Stop telling artists to do more

PLUS: An artist who went all in, Tiktok's new music moves & what you missed

Welcome, artists & builders.

Each week, we navigate music’s future together. Today, I get into the power of going all in. For artists, but really it applies to all of us.

Inside Issue #14

💡 Context: Stop telling artists to do more
🦁 In the Wild: What it looks like to go all in
✍️ Good Advice: Do artists need to learn the biz?
🗞️ What You Missed: TikTok, Soundcloud, Sound & more

Stop Doing More

Whenever creators ask for advice, the answer is “do more”.

This is bad advice.

You should do less. Just do it better.

Attention is Fragmented

And competition for it is fierce.

If you want to break through & last, you must be undeniable. But you can’t be undeniable to everyone, everywhere. You don’t need to be.

Find your lanes & forget the rest.

Focus is determined by what you ignore.

You Only Have So Many Resources

And an infinite amount of things to do.

It's not about the race to do it all.
It’s about finding what matters.

Then going all in.

Become Undeniable

Find what you're good at.
Find what you love.
Find what works.

Do this for each layer of your world:

Creation → Discovery → Retention → Delivery

Don’t be forced into creating somewhere that’s unnatural. Find what you can keep doing day in, day out.

This is a long game - consistency, quality & authenticity win.

Burn out - you lose.
Put out weak work - you lose.
Spread yourself too thin - you lose.

Hone your crafts & become a master in your lanes.

Double Down

Some things I hear often:

Your newsletter’s doing great? Turn it into a podcast.
Twitter is taking off? Try TikTok.

No. Pour all your gasoline on the first sign of a fire. Improve it. Perfect it. Get more resources & systems around it. Then add & expand.

Don’t run around chasing what appears easy, all the while taking your eyes off what is truly important in growing your business.

Find where you win.

Double down.
Master it.

Go all in.


Now, let’s take a look at what really going all in looks like.


How Focus Can Work

Violetta Zironi went all in on music NFTs & Twitter Spaces.

After frustrations with the traditional industry, she found a new product & discovery lane where she was undeniable.

  1. Delivery: After early success on small drops, she went big with Moonshot - 5-song NFT collection with 2,500 unique artworks, lifetime tickets & vinyl. $200+ each.

  2. Discovery: She found popular art NFT spaces that let her busk & tell her story.

  3. Doubling Down: She quickly began hosting her own daily spaces, including 14hr marathons during release week. She spent over 3,000 hours in spaces in the 1st year.

The Results: 

💰️ $800k+ in NFT sales
🐦️ 66k Twitter followers
🧑‍🤝‍🧑 1,500 community members.

No team & only 22k Spotify monthly listeners. Maybe the biggest web3 music success story.

Even More All In: Violetta no longer releases to streaming platforms. It’s not for 99% of artists, but it’s perfect for her brand. She’s writing her own story - and it’s not for everyone.

🧠 When you see signs of traction, seize that moment by ignoring everything else.

📚️ My 3 Favorite Reads This Week

  1. Rolling Stone’s ‘Future of Music’ issue takes a deep dive into the weird rise of AI music (I’m quoted in this one 🎩 )

  2. The music industry has hit a tipping point, with streaming buckling under its own weight (by the always excellent Mark Mulligan)

  3. The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok: Or how platforms die. The timeline most social platforms take from usefulness to garbage.


Should Artists Know the Biz?

Who: Adam Callan is an artist manager at his company Juicebox, and co-founded EarthPercent with Brian Eno.

The Question: Do artists need to understand music’s business side?

Yeh, you do! It’s not just numbers & rights. It’s not something abstract. It’s the exchange of value between you & your fans.

In music’s past, labels & managers pushed artists to let the business people handle the business. In music’s future, artists have the transparency & tools to be as involved as they choose.

If someone tells you it’s too complicated to understand, that’s a red flag.

Starts with the basics:

What rights you create (recording & publishing)
• How those rights are managed
• How people around you are paid

It’s overwhelming to do it ALL solo. When it gets to that, have people you trust go over how any deals work, and make it clear when & how they get paid, too.

Adam Callan (Twitter)

🔥 What You Missed

🧰 Oh, That’s Helpful

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That’s all this week. See you on Twitter or LinkedIn.

- Rob