Tell me what you think about my music

If you are going to ask, be prepared for an answer you may not like. With that said, remember that you are asking for an opinion, and you know what they say about those. Why get all pissed if a critic bashes your album? Why get upset when an A+R rep tells you he doesn’t hear a hit? It is one person’s opinion about something that can be interpreted or appreciated in thousands of ways depending on mood, setting, time of day and myriad other factors. Just because I think your drummer is sloppy today doesn’t mean I will feel the same if I am looking for a looser, Mitch Mitchell vibe tomorrow.


I am an artist too and I have been guilty of exhibiting this behavior. I got pissed the first 10 times people told me “they like it, but its not good enough.” I almost broke my hand on a wall once because of it. Ultimately, I understand that music is a very personal thing. But you need to understand that it is the “music business” and in business people sell the products they think will make them the most money. Do you think Zeppelin would make it with today’s marketable standards? Not a chance in hell.


Music is the only “product” that can’t be described the same way by two people. It is an emotional outpour that has multiple meanings and intentions. Accept it and be prepared. Or don’t ask.


Ultimately the only opinion you should be asking for is your fans. Not your mom or girlfriend (unless they are fans, but they are still not top choice in the feedback ladder), but strangers that show up to your shows and buy your merch. Ask them what they like about it or how they heard about you. Ask them to give you feedback on what their other friends thought about your music. That is the type of research you need, not what critics say, or what label douchebags like me say.


Enjoy. Share.


Ivan Pena


[image-1] About Ivan


Ivan Pena has an Advertising degree from UF, 8+ years in corporate and consumer marketing, 10+ years in graphic design and promotions. Ivan is also the leader of the group Soulfound and runs his own independent record label, Mohawk Bomb. In 2008, Ivan was named one of the Top 30 Under 30 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Check Ivan out on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ivanpena

Artists are always looking for “what people think” about their music. This really translates to “tell me something positive so I don’t freak out”. If this is the intended purpose, why ask in the first place? I had a band send in a demo and ask me to tell them what I thought of it. After listening to it 2 or 3 times, I crafted a long email pointing out what I thought were the strengths and points to work on, plus asked for some clarification on certain things, as I was interested but not sold. I never heard back from them.

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