We had a chance to Chat with Milan Ackerman, who shared his take on what it means to be a thought leader in the music discovery industry. Ackerman started his career in the event production side of the industry and also had a passion for discovering new music and artists that were trending. Furthermore, he was the first person to bring Mac Miller to Canada in the early days of his career.
In 2014, Ackerman discovered Russ on SoundCloud and started building a friendship and working relationship with him. Since then Milan has been able to create one of the most successful independent management companies in music. Milan truly understands the value of digital marketing and applies new school techniques to his traditional management style.
Ackerman shares three techniques with us on how to build a framework of longevity and how to get discovered:
HARD WORK BEATS TALENT
It’s not about how much talent you have, it’s about your work ethic and mental strength. This is a you vs you game, you’re not competing with anyone else but yourself. Are you committed to working your ass off for 10 years to achieve your goals? If not you don’t want it enough. It’s consistent hard work, I work harder now to maintain my business then I did working to get here. Millions of people are more talented than me and my client, but they don’t have the same work ethic. Are you willing to sacrifice your social life and personal life to obtain your life long goals?
If you’re not thinking about macro play and only about micro play you can’t be surprised when things don’t pan out long term for yourself. If you’re in it for quick money and short returns then you’re not even interested in building a career, you’re more interested in going viral and making quick money, not long term wealth and success. The choice is always in your hands nothing wrong with either choice, you just can’t choose to play the short game and be surprised in 10 years looking back that your time has come and gone. Remember that this is a marathon not a sprint.
VOLUME / CONSISTENCY / PATIENCE
It’s a Volume and consistency game, foot on the gas at all times. It’s a mamba mentality. Kobe was the best player in the league by choice, he was out working every individual in the league everyday, there is no surprise why he had the success he did. This entire thing is a mental vs physical game. How bad do you want it? You must stay in the gym aka the studio and keep throwing paint at the wall until something sticks. You also need to be mentally prepared to endure 10 years of no evolution before something clicks.
Publish everything consistently, put your best songs on your computer out on the internet consistently, it’s a volume game it’s not about one song that goes viral on TikTok and now you’re a famous and Rich, that’s like thinking your going to win the lottery everyday. Make yourself rich the real way by consistently building a framework, a cushion of your brand and art so that one day when you achieve the fan base you always wanted, they have a catalogue of yours to fall back on. Russ put out 11 independent albums and 96 songs on SoundCloud (96 weeks in a row) before the music started to get people’s attention on a mainstream level! Let that sink in.
Finally, Whether you are looking to discover a new music talent or hoping to be discovered, there is always something you can do to help you fulfill your dreams. Very few artists make it by themselves; it is essential to be ready to show what you are capable of and what you want. People will respond to this and respect you; helping you to achieve what you want in the process.