the opportunity. They're just saying "you look good" - "we'll be watching your development". Keep hustling - they like to see that and appreciate the years you will put into developing yourself as an artist. You are doing nothing wrong, must just keep doing it (compititions, performances, recording) and everything else that you can find out about to do to help your cause. Lendell (mother and manager of GOLDFINGAZ)

12:58 PM  
Blogger Elle B. said...

Lendell, Thank you that was such great advice and encouragement. As you know, it's hard to navigate everything from a young perspective (being that I committed to this only a year ago) - but I am learning and cutting my teeth and making progress. I am just worried that I'll squander an opportunity that is presented to me for lack of foresight or otherwise - and I agree timing is everything, but sometimes you've got to make sure you evaluate where you are and where you've been. It can only go up from here.

Thanks again.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are welcome! Just keep in mind during your climb up the mountain that you were dropped off by Helicopter about 1/2 way up, so you only have the steep part to go and you'll be on top. Think of those that didn't even qualify for the Idol contest or are still underground trying to get the attention of a record label exec. to watch their progress without even a clue as to what to do. Scary huh? Lendell (mother and manager of GOLDFINGAZ) PS: I'm hearing that there is good feedback (from his record label exec. contact) on the track you and FINGAZ are working on. It seems all who hear like your voice as well. This is such a hard struggle that it's hard to know your own strength!

3:37 PM  

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