Interview With Logan Honeycutt, Founder of Artist Development Platform Artists at Scale

November 12, 2018 | Interviews

Artists at Scale is an all in one platform for artist development and growth. The company focuses on developing and empowering independent artists to become entrepreneurs.

With a toolkit providing resources such as education, mentors, community, databases and more, Artists at Scale is all about sharing information and providing value in order for artists to grow and thrive in an increasingly entrepreneurial music landscape.

Uptown Plug had the opportunity to speak with Logan Honeycutt, Founder of Artists at Scale, about empowering independent artists to become entrepreneurs, staying independent vs. signing to a major label, the evolution of the independent music business, and plenty more.

1. Tell us about Artists at Scale and how you guys help artists with their goals?

At the core of Artists at Scale is a mission to plant a seed of entrepreneurship in as many artists as possible and empower these artists through modern yet intimate avenues. Currently our main focuses are:

Entrepreneurial education

Education is our #1 priority and we’ve broken our training down into two main themes – hard and soft topics.

Hard topics are things like operations, sales, marketing and management. Soft topics are things like creativity, mental health, time management and self discipline.

Tactical tools

Our platform acts as our “Artist HQ” and is a toolkit full of digital resources, checklists, databases, industry perks and much more.

Modern mentorship

Our goal of wanting to work with as many artists as possible is critically dependent on keeping things intimate just like having a mentor or consultant on speed dial.

Collaborative community

The music industry has been dog eat dog for far too long and I believe that professionalism, transparency, sharing information, providing value and true relationship building is key so community is just as important as everything else.

You can look at Artists at Scale as an “all in one” platform for artist development & growth.

Not only is this a physical platform where artists can log in to, we view it as a philosophical “platform” or foundation for artists to grow regardless if it takes place through app (which is about to have it’s beta launch).

2. Your goal is to develop independent artists into entrepreneurs – what sort of role do you think entrepreneurship plays in a musician’s career these days?

Entrepreneurship is everything. The ability for artists to create opportunities for themselves has radically shifted.

From artists once being at the mercy of labels to now owning labels, there hasn’t been a better time for turning passion into profit.

The internet has provided a wide range of opportunities for artists to provide “scalable connection” due to the fact that artists have become the “platform” themselves.

But with more opportunities comes more skills to grasp. Too many artists still remain unsuccessful – not because a lack of hustle, but because a lack of knowledge, strategy, and resources.

Modern day entrepreneurship requires an equal balance of working hard while also working smart. The music business is complex and constantly changing, that’s why we’re here to help.

Ultimately our goal is to develop and empowers independent artists into entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial minded artists by educating and mentoring those artists that have the hustle inside but are lacking strategy and direction.

3. Do you think there is any point for an artist to sign to a major label these days?

It’s extremely common these days for people to be divided in terms of where they stand. This team or that team, democrat or republican, pro label or anti label.

So where do I stand with labels? I personally believe that balance and context is the key to everything so I am neither pro label or anti label as I believe it all depends on context of the artist at hand.

For example, certain artists such as those that have barely developed any sort of direction or fanbase, a modern power house label may be of little use because how could they work with something that isn’t ready to market?

The media and industry commonly push a narrative that many labels have lost their sense of original artist development and it’s all too common to hear stories of artists getting shelved these days and while yes, this can be true, there’s all sorts of good found in labels too.

For another artist, let’s say someone who is already at a national level, it may be one of their greatest strategic plays and assets at hand to accelerate themselves to that next stardom level.

I like to view a label as “infrastructure” that an artist can leverage but the label/artist relationship should ideally a genuine business partnership at the core. With that being said, there’s so many variables to keep in mind with this topic because it’s also incredibly important for artists to ask themselves these two questions before even thinking about a label:

What does a “label” mean/look like/or do in the modern music landscape?

What does the “label” that is pursuing me/or the “label” that I have interest in look like in comparison to your answer from question #1

4. One of the main focuses of Artists at Scale is educating independent artists. How important is it for independent artists to regularly educate themselves on the music business, and how do you guys cater to this need?

Here at Artists at Scale, kaizen (改善) growth is one of our core values. Kaizen, a word derived from the Japanese automobile industry, is essentially the principle of constant improvement.

Because of this, it is in our honor to be an ambassador of this in everything we do and present. We believe that having this mindset of kaizen growth is critically important as an artist, if not for all humans.

Not only do we believe it is important to consistently master your craft, it’s also important to have an open mind in what you study and master. When you release music professionally, you’re technically a business, you’re not just an artist.

Because of this, when you ONLY consider yourself as an artist, you are subject to the “rules”, thinking and history of that perspective. This can be potentially limiting in a business sense so It’s critical that artists get their mind out of the music scene at times.

Creativity, thinking outside of the box, applying new strategies and experimentation are probably some of the most important skills you could have as an artist in the modern industry landscape. So what do we really mean by this?

Here’s an example: Instead of reading old and rehashed “music marketing” books… Why not read digital marketing books? Why not read startup marketing books? Why not read guerrilla marketing books? Shit, why not read a corporate marketing handbook?

You get the picture, yet this doesn’t always sound so easy as we heavily respect that venturing into these lands is scary, confusing and for many artists completely out of interest.

You’re an artist, your job is to make great music, not nerd out on Google Analytics and Facebook ad reports.

Because of this, it’s our goal to break down a wide range topics that we feel are important as a modern day indie artist and educate & mentor artists to the best of our ability through our platform and community.

5. With digital technology constantly advancing and online platforms providing more access than ever, how do you see the evolution of independent music playing out?

I believe it’s only going to get better but that’s because I’m an optimist. There’s certainly a great debate on the influx of content and the supply to demand ratio that streaming platforms and modern distribution companies have brought.

It’s a tough debate because I’ve found more music than ever thanks to these advances in the last couple of years that I’m incredibly thankful for but it’s also quite shocking to think about how fast releases come and go in the global “listening-sphere” or so they appear.

To the non music digger, I believe music is moving way too fast and there’s really no chance to dig deep and cherish these releases but on the other hand, as technology and innovation speeds up, I believe we as consumers adapt but we become more fine tuned in what we like, we dig even deeper with that music and those artists.

People have to compare & contrast signifiers of the brands they are exposed to every day. These signifiers are your “value” as a brand. More precisely, these signifiers are your emotional value as music mainly fulfills emotional needs.

The “free choice” that we believe we have is actually choice between different signifiers. People consume products that signify themselves. Listeners do not consume your “music”. They consume your brand that in the process creates their identity.

This concept is why I believe that indie music will only get better because if artists are now empowered by technology to scale their art and build direct to fan relationships, the ability to develop a cult like tribe or community of fans becomes easier which in turns fuels the music ecosystem.

More connected and dedicated fans = more sales and streaming = more profits = more touring = more ticket buyers = more booking requests = more profits = more videos and releases, the cycle goes on.

6. What are your goals for Artists at Scale? Where do you see the company in the next 5 to 10 years?

I can certainly say that the Artists at Scale today isn’t anything like it was originally planned to be.

What Artists at Scale is today has come from many iterations and I think this path will only continue in the name of innovation. A few things however I’ve always aimed to keep and grow since the start are the following:

Artists at Scale is founded off of entrepreneurial spirit and will always aim to push this in everything we do whether it be creating the actual content in our training or the angle we position ourselves as a brand.

Artists at Scale is an all in one platform for artists to develop and grow. Thanks to the internet, an artist can find anything they desire at the tip of their fingers.

But despite this, our goal is to make the life of an artist even more easier by housing everything one might need so they can save time and focus on what matters more, their craft.

Artists at Scale is not only about artists growing and scaling, it’s also about us growing and scaling through modern means so we provide an equal amount of value to as many artists as possible while still keeping that intimate connection.

Currently for the next year Artists at Scale is focused on our platform and education however stay on the lookout as our phase two goals coming up in the next 2 or 3 years are focused on providing agency access to artists.

Think of it as a one stop shop that eases the process for artists to purchase premium services on the fly. But what’s the 5 to 10 year future look like? Skies the limit however

I’d love to watch it grow into things like physical workshops and bootcamps, involvement in conferences, panels and other third party events, physical products such as books and to grow even further technologically by advancing the platform and it’s features.

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