Best Music Business Quotes

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Over the course of seven years, we’ve had the opportunity to do hundreds of interviews with leaders and visionaries in the music industry. Below are some of our favorite quotes!


Derek Sivers, Founder of CD Baby, on finding success as a musician:


“The successful indie artists are almost always looking at everything from the other person’s point of view.  When contacting the media, they’re thinking of it from the point of view of the writer.  They talk in terms of helping that person make a great story that readers will respond to.”



Eric Garland, Big Champagne / Live Nation, on stardom in the modern music business:


“’Will there ever be another Michael Jackson?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And the person said, ‘What do you mean? You didn’t even take a pause!’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m not saying there will never be another quadruple threat talent or that there won’t ever be someone who captivates the bizarre imaginings of the world the way he did. I’m just saying that we will never again live in a world where so few media channels allowed one artist to dominate the attention of the world n the way that Michael did.’”


Danny Barnes, Musician, on making original music:


“It’s possible to mimic things closely. We can find someone down at the bus stop, get them a makeover, auto-tune them and make them look and sound a lot like a guy on TV. I think that’s distracting. The response that creative people should have [to other people’s music] is to make something. Imitating somebody is not making something. I’m not saying you shouldn’t gather inspiration from people. But our response to being inspired should be to create something ourselves.”



Gabe Roth, Founder of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Engineer for Amy Winehouse, on creating a business plan:


“There are a lot of people that end up giving up on music because they feel like they fell on their faces, but I think a lot of times their energies are misdirected. Instead of looking inward and local and trying to create something small that they can build from and concentrating on their music and their craft and relating to people on a direct level, they’re shooting for stars. It’s like playing the lottery. It’s fun, and if you win it’s amazing, but it’s not a business plan. You don’t say, ‘Okay, we want to start a business and want $500,000. The first thing we’re going to do is buy $4,000 worth of scratcher tickets.’”

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