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What is the D.I.Y. Rock Star Mindset? Why is it Necessary?

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This post very loosely accompanies Gab & Jam Episode Ep 135

What is D.I.Y. and Why is it Necessary?

Though we’ve touched on what this is before, we have NEVER been explicit about explaining what we mean to be a DIY Rock Star and we DEFINITELY haven’t discussed why it’s necessary. (video: and podcast: )

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What is a D.I.Y. Rock Star?

D.I.Y. Rock Stars are artists that do not rely on any formal music industry support to create, distribute, and sell their music. As far as we can tell, there have ALWAYS been D.I.Y. Rock Stars. Some examples include the techno music movement out of Detroit, Motown (in its early stages), and rap music often continues to attract D.I.Y. approaches, since that was how it began.

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We’ve plucked this topic directly from what we’re working through—and have been working through in various phases over the last 30 years—and we have discerned that the D.I.Y. Rock Star mindset has the following features.

Characteristics of the D.I.Y. Rock Star Mindset:

1. Ignore people who tell you that there’s a right and a wrong way to do things

2. Always being creative in approaching how to make, distribute and sell your music

3. Resourceful when it comes to using what you already have (instead looking for a paid solution)

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4. Not looking for others to “save” you (with a record deal or to book a tour or to manage your art)

5. Keen at seeing unusual partnerships, where you can form more of a community (as opposed to a one-off opportunity)

6. Doesn’t use money or stats, in general, as a success metric (and instead sees continual progress as the goal)

7. Enjoys creating so much that it is instinctual (and you aren’t looking around to see who’s watching)

8. Tenacious about crafting a vision for their art (and is always looking to infuse new life into whatever they’re creating) (Here's more about Vision: )


Why is a D.I.Y. attitude necessary?

For culture

  1. It is necessary to the marketplace, because it is those movements that arise from the fringe that become the new front and center culture. (For an extended discussion, check out video: and podcast:

  2. It opens minds to new ways of expression.

  3. It opens the bounds of art by changing the definition of what is art.

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For artists

  1. It allows anyone with the desire to do it to have an opportunity to work on their dreams

  2. It helps you think more creatively about your process, your medium, and your distribution

  3. No matter how old you are, you can continue to work your craft

  4. No matter how unmusical your work seems, you can make that your passion (and your brand) (Here's more on Branding: )

  5. No matter how non-commercial your music seems, you can continue to create Finances and time do not limit how long you can create and promote your work.

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Recent examples of the D.I.Y. Rock Star ethos include Amanda Palmer (crowdfunding her own tours and sleeping on couches worldwide as a means of lodging on her tours), Brockhampton (who not only create their own music, but shoot their own videos, as well as make documentaries of their own journey), and 50 Cent (who changed mix tape culture by releasing otherwise unreleased songs that would be sold at street corner vending stores).

Be the Next D.I.Y. Rock Star --Blooming Prejippie

Not sure where you—and your band—stand?

Download this Check Your Brand Cheat Sheet to see how you shape up

(and what you need to shore up).

Here is the final list of episodes

(with topics, episode numbers, and links):

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Remember, if you dig the vibe and want to be part of our tribe, be sure to subscribe.

What do you think?

What D.I.Y. thinking have you used to help grow your music empire?

We would LOVE to hear about it!

Please share in the comments below.

Until next time we meet, here’s wishing you love, peace, and chicken grease.

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