Show4me is happy to welcome Matthew Brendan "Matt" McAndrew, an American singer-songwriter best known for his appearance in Season 7 of NBC's reality TV singing show The Voice.
In his interview with our team, Matt shares with us and Show4me community his valuable thoughts on what it takes to become a successful artist today and get a great following. Matt talks about why it is key for artists today to treat music like a business and stresses the importance of developing entrepreneurial skills. Watch a video interview below.
I come from a very small town, and I didn’t know anyone in the business, all my family is in construction and so I was kind of the first person to venture in a different path, and the challenge initially was to find some sort of artistic community, and once you are there it becomes a lot easier.
The biggest problem is always the problem that you don’t know that exists, and so it’s kind of ignorance.
It's just those things that you don’t know what you don’t know.
And there are a lot of different ways to make money and money that’s been left on the table, so I guess I’ll just encourage everyone to try to get acquainted with all the aspects of music and the business side of it, as quickly as they can, and not just focus on the actual craft of being a musician.
You cannot know what you don't know, and this ignorance can be a costly mistake.
My journey has been interesting cause I was on the Voice like 4 years ago now, and so before that, I had like 300 Instagram followers or something, it wasn’t anything crazy, and then I went from that to like over 100K in a very short amount of time. Post-show its been about let’s see who wants to stick around for the rest of my journey.
But really all I can do is just try and put out content that I think people are going to be interested in, and that is professional, but you never know what people are going to like.
As far as booking shows is concerned it’s a little weird it kind of has to do with social media numbers, sometimes too, people want to see what your followers are like. But its also not always the best indicator. I know bands that have a pretty modest amount of followers but will go on a tour and sell out tours, and then there are other people who maybe got a lot of followers from YouTube or anything else or like reality singing show, and then they try to tour and no one shows up.
So it is an indicator, but its important to keep in mind that it is the matrix as well, like its not actually real, and for me the only thing that is real is when you step on the stage, there are bodies in the room and they are singing along, and that’s the only true test for me.
Trying to treat it like a business, which is hard because I think a lot of people who are artists, are not necessarily wired that way in general. Sometimes people are kind of more like spacey, creative and its hard to like want to focus and look at the numbers, I am a little bit more that way, I have friends that are lucky enough to be both very business minded and enjoy the creative side of it, and they always do well for that reason.
Someone like me does better, having someone keep me on task because if it was up to me I would kind of like to just focus on the creative side a bit more. Just making sure you are educating yourself, and again it’s the thing that you don’t know that is going to hurt you the most.
Personally, I’ve learned that it’s really not worth a damn to me if it’s not what I want to do, and if it doesn’t feel right.
Especially as an artist, its all about feelings, so if somebody says you can have a number 1 song in the world, but it's going to be something that you think is garbage. There are some people that are going to be like “I’ll take it”, I know for myself now that I would absolutely not. It has to feel right.
So, I think you need to trust your intuition, and that’s the main thing you have as an artist is taste and aesthetics.
If you want to be a success, you should be mindful of what are people are going to enjoy, what are people reacting to.
Don’t just be your own island, but that being said every once in a while if you need to like “look maybe this is kind of a deep cut, it’s not a single, but I kind of like it”, you need to put that out, because you need to keep yourself happy, it’s very important, and that’s the lesson that I’ve learned in the past year or so, to really kind of water that side of my garden.