Why Every Musician Should Think Like Esperanza Spalding

Earlier today, jazz singer-songwriter Esperanza Spalding finished her album, Exposure. She had live-streamed the entire thing on Facebook Live.

Esperanza Spalding
The 77-hour countdown clock on a split screen with Spalding listening to the songs (screenshot from Facebook Live feed)

She gave herself 77 hours to create, arrange, and record a 10-song album and sold only 7,777 copies. (She explains why all the 7’s in her Twitter spree starting here and in the tweets following it).

I watched a good chunk of the live feed, which ran 24/7. It was basically The Truman Show but for a musician in the studio.

Here’s what I got out of it…

When it comes to engaging with fans, every musician should think like Spalding.

I’m not saying go out and film the entire creation of your album and share it on Facebook. But invite people in.

The process is now part of the product. 

Esperanza Spalding

Spalding said she wanted to cut away all of the layers of self-editing and second-guessing that artists often go through.

“I want to take away all the layers that we usually hide behind as creators and just get right to the conversation of creating directly for you,” she says in the video below.

And in doing that, she got my attention — someone who had only heard her name — and made me her fan.

Try using tools like Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube, and even Snapchat to engage with the people who love your music.

Invite people to sit around the creators table and experience your music on a deeper level.

In my attempt to do this, I started something called Behind The Scenes Tuesdays. Every week, I’ll be sharing a behind-the-scenes snippet of the recording of my new album.

What will you do to engage your fans?

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