I can imagine purists rolling their eyes when they read the title of this post but what the heck: for me, image is important. Of course music should be the number one priority of musicians but they should also learn how to market their music effectively.
There are so many bands I know who play wonderful music but do not know how to promote their selves. They do not try to come up with trademark looks because they’re just too shy, they don’t want to be “pretentious”, or they want to stay true to their “personality.” Some simply do not know its importance.
Your image can clue your new fans into what your music’s all about and make your band more recognizable. And if you work on maintaining a certain image, not only will you be recognizable but you will also be memorable (which, for me, is the most important thing!)
Look at MC Hammer and his pants, Elvis and his suits, Lady Gaga and her meat costume. All of these artists are recognized not only for their music but also for their quirky style. How you dress up onstage and offstage means a lot in creating your brand/image. Whether you want to be recognized as a “laidback” musician, a “crazy” musician, a “seductive” musician, you have to dress the part! You cannot just wear anything you like onstage. Your body is one of the most important instruments in promoting your image so use it wisely.
First of all, you don’t have to become the next Kanye West or Lady Gaga! You do not have to lose your mind or your personality when creating a fashion statement…Au contraire, you have to embrace your personality and find out what best represents you and your music. Create a style that represents your music and yourself, as an individual. Never lose your personal style for the sake of selling music. You don’t want to become famous for something you are not because it would be exhausting in the long run.
The case of Jason Mraz and his Fedora Hat. As I’ve said, you do not have to exaggerate and make big fashion statements ala Lady Gaga if that’s not your style. Even a simple accessory becomes a statement if worn constantly. A good example is Jason Mraz and his fedora hat. He mostly makes feel-good, laidback music and he is a beach-loving vegan who loves the laidback lifestyle. The fedora hat is an extension of his music and personality. What I love most about it is that it seems sooo…effortless. Effortless in the sense that he looks really comfortable wearing it. And not only does he look comfortable in it , he seems to really enjoy wearing it. Now, everytime I see a fedora hat, “The Remedy” plays in my head.
The case of the Spice Girls. We all know how important fashion is in creating their image. Sporty Spice, Ginger Spice, Baby Spice, Posh Spice, Scary Spice have very loud fashion statements that are very distinct from each other and labeling them with these names made it more effective. I really do not know how their labels were assigned but I guess the managers and stylists based it on their personality and body type. I cannot imagine Mel C to dress like Victoria Beckham. My point is, their personalities were not compromised just to create an image, they were simple enhanced. How did I arrive at this conclusion? Just look at Victoria right now. She’s still the same Posh Spice!
So my challenge to you is be a musician with a distinct style- not only in what you play, but also in what you wear,what you say, how you think. The best way to become recognized, the best way to become indispensable, and the best way to be remembered is by being unique.
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