In the opening lines of Toronto-based Gavin Slate’s latest music video for “Life as a Salesman,” Gavin explains the importance of self-promotion for emerging artists and bands, “It’s pretty much the most important thing…I do it all myself. So, you really have to think of new and clever ways to get your tunes out there.” There are probably thousands of Canadian artists in the same boat as Gavin – having no manager, no record label, or publishing company. The music industry, which once had (what seemed like) endless resources to fund new artists and projects, finds itself struggling to find a new balance in an ever-changing environment. This was one of the catalysts behind the video which is quickly gaining ground and on its way to becoming a viral success.
The video follows Gavin’s journey as he strives to become Starbucks’ unofficial “Pick of the Week”. While some may assume that the purpose of this project was to get customers to download his music, Gavin explained that this wasn’t exactly the case. The idea was to motivate other artists to take an active role in determining their destiny by engaging their audiences, using the resources that they have available to them and being creative.
Not having the funds necessary can be paralyzing for artists. Gavin urges bands to take a look around them and identify what resources they have available. Resources like: Friends/family with a special skill set, social media, mobile devices with cameras, and your own creativity.
Believe it or not, the entire budget for this video came in at under $250. The crew consisted of five people, who contributed their time and expertise because they believed in the project and wanted to help out a friend. The bulk of the budget went towards printing the cards, gas and (yes, you guessed it) Starbucks coffee!
Tell us what you think about the “Life as a Salesman”.
-Sarah Lue, Blog host