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Q: I am a 27-year-old gospel singer who would desperately like to become a gospel recording artist. Given the competitiveness of the music industry, I don’t know where to begin. There are people around me who are in the industry, but they refuse to help me. Please give me some insight.
-R. Huger, Baltimore
A: If the people around you won’t help you, maybe you’re not spending your time with the right people. You need to broaden your circle of associates. Join the Gospel Music Association (www.gospelmusic.org), an umbrella trade organization that, according to its Website, “provides an atmosphere in which artists, industry leaders, retail stores, radio stations, concert promoters, and local churches can coordinate their efforts for the purpose of benefiting the industry as a whole.”
The Gospel Music Association boasts more than 4,200 members, including record company professionals, aspiring and established artists/writers/ musicians, concert promoters, radio professionals, retailers, publishers, producers, booking agents, managers, and more. This diverse group represents every gospel music genre, including pop/contemporary, rock, hip-hop, inspirational, urban, Southern gospel, and Latin.
A word of advice: Don’t focus so much on getting people to help you. Concentrate on looking for ways to be resourceful, enterprising, and a source of encouragement. Smart networkers know that people tend to respond to and support those who help and uplift themselves.