Can you fill a room?

A few years ago I found myself sitting next to Brent Sayers (b/k/a Siddiq), CEO of Minneapolis hip hop label Rhymesayers, on the set of a Brother Ali video shoot (long story, food related, totally random). Dealing with the chaos happening in magazine publishing at the time, I couldn’t resist asking him to tell me about the music business. He laughed and said, “Music business? There is no music business anymore.” He went on to explain that the time of A & R people scouting undiscovered talent and bringing them up, developing them, was long gone. Now artists needed to find their own audience and be able to fill a room before a label was likely to look at them seriously.

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When Siddiq said artists need to build their own audience, the implication was also because now they can. Businesses, too, need to be able to “fill a room” with an engaged audience well before a relationship can become transactional. Consumers now expect a lot more from the businesses they support.

The beauty is—the ability to connect with people in so many ways, and on such a granular level, is now possible. And it’s powerful. The playing field has been leveled and can now be leveraged by all of us.

Dena Alspach