Playing The Game.


Every game has rules. One of the newer games in town is self-promotion. In these days of social media, not an hour goes by without being asked to ‘like this’ or ‘support that’, ‘buy this’ or ‘share that’, ‘sponsor me for this’ or ‘attend that and the other’.


It’s not surprising really as these days we are all creators or promoters of one thing or another. This is especially true of writers and musicians, on our own in this brave new world of do-it-yourself commerce.  What does surprise me, however, are the substantial number of people who ask for support but rarely reciprocate. Why is that?


My own conclusion is that people really don’t think things through anymore. In this immediate society we have built ourselves, we are so busy just trying to keep up that we have no time to think of the ramifications of our words and deeds. Or lack of them. We are all firing from the hip without thought of consequence.


Consider what you are missing out on if you indulge in this myopic attitude. Most artists have additional admirers and acquaintances as well as friends. And a good number of these friends, acquaintances and admirers are fellow artists. A few are even major industry figures working intimately in the production process for projects that use music extensively, so who knows what may come of a chance encounter by one of them to your work? I know so many established artists whose own story is a collection of chance meetings, referrals, work overheard through open doors, connections garnered through friends of friends of friends. In the days prior to social networking, these connections were concrete and had to be established in person: hanging around in the right pub clutching a cassette tape hoping to ‘bump into’ a producer or director. Today, utilizing the web and sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, You Tube, Spotify, etc. etc. the potential has grown exponentially to a size unimaginable just a few years ago.


But it has to be a two way street, and if you don’t join in all of the game and play by the rules, then you stand to miss out on this huge opportunity.


You have nothing to fear. Promoting others’ work does not diminish your own. It enhances it. There is a massive appetite for new work. It can be argued that because music in particular is consumed in the way it is these days – i.e. quickly – there is an even bigger, more voracious appetite for new content than ever before.


So play the game. Promote as well as self promote. You know it makes sense. By the way, my new album is called AmaZulu – Heart Of Africa and is out now on iTunes, Amazon et al!


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