14 Jan Pt. 2: Mel Washington
After our first interview, Mr. Washington was so kind as to answer a few follow up questions, more specifically geared towards the “business” side of things, and different aspects of social media.
You talked about “building a brand”. What kind of questions do you have to ask and answer in that process?
I’m of the persuasion that I am not a product, I am a feeling. So, in building a brand, I want to make sure that every thing I put out conveys that same feeling.
You mentioned with “Daddy Can’t Fix” that people were mostly positive even with the wrong audio file uploaded. I did notice a couple of comments questioning the “mix choices”, but overall mostly positive. How much do you pay attention to general criticism of your work and how do you deal with it?
It really depends on who it comes from. Folks telling me how horrible my art is on YouTube is like me walking into a bakery and telling the head baker that his bread wasn’t made the right way. Even though, I might not like that chef’s bread, it is out of place and ultimately a slap in the face for me to make that comment to him. There are people in the industry, who I respect for the work they’ve done, and I therefore, respect their opinions. But, when someone who hasn’t even produced ONE album wants to criticize my production points, I kind of immediately write them off as amateur.
Through partnering with Regenerate, you obviously made some adjustments as far as your image, but how much of a role does marketing play in how you write and produce your music?
I only have two things in mind when I’m writing and recording: Is it GREAT? Is is HONEST?
And finally, given the change in the music market and the fact that less and less people are buying albums, what alternative ways have you discovered for making money in music? And if you had to make a prediction, where do you think most of the money will be made in music in the future?
Well, yeah, I mean, it’s no secret that few people are buying albums anymore, not even the folks that are complaining about people that don’t buy albums. However, there are still SOME. At Regenerate, we call them “superfans”. These are the folks that are so engaged in what you are doing as an artist, that they will literally buy ANYTHING you put out. Finding ways to engage more potential fans through social media is key! There definitely isn’t much money in touring these days, unless you are a successful act, OR if you have the uncanny ability to turn first time listeners into physical CD and tshirt buyers and most artists end up giving up on music all together, because touring is EXTREMELY expensive. Fortunately, there’s still good money in the industry in publishing and licensing. As far as the future, only time will tell, but I believe that social media is going to be the #1 maker of money for the music industry in the next 10 years.