Okay, this may be a slightly complicated post to read.  It’s not one that will be hard to follow, but it will probably get a bit wordy in parts.

Since I’ve gotten to California… I’ve never wanted to be one of those people who simply followed his own ideals on how to do things without taking into consideration other people’s suggestions.  When I was in Atlanta trying to get my music noticed, I had no one to help me or tell me what things to do or not do.  I researched enough on my own to figure out what moves I may need to make, and it did help me to get a little bit farther in terms of getting noticed.

At the same time, though, there were things I didn’t know about or missed that would have been beneficial for me to know and/or do in order to have had an even GREATER launch success. Marketing myself, the whole “getting my stuff to iTunes” thing, talking to certain people… these are the things I didn’t know that I wish I would have known back then.

Upon moving to Cali, I had people come into my life who know about some of the things I didn’t know how to do.  Not wanting to be the type of person I previously mentioned, I listened to their suggestions, not just on the things I didn’t know, but also on the things I thought I already knew.  Things such as: what type of songs I should be creating; what my image as an artist should be; whether or not to release albums or certain videos for certain songs…

Now, on the one hand, it’s wise to consider the advice others give you because… well, you don’t know everything.  The person giving you advice may have had more experience in the music game than you have, and is speaking from a perspective of someone who’s seen people succeed as well as crash-and-burn.

On the other hand, though, there are many, many types of people in the music industry, and there are many, many avenues to how each of those people became successful.  Some people followed a path that’s been used by other artists before them, while others may have not followed a single “rule” their fellow peers did, yet still managed to make it.

I bring this up because there are characteristics of my personality that I often feel may be, at times, a hinderance to my success, yet at the same time are things that people before me have had that hasn’t ruined them being successful.  For example: I hate talking to new people; I don’t really care to dress all that fashionably just to impress others; the types of songs I can write have a wide range, meaning it’s hard to pigeon-hole me in a specific genre (I can write raps, songs, dance grooves, rock songs, etc.); I don’t really like working with other people, whether it be for songs or videos (I like to control my creative environment); and, once I’ve written a song, I’m very hard-pressed to make edits, and often get annoyed if people suggest changes to me without me asking them.

Again, some of these things may seem like a hinderance.  But then, you have artists such as Prince who will, against the advice of others, release a 3-disc album because he feels like it.  Or take Eminem, who never seems all that comfortable when he’s being interviewed (in fact, most of the articles leading up to the release of “Recovery” consisted of interviews by people in Em’s recording circle, as opposed to the artist himself).  Yet, both of these guys have very, very successful careers.

So the question is: at what point is it okay to listen to other people’s suggestions, and at what point is it okay to ignore what others are advising and following your gut instinct?  It’s a question that is constantly in my head: I don’t want to be the a-hole that never takes into account what other people have to say, yet I don’t want to question what my judgments are about any moves I’m making as a result of relying solely on the opinion of others.

That’s really all I have to type.  I don’t have an answer to this question, but I figured it was one that every artist faces at some point.