Living Example of a Music Entrepreneur: Steve Taylor

Perhaps as you’ve followed along with the blog and podcast here at The Music Entrepreneur, you’ve wondered to yourself if there truly is such a thing as a music entrepreneur.

I don’t think you need to be too hard in your thinking when you hear the term, but I can certainly appreciate the fact that you might have some doubt.

I recently watched an interview with Steve Taylor, a man who some consider to be the most important figure in Christian music (the video is below).

Steve was on the podcast a couple of years back, and at the time he was involved in making the movie, Blue Like Jazz, which is referenced often in this interview.

Steve has gone from being a solo artist to a producer to a filmmaker, though going from music to filmmaking – as you’re about to find out – was always a part of his plan.

More recently, he’s been making music again. Go ahead, watch the Kickstarter video. It’s hilarious.

I’m not sure whether or not you have 42 minutes to spare right now. If so, check out this interview. It’s totally worth it.

Otherwise, I’ve pulled out some of the key points below so you can keep on reading.

The early part of the video points to how powerful crowdfunding can be. Steve was initially having trouble getting funding for Blue Like Jazz, but was ultimately able to make it a reality because of a crowdfunding campaign.

Here are a few other things I took away from the interview.

Marketing

At one point, Harry says:

In terms of marketing – you know – you don’t just go out there and just pull a date out of the air. There’s a lot of thought that has to go in.

Steve goes on to explain the thought process behind the marketing for Blue Like Jazz.

Though subtle, I think this comment helped me to understand marketing on a different level. My desire to become a better marketer has been rather substantial as of late, so I’ve been hungry for new insights.

Steve says they put together a 60 page plan for the movie! Incredible. I don’t have more than four pages worth for my eBook marketing plan.

They thought about location, music, timing and how all of those things would tie in together. Because of this interview, I’ve come to understand that good marketing is awareness.

You have to take a lot of factors into consideration to make something work.

Entrepreneurship

At 30:20, Harry says:

Being an executive – because you kind of stepped down in another role as being an entrepreneur – because that’s really what you did.

As you learn about Steve’s career in this interview, you realize that he had to adapt to new roles.

First, he pursued a solo career. Then, he produced different artists, which required empathy as well as maturity. Then, he started making movies, and Steve explains exactly how draining that can be.

In summary, you can see that he has a lot of business sense in addition to creativity.

Changes in the Music Industry

From about 33:33 to 37:58 Steve explains how corrupt the music industry was becoming before Napster, and the positive changes that have ocurred because of this shift.

Here’s an incredible quote:

It’s so screwed up. The way business is done, the way contracts are put together; it’s just a bad business. The way major labels operate… I’m happy that something big has happened. I have no empathy for the major labels. I’m not really sorry that any of this is happening… The major labels are getting what they have coming to them. In many was, it’s just sweet justice; it’s how it should have been a long time ago.

That’s an insider’s perspective for you.

I can’t say whether or not Steve is right, but it is fair to say that he was a first-hand witness to the corruption in the music industry.

Final Thoughts on Steve Taylor

Again, I would encourage you to watch the entire video, because there are so many other great lessons in it.

When Steve talked about being focused on his projects, I had a little bit of a flashback to the project capsule idea I’ve talked about before. I am progressively getting more focused on my projects as I write this.

In conclusion, the point here is not that Steve was (and is) able to do a lot of things. The point is that he was able to leverage everything he did and use his experience to benefit himself and others in every endeavor.

Did you watch the video? If so, what did you take away from it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Author: David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.

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