Episode 2.6: To Sell A Song

Merging Artistry and Entrepreneurship with Sam Kavanagh

If you’ve ever wanted to join a choir or sing but don't think you're talented enough, Sam Kavanagh is just the man to change your mind. A classically trained musician, Sam started the “La La La Choir” in Dublin in an effort to make a reality the idea that “music is for everyone.” There are no prerequisites or auditions and the idea has since taken off in various ways.

Sam joins Come Sell Away to discuss how he translated such a creative endeavor to a "career", controversial music theory, and taking risks.

Things to listen for:

—Applying creative endeavors to a "career" journey. 

—Monetizing musical pursuits while maintaining artistic integrity. 

—The value of under-preparing.

—Taking risks and going beyond your comfort zone.

What's he talking about?? 

The beauty of “bare bones” (10:00)
"Choirs are such a useful thing because they basically take up no resources. All you need is just the people interested to show up at the same place, at the same time — ideally with a roof."

"I really like the idea of working with no resources and then when you get resources, you can enjoy them as a bonus…it really appealed this idea that you could reach a lot of people making music together without anything 'extra'."

On the creative "market" and how it helps contribute to art (24:44)
"By knowing roughly how the market works and what my role is in it, I genuinely feel like I can make more decisions that are in line with whatever my values and ethics are in terms of buying things and in terms of charging people money for things and in terms of marketing and sales—all of these questions that as a teenage artist, I instantly ruled out as ‘nonsense’...
Which is just healthier in general for your brain and ultimately serves the art which, as an artist, is my goal."

Prioritizing the "creative" > sales goals (28:59)
"Focus on the creative thing and don’t worry too much about how it’s gonna play to people and how you’ll sell it. Because if you get into that side of things too early, you’ll end up warping the creative thing to suit it…Then it sells itself because people want to participate in an experience that has integrity."

Music truly IS for everyone (33:16)
“Music is basically patterns and the difference between random noise and music is your ability to recognize patterns in it…If you’re just a brain in a jar, if you can recognize patterns, you can participate in music.”

On getting ready for his first big TED Talk in Galway (39:23) 
“Hilariously, I did not prepare at all.”

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