Monday, September 7, 2009


Nichole Clementi asks:

It is evident that people of today have an endless amount of sources to obtain music illegally. I know you mentioned multiple times during your lectures that once the "next big star" hits everyone will appreciate their music so much that they will actually purchase the album. Do you think this will happen anytime soon, and who might this next big act be?

Hartmann responds;

We can only imagine how the future will unfold and this requires a certain sense of vision. It is reasonable to assume that the next big thing is already alive and growing toward fulfillment of the dream of becoming a superstar. Throughout my fifty plus years in the music industry, I have never met an artist who didn't think he was going all the way to The Big Top. Some even thought they would reach Elvisland and unseat the King of Rock & Roll as the all time greatest music star.

The degree of difficulty for success has not been diminished by the Internet. The threshold to entry is very low because of cheap digital recording, but everyone with a Mac, a mic and a song in his heart is not talented. It takes extraordinary talent to create a successful career in music and everyone with a MySpace page is not a contender. Only 10% of artists have a chance to succeed.

There is no artificial time frame attached to the emergence of the next superstar. And, only after an artist makes a spectacular impact will the race for ubiquitous popularity begin. One thing is for certain, the contest will be initiated and executed on the Internet. The next big thing will not trickle down from the record company penthouse. It will be built from the cyber-grass-roots up.

The most obvious contender at this moment in time is Colbie Caillat, who posted song and videos on the web and received several million hits. Her MySpace profile led her to become the number one unsigned singer in her genre. Her debut single "Bubbly" peaked at #5 in the charts. This brought her to the attention of professional managers Fitzgerald & Hartley. They were able to secure a multi-million dollar record deal with Universal Music Group and her second album "Breakthrough," reached the #1 spot in Billboard in its first week of release. Caillat is a prolific songwriter with a distinctive voice and an incredible work ethic. She may well be the next big thing in music. Only time and a continuing stream of live shows and recorded product will tell.

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