Why are the famous artists of Didgeridoo and Handpan rare ?
Why are the famous artists of Didgeridoo and Handpan rare ?
Why are there very few players like HANG MASSIVE, David CHARRIER or ZALEM who have millions of views on Youtube and who are in demand around the world to play at festivals ?
Because they work hard and just expose themselves! I like the term “quite simply“, because behind that hides an unlimited investment! Thousands of hours… heads down with the sole objective: to move forward !
So why are there very few well-known artists representing the Didgeridoo and the Handpan on the world music market ? I have lived and thought didgeridoo for over 25 years. And this question has been on my mind for the past 5 years. It is obvious that by working with several types of musicians and artists for all these years, I realized that success has many facets. Let me explain myself in several points.
1. My first approach was to ask myself the following question: “What is success? The success ? “
I noticed that there are many different views on this approach. It will depend on the person himself, in relation to his experience. People see it as simply being known. Others will see it as being wealthy. I say and specify financially wealthy, because many consider that wealth is internal above all, then external. Personally, I think I am one of the people who share their knowledge and who will gain financial stability from it at some point. Clearly, I teach didgeridoo courses and I ask for money in exchange. What is called being a “teacher“. It’s a way of working in itself that is a tool to make yourself known as well, but rather word of mouth you will say. It’s up to everyone to take the path they feel best. Fortunately Youtube has become an alternative to all trades today. This allows each of us to communicate about our passions and professions.
2. My second approach was to observe the attitude of people who are recognized.
I say well recognized because the term “recognized” is more identified as someone committed and respected in his profession. Which can bring some personal satisfaction of course, because it goes without saying that the investment of time and finances are not always counted so important. In general, self-worship is not the most common subject among its people there because their heads are always in the stars with their dreams and creative ideas. Unlike a gentleman everyone who has not yet discovered his own talents and who, I hope, will eventually find himself one day…
STEVE SHEHAN : “… without meeting with others, I am nothing… ” – Magnificent documentary that tells the story of this percussionist and HandPan player who has always collaborated with the greatest musicians in the world. In this documentary, he talks about the Hang (in the 7th and 17th minutes) and his approach to musical research…
3. My third approach was to identify the work of an artist known to the general public.
The parameter that shocked me most was to realize that there can be a big asshole who succeeds. Yes, it exists… lol ! But behind this there is a man who works and loves what he does. The fact that he lets his ego take over remains his problem, not mine. Personally, I think it’s about being over-publicized, as well as meeting fans every day who put it on a defensive system that can trigger strange behaviors and make it excessive sometimes. So I accepted over time, that there is the artist and the guy. Which led me to collaborate with famous artists and with whom, humanly, I felt nothing. But I did the job as they say. But these are rare exceptions anyway.
The famous artist worked on several parameters that he managed to manage at the same time. And this thanks to a team that surrounds him and starting with a draconian timetable that he respects to the letter. Then the fact of imposing a minimum of work and repetitions on the instrument concerned. Whether Handpan, Didgeridoo, Chant or whatever. Work and attendance are the primary and revealing vectors of emerging success.
4. Contact with your neighbor = ZE key to success !
The word “contact” of course means that if I want to reach my more or less ambitious goals, I have to expose myself in order to create a need in a media, a production or a company, to receive me to allow me to speak of my art and to educate them with.
For over 20 years, I have always had beautiful flyers explaining my work in A5 format. It fits in a pocket, and it’s better than a business card I think. The business card always ends at the bottom of a notebook, a drawer or a washing machine.
It is often this little reflex to give a flyer to people, with whom I exchanged a few words at the corner of a street, which led me to make incredible meetings, and which sometimes allowed me to me find the antenna of a TV, national or private radio in a few hours. It’s so crazy that it is hard to believe, and yet it has happened to me more than once !
5. What about CROWDFOUDING ?
Crowdfunding works, for sure. Now, in my opinion, it is a sham to rely ONLY ON crowdfunding. Because I saw musician friends around me doing it… and turning into real sales people overnight ! I had to go see them from elsewhere, to ask them to stop harassing me with their follow-up sms and all the blah that goes with it. Tricky situation to manage sometimes because it was not easy to tell them that I had a family life to manage and that their albums were their story and not mine, even if I was happy that they launched. Crowdfounding helps, but does not prevent that it is necessary nevertheless to expose oneself and canvass the media and distributions then to reach a wider audience.
It is true that Didgeridoo and Handpan are still far from being known as Rock’n roll, Blues or Jazz. Because these instruments are very young in the history of music, with mixtures that some dare to make. At present, I have the impression that there is a problem of size which can slow down the evolution of these instruments: it is the ego of the artists who play it.
I realize that it is complicated to say, but it is a huge path to want to succeed, and I understand that. For me the solution to move the instrument forward quickly is to have people engaged around you. People who dare to attack monsters in music, such as canvassing major record labels. And don’t be afraid of the “no” and go on and on! To make covers of world famous songs as did David CHARRIER when he tackled the song “MAD WORLD” by the group Tears for Fears… well done David! And to say that I blamed him for doing it… what a moron I was. While I myself had this approach with Avé Maria de Gounot, and Bolero de Ravel.
Dare to work and save and then put your hand in the wallet to pay for its quality instruments, rehearsals and sessions of song recordings, and then be able to listen to them from these record companies and radios. Therein lies the challenge !
What exactly must you do to be known ? To work. It is safe and unequivocal the best solution. Then distribute your work with the conviction that your intention is right and good, because the sounds of the Handpan and Didgeridoo are beautiful and bring something positive to those who listen to it.
There is one parameter in all this that is essential and above all uncontrollable : to be in the right place at the right time to perhaps meet there ! Perhaps with the Art Director or the producer that you were waiting for… But without any action on your part, this meeting will not necessarily take place !