In a world deafened by a cacophony of digital song uploads, it is perhaps harder than ever to get your voice heard says Glenn Wheatley, the man behind 'The Voice', John Farnham, the Little River Band and Delta Goodrem.
The secret to succeeding in the music industry is the same now as it was when Glenn started his management career in the late 1960s.
At the Turn Up Music Industry Conference
on the Sunshine Coast, Glenn will share his view
on “how to turn up your volume in the music industry”; how to make noise and make it clear.
The internet was meant to lead to the great democratisation of the music industry; to break down the barriers constructed by the record labels.
Glenn, though, believes it is a tougher market to crack in the digital age. “I dare say that these days it’s more difficult to get heard than it was in my day because there’s so much more options to be heard.
“Everyone says it should be easier, just put it up on the internet. The problem with that is everybody is on the internet.
"There are millions of choices of material up there. You can post something from your bedroom. There’s a lot of clutter that you have to sift through to find good stuff.”
Record companies, while maligned, did serve a purpose. They ensured that artists received feedback, most often constructive, before a song was fit for public consumption. “If you are a solo performer, you have no other criticism or advice given to you.
“If you think you’ve written a good song and you post it, there’s no criteria as to whether it’s a good song apart from your own mind and that’s why sometimes we end up with quite a bit of mediocre stuff up there because there’s no one sitting back there going 'you know what? It’s not very good.'"
Topping the pop charts is akin to winning a gold medal in the Olympics. Internet streaming sites, then, are perhaps analogous to having an open field for the 100 metres sprint final. You cannot simply buy a pair of running shoes, do a couple of jogs without a coach and expect to dash past Usain Bolt.
An artist needs to be strictly diligent, says Glenn. “You’ve got to be hard on yourself and make sure that you are a champion at what you do. It’s like any sports star or any athlete.
"You’ve got to prepare, you’ve got to think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and you’ve got to really have a hunger, you’ve got to really want to do it because if you don’t, you’re not going to make it.”
This was the approach Glenn applied to himself in his management career. He didn’t simply assume that he knew it all from the outset.
He went to extraordinary lengths to attend industry conference events like Turn Up, soaking in the knowledge and perspectives of others. “I support these sort of events,” Glenn says.
“I remember when I first got into management. I took every advantage to go to these sort of events because there wasn’t one time that I did not come out of there with some new view or position that I could use to my advantage.
"Sometimes I couldn’t afford the entry fee, so what did I do? I just stayed in the foyer of the hotel and met everybody as they came out.”
Turn Up Music Industry Conference takes place at The Lind Theatre (Sunshine Coast) 19 October.