Mike Ragogna: What advice do you have for new artists?
Derek Fawcett: I’ll share some advice that I’ve been trying to adhere to myself since, as a soloist, I’m still somewhat of a “new artist.” The most important thing that you can do is to do all you can to make great music. None of the other stuff like promotion, social media, etc., are worth anything if the music isn’t arresting. Every musician now competes with every piece of media out there now: every TV show, movie, cat video, and other song. Mathematically, it’s unlikely that any of us have a shot a capturing anyone’s attention, but that chance goes from infinitesimal to zero if the music isn’t genuinely great. To that end — to borrow some advice from celebrated jazz singer Kurt Elling — seek out people who are, in one way or another ‘better than you’ to collaborate with. You’ll constantly be striving for something better because you’ll need to hustle to keep up with your collaborators.