Monday, August 23, 2010

Who's Who?

This blog topic came to me both when I recently read live music producer Tom Jackson's latest article, "Are You a Sitcom or a Movie?" and when I saw the attached photo.  I recently spotted this picture in my subscription to a popular music industry trade publication.  One of the guys in the picture is a radio DJ, and the other one is an up-and-coming recording artist (I've cropped their faces out to protect the innocent).  Now I ask you, which guy is the DJ, and which one is the recording artist?  Kind of hard to tell, right?  I'm not going to give you the answer to my question because it's not the answer that matters.  It's the point I'm trying to make that does.

Now, how the recording artist is dressed in this picture wouldn’t have mattered if he was someone who’s already achieved notoriety, say for instance, Tim McGraw.  You would have automatically known which guy in the photo was the artist if it was Tim in the picture because Tim’s face is a “household face;” he is his own brand.  You know his face immediately when you see it.  

Now I know all too well that there are some events and appearances that artists need to dress down for, but they still have to find a way to stand out from everyone else, even if it includes just adding a signature accessory to their plain look of T-shirts and jeans.  Once they’ve reached the level of notoriety as say, Garth Brooks has, then they too can walk around in a hoodie, faded jeans, sneakers, and a ball cap if they want to.  That’s the standard look for Garth now (yawn…and sigh), but that’s not how he dressed when he first started out.  Back then, he had to look the part.  Now, he can dress however he wants to, and he does, even for some of his “out-of-retirement” performances.  

A good piece of advice for up-and-coming artists (and even for veterans like Garth…ah hem, you listening Garth?) is the advice shared in an ABC Primetime interview with the famous designer for music legends, Manuel.  "[Musicians] have to have respect for the public that pays to go see them," Manuel says.  "You’re going to entertain people.  You better dress up like an entertainer.”  It’s as simple as that.  Artists should give their audience the WOW factor they’re expecting when they pay their hard-earned cash to come see (yes, a live music event is to be heard AND seen!) their favorite musicians perform.

Oh, and if you want to take a stab at which one is the DJ and which one is the artist...go ahead and do so in the comment section below.  I'm curious to know if the responses will be an even split or not.  If I get enough comments, maybe then I'll give you the correct answer!


  1. Well said Lori! I want to see something special when I go to hear an artist perform...I exPECT to see them to dress the part!

  2. No clue, really – but I have a 50-50 chance, right? DJ is on the left (he did a fundraiser and is wearing the T-shirt to show it.) You are so right about being careful how you present yourself! Your "audience" relies on the visual much more than you realize.

  3. Interesting and very true. Good advice to those in the industry!


We've moved! Click here to be re-directed.