The 3 Most Under-Rated Artists in the Music Industry Today

As time keeps rolling on, the music industry continues to grow and conform to the computerized talent in which has consumed the industry today. It seems as if the more money made in the music world today, the less genuine talent the artists have. Noticing the Top 10 hits of iTunes in the past 10 years, the list is filled with rap stars and computerized musicians that have no talent other than how to work a simple music production program. The fact is that music has taken a turn down an uncharted road that is filled with technology and mediocrity.

Although music today is not what it used to be, there are still some artists that write for the sole purpose of fulfilling their love of music and expressing themselves in a genuine, passionate way. Most of the artists that still write and perform with bona fide expression and fulfillment are the most under-rated artists in the music world today. The artists that have an authentic talent and love for music should not be pushed to the bottom of the charts by the average artists of today’s music. Instead, they should be winning the Grammy and the American Music Awards instead of the “musicians” of today.

The top three under-rated artists are just a couple of many that deserve recognition for not conforming to the industry’s top ten guidelines nowadays. These artists also deserve the greatest thanks and applause for their unique sounds and expressive works of art.

  1. Gavin Degraw

Gavin has been in the industry since 2003 with his album Chariot and has only received one Top Ten listing of his song “I Don’t Want to Be” at number 10 in 2004. This same song was chosen as the theme song for the television drama series, One Tree Hill. His brilliant work has never broken the Top Ten and continues to stay below the rap stars and electricians that run the music industry’s top songs today. Gavin also released a strictly acoustic album of his album Chariot, called Chariot Stripped, which showed that he can rise above the production of music and editing of tracks and release genuine, heartfelt music. In August 2011, Gavin was attacked by some people on the streets of New York City and was hit by a taxi shortly after. He was forced to cancel one of his performances and push back the release date of his new album Sweeter. But, sure enough, Gavin returned to the music scene to keep delivering works of art to the music world and kept performing. Now that’s passion!

  1. Sara Bareilles

Like Gavin, Sara has been in the music industry for quite some time now. She screams passion and love for what she does. She began her recording career back in 2004, but with little success. Success did not come until the release of her album Little Voices. She finally worked her way in to the Top Ten with her mainstream hit, “Love Song”. Even though the hit reached the number one spot on the list, Sara is still one of the most under-rated artists of today. Her performances glow with affection because she loves what she does and does it with perfection. Her style is unlike anyone else in the industry. As a pianist and extraordinary vocalist, Sara expresses herself in such a unique and talented way with her angelic voice and beautiful plucking of the keys. With no Grammy awards under her belt, it is surprising to see such talent not be rewarded for her exceptional talent. Sara currently stars as a judge on the TV show The Sing Off while she keeps writing and performing to her heart’s desire.

  1. Jason Mraz

Jason, after several years of recording and producing his expertly crafted music, finally received his first Top Ten hit in 2008 with “I’m Yours”.Only one Top Ten hit in almost 10 years of recording with such unique style? Unbelievable. With such an extraordinary tenor voice, Mraz is without a doubt the most under-rated artist of today. His music gives his listeners a taste of a huge variety of different genres ranging from reggae to jazz, and all the way to some country and hip-hop. One can consider Mraz music to be its own genre of music. Starting with Waiting for My Rocket to Come, Mraz introduces his fans to his style right away. Going from pop to country, all the way to reggae in his first album, Mraz burst onto the scene with his unique style. With 4 live albums, Mraz remains one of the best live performers in the industry today. Performing live is the ultimate test for any musician, and Mraz excels with ease at entertaining his fans with beautifully crafted music accompanied by an angelic tenor range and a strikingly skilled guitar. Mraz breathes originality and passion in his words and his music, making him the most lively and uniquely talented musicians in the industry today.

What The Music Industry Can Learn From The Real Estate Industry

As I was watching the news the other day, a story came on about the skyrocketing number of foreclosures that are taking place across the nation. There was an interview with a couple who blamed their situation on their commission-hungry agent who sold them a house for which they were not qualified, their unscrupulous broker who “creatively” structured a loan that they could not afford to make payments on, and their uninformed friends for giving them bad advice. They basically blamed everyone – but themselves.

It got me thinking about what the music industry can learn from the real estate industry and the parallels between the two.

Like the real estate industry, the music industry is a percentage based business. Both have their own esoteric language and both rely on a cast of revolving characters who play a variety of roles. Both are relationship driven. Both are service oriented in nature. Both thrive on deductions and hidden costs that impact price and profits. And obviously, both have ups and downs.

But there is one major difference: In real estate, nothing happens without financing.

In the real estate industry, when you are serious about buying a house, the first step is to find a lender who will secure the loan for you in order make your purchase. Once upon a time when music artists used to covet record deals, they did so because obtaining a record deal was synonymous with obtaining financing.

The chief purpose of that financing was to satisfy production and marketing costs. With the advent of the Internet and the resulting independent movement (which has been falsely promoted as the answer to the alleged oppressive business practices of record companies), many artists will never receive the kind of exposure that their predecessors have enjoyed simply because they will not have the financial means to do so.

In short, there is no longer an obvious and readily available source of funding for music artists. Record companies traditionally served this purpose, but that’s beginning to change as artists seek, and find, alternative sources of financing (e.g. Madonna and her lucrative 120 million dollar deal with Live Nation) outside of the music industry. Superstar artists that is.

Aside from the financial issues, the main problems with music – and the music industry – are value, perception and relevance.

In real estate, the mantra is: Build it and they will come – with financing to purchase it because in the end it’s not really a purchase; it’s a sound investment that will yield future dividends (in most cases). The same can’t be said for CDs which (by public consensus) only have two good songs out of 10 or 15. That’s called a bad investment…and a good business opportunity for iTunes. By now we all know iTunes is not really about the legal purchasing of music, it’s about the selling of iPods, and for people 15 – 25 (still the target age audience for the music industry) the perception is that music should be free. That’s with or without an iPod.

So how do we achieve that relevance? What pertinent lessons does the real estate industry provide to help the music industry straighten things out? Here are some:


People buy houses as a commodity, but they live with their families in homes. The real commodity of the music industry is the emotional connection that people have with artists through their music, not the plastic CDs they buy. When people find an artist who provides the music that they can use as the soundtrack to their lives, they embrace them, celebrate them, and reward them. It’s the emotional experience and the guarantee of it that people associate with artists when they are purchasing their music, merchandise, concert tickets, and now as in many cases, movies tickets. It’s when that guarantee is not upheld that people feel disappointed. Greater care and greater measures need to be taken to capture, portray, and present the emotional value of an artist and their brands.


Equity is money that is earned above the estimated value of your property. The process of earning equity – which takes place over a period of time – is called appreciation. What determines how much the value of your property appreciates is based in comparison to the rising value of surrounding properties in your area. These comps are obtained when you get your appraisals done (see 3 below). If you are a music artist or music producer, it behooves you to compare yourself to others with similar track records – not talents (talents are too subjective). Therein lies your estimated value. A track record of delivering consistent quality work over a period of time, will help to build equity in your brand that you can profit from. The same holds true for industry professionals and companies who provide products or services.

The Powers That Be – Is The Music Industry Pimping The Music?

The music industry made up of several record labels is often given a “bad rap”. No, they do not force our children to listen to the negative music that they sell – remember we all have freedom of choice. However, what they are guilty of is flooding the market with the same types of music and turning a deaf ear to any music that does not fit into their profit margin. So, what you don’t hear – you won’t want to buy. The music industry has always done this, but even more so now that their profits are decreasing due to the popularity of online websites who offer a large library of music not only from artists we are familiar with, but new artists who have not been able to break through the industry road blocks. Music labels are notorious for keeping music that does not promote their interest off the radio stations by making sure that the music that DOES promote their interest is played in rotation – what kind of deals do they make? Is it payola? Not sure – that is for a legal mind to determine. The fact remains that only certain music selections are on the air – and we keep listening and buying the same song, different artist – just like the music labels want us to.

The Pimp Factor

Recording labels have even been known to contract with an artist, so that they can own the rights to their music – and then refuse to promote it – why? To control what you and I listen to on the .radio and keep the type of music that they want to promote in the forefront. In any other arena this action would be considered as “pimping”. This may seem like a harsh term – but what is a Pimp? According to the website EduQna “What Does Pimping My Ride Mean?”, the explanation fits pretty well “‘Pimp my Ride” is a phrase meaning the modification of (something), usually, impractical but very flashy way (think pimp-like). (making) modifications, etc. (something being) altered to achieve the appearance (something more media than real)”. I really love EduQna’s Rough translation: “Please sir, if you would kindly pull the cash from my pockets to make my (possession) appeal to my need for compensation.” If the word fits, recording labels should wear it. Many artists have complained that they feel “pimped out” due to the types of contracts they innocently sign just to break into the industry – the signing may be innocent, but the wording of the contract is by design – to control the music and the artist who creates it.

The music industry is really shooting itself in the foot and hemorrhaging slowly by not joining with online music sites whereby both can profit. However, in its effort to control the industry as it has in the past, they are missing out on a large opportunity to sell a larger variety of music to their demographic target – 13 to 18 year old listeners. But those listeners are growing up and due to their computer and internet abilities, they are “hacking” into an online market of music that the mainstream music industry can’t touch – Online Streaming Music.

Gently Down the (Music) Stream

In 1999, an 18-year-old college dropout named Shawn Fanning changed the music exchange forever with his file-sharing program called Napster. His idea (not the 60 hours of creating the computer code it took to create it) was simple: a computer program that allowed computer users to share and swap files, specifically music, through a centralized file server. His response to the complaints of the difficulty to finding and downloading music over the Net was to stay awake 60 straight hours writing the source code for a program that combined a music-search function with a file-sharing system and, to facilitate communication, instant messaging. Napster was born. But was Shawn patted on the back for his ingenuity? Are you kidding? The Recording Industry Association of America filed suit against Napster charging them with tributary copyright infringement, which means Napster was accused not of violating copyright itself but of contributing to and facilitating other people’s infringement. However, Napster argued with some success that because the actual files are never in Napster’s possession, but transferred from user to user, that Napster is not acting illegally. The issue in P2P applications (Peer to Peer) is that if Napster is guilty of copyright infringement, then the consumers of Napster are guilty too. Likewise, if the consumers are not guilty, then how can Napster be held responsible?

Tips on How to Choose the Right Music Course for a Career in the Music Industry

Selection of the correct music course is crucial. For some, the aim is to get into the music industry as a recording artist at a label or other connected role, others to play in a band or orchestra or become music teachers. The choices are wide and it can be daunting, knowing you will invest a good chunk of your life and money in something where you’re not certain of the outcome. It can feel like a gamble.

Apart from talent (this is a must) getting a job in the music industry requires skill and experience (if you are lucky enough to get a work placement or internship) in addition to a qualification. Budget is also an important factor while choosing a music course. If you play an instrument, some (like brass and wind) can be very expensive. There may well be continuous investment in your instrument as well as the private lessons while studying. If you intent to apply to a top institution which has links to the industry, be aware of the high fees charged.

Generally, most institutions look for a certain standard of performance of vocal and instrumental skills and sometimes composition ability.

Below are some ideas for how to proceed with choosing the best music course:

  1. Decide which area of the music industry you are interested in and passionate about.

Is it teaching/education, performance, production / technology or business related? Look at educational and industry directories that provide an overview of different sectors, job specifications etc. Also, view at any advice and guidance pages. If you plan to do a degree, the 2 main ones are a Music BA and BMus. You might find that some universities offer both a BA and a BMus course. While both of them are general music courses, the BA course normally follows a broader range of subjects, including more academic subjects like music history or analysis.

BMus courses, on the other hand,are more practical-oriented. They usually contain more performance and composition elements. You should compare the course details at individual universities for an exact comparison.

  1. If applying to a University or College, understand that they want the best candidates as much as you want to study there.

Therefore, do your research. When considering a University/college, consider:

  • if you want to stay near your family or move as far away as possible
  • big city or small town? What’s the social life like?
  • look at how long the course have been established
  • what are the entry requirement needed to be accepted?
  • do they get visits by people working in the industry?
  • are the current students happy with their courses there?
  • what was the feedback from previous graduates to the course? How many of them got good jobs when they left?
  1. You can help yourself by applying to as many relevant ones as possible.

Be aware that competition for places means many music courses are over-subscribed. Also, there a large number of different music courses available at universities. If you’ve already decided your career path, it is worth considering a specialised music course. If you want to keep your options open, choose a general music course.

  1. Visit the institution offering the course and meet the staff and see the facilities.

Understand the nature of the courses you are considering by asking questions, particularly when applying for a specific course. Make sure you ask the following questions:

Music Industry Jobs – What’s Out There?

Human beings are a complex amalgam of psychology, nature, desires, necessities, etc. They urge for activities that keep their soul working, alongside activities that can earn them money, to keep their body working. And both come together to make their life better by pursuing a career in the music industry.

The music industry, for certain people, joins the two worlds, providing for both the soul and the body. People join music industry for their hobby of singing, composing or writing and can earn a good living from it.Generally, masses limit their thought by thinking the music industry only needs a particular skill set. They think a stunning voice and great singing abilities are must for music related jobs. However, this is not so true. Music welcomes people with very diverse skills. There are plenty of jobs in Music industry to pursue. You don’t have to be a guitarist or working with a label to take a start. You can take-up job of Artist Manager, Music Promoter, Music Agent, Music Journalist, Record Producer or Cover Designer.

An Artist or Band Manager is the one who manages the artist/band; its activities, promotion, concerts, deals and all other day to day matters. Apart from music generation, he looks after every other aspect. For this job, you should have an organized personality, good interpersonal and negotiation skills and knowledge of overall industry.

A Music Promoter is basically a marketer. He promotes albums, concerts, record labels, clubs, videos, etc. Promoters work hard to select the most appropriate venue for the concert and arrange accommodation for band. They also look for sponsors to promote their subject through various strategies. To be a promoter, you need good marketing and negotiation abilities coupled with extensive PR.

Next is the job of a Music Agent. Music Agents basically deal with live music. They coordinate with music promoters, record labels or even directly with bands. They arrange live performances with huge audiences and coordinate the performance dates, finance, stage requirements, etc. They negotiate with promoters on venues, accommodation arrangements, etc. You should have good connections and management skills to be a successful agent.

A Music Journalist has the job of writing. They can specialize into writing reviews for music albums, videos, songs, lyrics, concerts and DVDs. They focus more deeply on just artists and bands, interviewing them and writing on their backgrounds. They may also just write about topics in the overall industry; its prospects, trends, history, advancements, etc. A Music Journalist should possess excellent writing skills, research skills and knowledge of industry.

Another fantastic job is that of Record Producer. These are high in demand and work with studios and/or bands and look after the sound with special focus on recording. They can add a part to the song, or just a sound that would enhance the whole effect while recording. Their experience, reputation and aesthetics make them highly paid people.

If you are a professional photographer or a graphic designer, you can make a good fortune here. You will be given designing tasks for album covers, banners, poster, t-shirts, website templates and stage designs. The list of jobs in music industry goes on and on. You can be a radio plugger, VJ, RJ, DJ, or even a music teacher. In short, it can be truly said that the music industry has careers for everyone.

In addition to the previous information, you can come to my website [] for some more tips on getting found in the music industry. As well as providing information I will soon be writing reviews on some ebooks and courses I found helpfull. Thanks for reading! -Dustin Moore