Recently, I talked about appealing to your audience and really connecting with them. They change as they grow and you do too. Some artist follow and some lead their listeners. They only have so much time to give you, so you better make it count or they’ll listen to someone else.
It’s a delicate dance because you don’t want to push them away but you don’t want to be thought of as pandering. My advice has always been, “be yourself”. That is; know who you are and find where you can connect with your audience. There are universal themes that transcend ideology and politics so I’ve always advised artists to explore in those areas.
If you’ve decided to be in a niche market, you better be all in. There are a lot of niche markets where the niche is so narrow, there are only a few bands doing that music. It’s a small slice, but they get all of it.
If you go to white power rallies and want to get on stage you better be the most racist person there. If there is a gay genre of music, and I think there is, you better be super gay.
I’m not equating these niches. I’m saying that a niche audience wants to be validated by someone who they can connect to. You better be real or they’ll reject you.
That reminds me; does anyone remember when Ellen Degeneres had a TV show? Not the daily talk show. It was a situation comedy at night. As in life, the character she played was gay. The writers made the mistake of focusing on that one thing. It just got old and the show fizzled out.
Ellen found success when she showed that she was a complete person who can connect with a wide audience. She could have gone the other way and filled a niche, but I think she made the better choice.
If you’re quirky, that’s OK. Be yourself. But be the quirky person people can still relate to. Then you can blow em’ away with your talent.
Between a niche and relatable, I choose relatable. But you have to choose for yourself.