Music Industry Red Flag: Name Dropping

I just had a long conversation with a client who was ALMOST swindled by a producer – that was very alluring with name dropping and using notoriety that was FALSE – to sign onto an expensive, iffy recording contract. Thank goodness my client had the sense to Google this guy, and realize he’s not who he says he is.


Unfortunately, in the music industry, this is ALL TOO COMMON. In L.A., I cannot tell you how many people name dropped to perk my attention, for me to realize they were tooting their own horn without my best interest in mind.

Horns that ring brightly don’t need any tooting!

Now, there is a difference between sharing excitement about working with a celebrity (like my singing with Bobby McFerrin), or using notoriety as a resume builder, versus, name dropping to boost an ego or make oneself out to be bigger than one is.

When I first moved to Minnesota from L.A., I met with a producer who was doing some big name dropping, and it was a huge red flag to me. It turns out my intuition was right; working with him wouldn’t do anything for my career, and more importantly, for my musical growth.

Aw man, they’re in Minnesota, too!?
These horn tooters are everywhere!

What these horn tooters are also good at doing, is making the opportunity they’re trying to get you to sign onto, to be the BIG ONE you’ve been waiting for.

It’s a manipulation.

If you’ve truly honed your skills and innate talents, there are COUNTLESS big opportunities that will come your way.

Those who persevere with passion, dedication and heart will continuously attract new incredible opportunities around each corner.

If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

As Angela Lansbury said at the Tony Awards a few years back, “There’s no such thing as overnight success.” She encouraged all striving artists to keep working at their art and developing your craft.

Those who get that big role or get signed to a record label have been at their craft for some time, and that huge “seemingly overnight success” is the culmination of thousands of hours of sincere work and dedication.

This is not to discourage anyone. This is to remind you that when your “product” is truly great, you don’t need to use other people’s famous names to amplify it.



In the box below, please share something you’re genuinely good at, and that you know with time and dedication, can earn you honest, beautiful notoriety in your field.