Rock-Starter Spotlight : Dannie Marie and her Mom/manager. Part 1

Country recording artist Dannie Marie and her mom/manager give their advice and seek guidance on Dannie’s career.

Dannie Marie CD cover Anything I Wanna Be



Sean Fuller of Florida Georgia Line, Russ Whitman of the Craig Morgan Band on the magic of relationships .

Sean Fuller, drummer for Florida Georgia Line


Russ Whitman, drummer for The Craig Morgan Band

Russ began playing drums in his grandfather’s church. After enrolling in his school music program in the 5th grade, he began learning the basics of reading and arranging music. His school years would prove very rewarding with numerous awards on the state and national level. Russ then turned his attention to the rudimental side of things and immersed himself in the drum corps world. After marching with Carolina Crown, Tarheel Sun, and Carolina Gold (DCA), he turned his attention back to the kit. Since then he has performed with and opened for several national acts. Russ currently plays for Craig Morgan.


13 things every DIY musician should know how to do (by CD BABY)

It’s a good kick-in-the-pants for anyone clinging to the very 20th-Century fiction (because it wasn’t true then either) that musicians can get by on talent alone.

Work ethic and attitude have always been important for success in the music industry (particularly for independent artists). They just might look a little different today than they did 15 years ago.

Check out Pigeons and Planes’ full article HERE, or check out my quick summary below.

What you should know how to do if you want to be a successful musician today:

1. Manage your expectations —

Amir Abbassy says, “Set a goal. You want to be Kanye? Realize Kanye played the cut for over a decade before he became Mr. West. Then it took another decade to become Yeezus. Things take time. Get. That. Chip. Off. Your Shoulder. Anything that comes too easy, isn’t real. And anything you put time and effort into, will come back to you.”

2. Create memorable music videos —

Videos are IMPORTANT these days, not just to fans, but also to talent buyers who want to hear and SEE what your shows are like before they book you at their venue. Thankfully, videos don’t require a bunch of $$ to shoot anymore. You have a camera on your phone, and editing software is pretty affordable.

3. Submit your music to your favorite blogs and websites —

Don’t wait for a publicist to take you to the promised land. Be your own publicist.

 4. Stop trying to get a record deal —

The P&P article says: “Instead of rushing into a deal, develop yourself first. If it takes a couple of years, so be it—by the time you do sign with a major, you’ll be ready. And you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate for creative control, ownership, and whatever else you want from a partnership.”

5. Develop a sense of fashion —

This one always hurts, since I’m the type of person who’d rather just find a uniform, buy 7 of them, and wear the same thing every day. But alas…

P&P says, “We all had that golden moment freshmen year when we looked in a mirror and thought, “Oh God, I look awful.” As an artist, it’s best you have that moment sooner rather than later. Developing a unique style can help set the tone for your music by making for compelling press photos and visually pleasing live performances.”

6. Carefully consider your album artwork, posters, etc. —

Check out what’s out there today, what’s hitting, what’s hip. If your artwork looks shoddy, no one will want to listen to your music or check out your show.

This seems like it should be a no-brainer, but we see new albums every week with art that screams “amateur” or worse. We also see brilliant album art that catches us and makes us want to listen right away. Hopefully you’re in the second group. After putting so much time into the music, don’t skimp on the design.

7. Communicate via social media —

Facebook. Twitter. G+. Snapchat. Instagram. Meerkat. YouTube. Vine. Etc. Etc. Etc.

You do NOT need to be active on all of them. But find where your fans are and communicate with them effectively on at least one or two of those platforms.

8. Put together a marketing plan —

P&P says, “It should come as a surprise to none of you that if you want to make some money with your music, you need a business model. What are you selling? Who’s your target audience? Who’s your competition?”

Putting together a plan that considers these factors will make you better able to maneuver in your music marketplace, and to make career adjustments based on actual data.

9. Create interesting content —


Tim interviews Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby.

(The BEST company for indie musicians EVER)

Derek Sivers of CD Baby

Official Bragging Bio

Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.

CD Baby is an online CD store for independent musicians.  Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.

It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.

He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks.

Since 2011 he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want” which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories.


The interview

Tim Charron:

The top advice you would

give Indie artists that have built a foundation/fanbase/career to attain more

“mainstream” success?

Derek Sivers:

 I prefer to ignore the music industry. Maybe that’s why you

don’t see me on the cover of Rolling Stone.

One of my only regrets about my

own band was that we toured and got great reviews, toured and got lots of

airplay, toured and booked some great-paying gigs. BUT… nobody was working the

inside of the music business.

Nobody was connecting with the “gatekeepers” to

bring us to the next level. We just kept doing the same gigs.

Maybe you’re

happy on the outside of the biz. (I know I am.)

But if you want to tour with

major-label artists, be on the cover of national magazines, be in good rotation

on the biggest radio stations in town, or get onto MTV, you’re going to have to

have someone working the inside of the biz.

Someone who loves it. Someone who

is loved by it. Someone persuasive who gets things done 10 times faster than you

ever could. Someone who’s excited enough about it, that they would never be


Like your love of making music. You wouldn’t just “stop” making

music because you didn’t get a record deal would you? Then you need to find

someone who’s equally passionate about the business side of music, and

particularly the business side of YOUR music.

It IS possible. There are lots

of people in this world. 


Tim Charron

Your opinion on living in a big city vs a small


Derek Sivers:

Move to the big city.  Whether that’s New

York, London, Hollywood, Bollywood, San Francisco or Shanghai, go where all of

your heroes are.  Not the third-biggest city.  The biggest city.  The center of

everything.  There are so many amazing opportunities that happen when you live

where everything is happening.  The people that are drawn there are the most

ambitious in the world.  Your role models will live down the road from you, and

are usually more accessible than you realize.  Things happen when you’re a local

that don’t happen when you just visit.

So move to the big city, then go meet

everyone, and jump on every opportunity, no matter how small.  You’d be

surprised how many small random connections turn into huge opportunities, so say

yes to everything.  Keep in touch with people, face-to-face, because most

opportunities happen when you’re at the forefront of someone’s mind.  Be

generous, and always focus on how you can help others.  Trust that you’ll help

yourself by this method.

Live cheap, share an apartment with many others,

don’t buy drinks at the bar, and invest every dollar back into your career or

savings, not blowing it on perishables.

Doing all this is exhausting,

especially for an introvert, but do it anyway.  Turn on your turbo boost for

even a couple hours a day, and the benefits make it all worth it.  Later, when

you’ve made it, you can move to a mountaintop or farm, but until then go where

your heroes are, and make their world your



Tim Charron:

The Top 3 life changing books you have read …

Derek Sivers:


Tim Charron:

The Top 3 places you

love to travel to in the world

Derek Sivers:




again. I love it that much.  🙂

Derek Sivers of CD Baby

Derek Sivers of CD Baby