by Dave Carew
If you’re an aspiring musician or music manager, there are plenty of books, videos, etc. you can watch on “How to Make it in the Music Biz.” But—explains Vinny Ribas, CEO of Indie Connect—those resources only go so far. In the following exclusive interview, Mr. Ribas explains the extra value offered by one-on-one coaching, and reveals why musicians and their managers can especially benefit from it.
UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: Why did Indie Connect decide to offer one-on-one coaching, specifically?
VINNY RIBAS: In the past seven years we’ve amassed a huge library of over 400 video and audio workshops, articles, and tools. But a library that size can be overwhelming for a lot of people, especially when you don’t know exactly what you need next. Also, what an artist needs can’t always be learned from a video because it’s more personal and individualized than that. For example, a video can tell someone repeatedly they need to brand their website and their act. But if they don’t know what that means, what their brand is or what it should be, it’s a useless piece of information. So this program is designed such that I can listen to someone’s story, assess their needs, point them in the right direction, give them advice and some action steps to take and then point them to the video or article, if needed, that goes into the detail they need.
Also, I have been fortunate to build a lot of great music industry relationships at all levels. Through this program I can make connections and open doors for people when they are absolutely ready, and have complete confidence that they will not embarrass themselves or me.
UN: Over the years, what type of artist/musician/manager has particularly benefited from your one-on-one coaching, and why?
VR: I have helped everyone from former #1 artists and songwriters all the way to the parents of young musicians. But the ones that benefit the most are those that have some experience in the industry, have a lot of positive things in place, but have gone as far as they can with what they know and who they know. So for instance, I helped one unique and extremely talented artist move from performing mostly benefit concerts to getting paid well over $2,000 per show (after the band was paid) in a matter of four months. I did it by helping him develop and tighten his show and then introduced him to the right booking agency. Then we had him participate in a couple of prominent showcases for larger theaters.
Of course, not everyone is going to move that fast. But the bottom line is that he only needed a few tweaks to go from where he was to where he wanted to be. He just didn’t know that he needed to make those changes and he didn’t know the right agency.
UN: Musicians often encounter the following Catch 22: You can’t get a gig if you have no following, and you can’t get a following if you have no gigs. How does your coaching help musicians (or their managers) break through that impasse?
VR: That’s a great question. Musicians need to realize that there are two kinds of gigs. “Hard ticket” gigs are the ones you described—where you have to have a large fan base and draw a crowd. But there are also “soft ticket” gigs. Those are venues that have people coming to them already and just need a great entertainer. These include hotel lounges, fairs and festivals, clubs in tourist areas, theme parks, cruise ships, working as an opening act, clubs with little or no competition in their areas, conventions, private parties, and the list goes on. Wise musicians start off playing in the soft ticket venues and build their fan bases there. Once it’s large enough they can move into the hard ticket venues where the pay is often higher.
UN: How can someone receive more information about your one-on-one coaching services?
For more information about the wide range of products and services available from Indie Connect, please visit:
David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the acclaimed novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer. ************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:
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Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.” Dave Carew