by Cari Cole

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Day in day out I work with a constant stream of independent artists trying to make it in the business (and a few celebrities here and there.) And inevitably at some juncture I hear the same contagious fears that spread through artist’s minds that only hold them hostage and keep them scared, depressed and down… way down. And, there is really good news.

The new music business that grew out of the rubble is here. 

And along with more independence and more artistic freedom, we also got freedom from the qualifiers that most major labels use to identify artists worthy of their investment.

The big boys don’t want to invest their money without a sure shot. And a sure shot to them outside of a talent they can control – is “youth” and “looks.” They want something that has a long life cycle and that is “eye candy.” Why not? If you’re going to invest in talent, why not have it all (says the commerce over art mindset…)


Except, the biggest stars today defy both. Art does triumph over commerce (and fear based robotic copycat mentality.)

Adele (among many other stars, like Alabama Shakes front woman Brittany Howard, as well as artists like Meghan Trainor who just won Best New Artist at the Grammy’s) are overweight by industry standards. And they are laughing all the way to the bank. This is proof that weight doesn’t make a star.  

Artists and musicians listen up:

“The days of “you’ve got to be skinny to be successful” are over.”

What more proof do you need? Matter of fact it’s an out-and-out “untruth.” Celebrate your freedom!! And more importantly, STOP believing the lies. Stop letting this message infiltrate and inform your artistry, because It’s only AN EXCUSE at this point.

Yeah, I’ve heard heads of major labels say you are too old at 26. Doesn’t mean they’re right. While they have a right to be obsessed with investing in young stars, it doesn’t mean their strategies are the ones you need to follow. I can assure you, there is much more available to you if you dare.


Since when does the record buying public care about age?

Not. Lucinda Williams was 48 when Car Wheel’s Hit (and that was 18 years ago.) It’s even improved since then. Andy Summers was 38 when the Police made it. Many artists have found success in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Music is not age specific. Nor is the music buying public. All ages want great music. The truth is – the audience doesn’t care about age – they care about music.

I have a friend who just got signed to Universal last year who is 58 (his first signing.) He’s going on tour in Europe next month. He’s an amazing songwriter and artist who thank god, never gave up. Proof right there. One of my beloved students is 45 and negotiating a deal with Sony. They outright told him that they didn’t care about his age (that’s the first I have heard – maybe the even the big labels are changing their attitude?) They say that his image and music is killer and that’s “all that matters.”


Best news of all?


Regardless of weight or age. Yay. Now go conquer the world already.


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