December 15, 2008

NIÑO Interview by LatinoHiphop.Org

We had the pleasure of sitting down with NIÑO and talking with him about his career, plans for the immediate future, and his advice to other artist's.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 12, 2008

Indie Musician Advice from Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers is the founder of CD Baby, and an icon within the independent music community. In this video he gives us a gem on something that we can do immediately to push our music careers forward.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 11, 2008

Shift Happens 2008

This amazing video captures within 5 mins. the core of the technological revolution we are currently experiencing around the world.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 8, 2008

The Difference Between Leadership & Management

What is the difference between leadership and management?

How do these differences apply to your career?

A few key differences are that management involves planning, organizing, and achieving the results you have set out in your mission.

Leadership on the other hand involves having a vision that becomes the overarching inspiration and driving force behind the mission.

As an independent artist you are very likely wearing both of these hats or at least one.

In leading you will find that imagination is needed in order to develop a vision for your career. It will be your belief and constant work towards your vision that will inspire others to follow you.

But in managing yourself you will need to cultivate a completely different skill set. You will face the challenge of dividing your vision into smaller achievable goals which through consistent work you accomplish. As you move forward in accomplishing the goals you've set for yourself you will be able to measure results, capitalizing on what is working.

Leading and managing, are related, intertwined, and perhaps inseparable, yet they remain fundamentally different disciplines.

Each of which you must master.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 6, 2008

The Cool, the Niche, and the Ugly

Cool the ability of remaining cutting edge, relevant, trendy. Continually being at the forefront of the next big thing. Having confidence, calmness, and composure.

Honestly, who doesn't want to be cool?

Niche, a segment marginalized or overlooked by the masses. As an independent artist one of the fundamental keys of long term success is to identify a niche you can build a community around. By doing this you gain the opportunity of cultivating a meaningful dialogue with them. The relationship you develop with them allows you to contribute, facilitate, and lead. If you successfully achieve this your community will grow with you, inspire you, and more importantly support you.

The ugly in this title refers to only achieving cool or niche but not both.

Without cool your niche will sooner than later move on to the next person that manages to give them cool and simultaneously satisfies their niche interest.

Without a niche you will have no one to follow your trendsetting.

With this in mind I present to you the magic formula:


Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 4, 2008

The True Meaning of Grind

Are you on your grind?


Well what does that mean for you?

Define it?

Too often independent artist's are just busy, going to networking event after networking event. From free shows, to benefits, to showcases you have to sell ten tickets for (or dish out the money yourself). This is done in the ever elusive pursuit of "getting out there'.

But this is not the true grind.

I will share with you the true grind, but I'm sure you're not going to like it. It's not as easy as being busy. It's not shiney, it does'nt sparkle, and you have to be much more humble, persistent, and intelligent.

The true grind is having a steady income, so that your bills and responsibilities are taken care of. In turn you will have money to invest in yourself, and in your music. This is challenging because you only have so many hours in a day, and only so much energy.

This is where the grind happens.

After work you have to come home and work on your craft, everyday.

Every single day!

Even if it is only for one hour. The more time you can dedicate the better, but you have to develop a routine of productivity. You have to master your craft. Then you take that hard earned money and invest it in yourself, intelligently. Find a great studio, work with a great producer, get great pictures taken, go to important conferences, join professional music organizations, and only book important or well paid gigs.

Learn. Grow. Polish. Persist. Re-imagine. Then repeat. Do this over and over again with an unrelenting spirit of enthusiasm and optimism and you will go far. This is not work harder, this is work smarter. This is not 2 years in NY or LA trying to make it, this is a life journey.

Are you ready.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 3, 2008

Get a Website Today

For the last 3 years I have used a company named Dynamod for my personal website.

They provide hosting and a wide variety of flash CMS (content management system) templates. Which basically means that with little to no knowledge on how to build a website you can fully manage and maintain your very own.

Dynamod has alot of features aside from their sleek designs and ease of use such as their analytics module. The analytics module allows you to see where people visiting your site are from, down to the city, country, and flag. Additionally there is a complete mail manager which allows you to manage your email list and to design newsletters. They also make it easy for you to add a favicon, to add podcasts to your homepage, and an RSS feed for your community to follow your updates.

The best part about it is that they are very affordable with plans starting as low as $10.99 a month.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 2, 2008

The End of the Album

The dawn of the album era began in the early 1960's.

This was primarily due to technological advancements in recording music to vinyl, namely the creation of the long play record.

Record companies developed a business model around 'albums' which we have become familiar with; a lead single, followed by an album, and a tour to promote the album. A band would repeat this cycle about every 2 years.

But now the album era has come to an end, again primarily due to technological advancements.

The ability to instantly distribute music worldwide over the internet and for consumers to pick and choose what songs they will purchase (for .99¢) has turned the old business model on it's head.

While major labels will try to hold on to the old business model for the next few years, it will increasingly continue to diminish.

This is because the old business model is not in the best interest of consumers, artist's, and independent record labels.

The new music business model will focus on artist's releasing increasingly niche specific music on a very regular basis, to a community that follows them.

The new model will revolve around movements, with songs as anthems that unite the participants.

It will be about endless streams of creativity.

As an independent artist you have the opportunity to capitalize on the new music business model immediately, why wait for the majors to catch up?

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez

December 1, 2008

Digital Life

The future is here.

It's digital.

Over the next few years we will all increasingly be living digital lives.

Online dating, social networking, music streaming, email forwarding, video embedding, is the not so new language of today's world.

In turn our current technological advancements have empowered us to dramatically increase our creative output and the number of people that we can share it with. But it also gives us the opportunity to become better organized, eliminate clutter, and to drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce, therefore helping the environment.

Personally I find that the better organized I am the more effective I become in every area of my life. This includes my creativity.

If you're looking to take your artistic career to the next level, you may want to think outside of the box and adopt some of these ideas to help you streamline your lifestyle, get rid of clutter, save money, and inspire your imagination:

The Roku is a device that allows you to access Netflix and instantly watch movies and TV shows (over 12,000) from your living room television. You will never have to rent or buy another DVD again. (Movies not available in the 'Watch Instantly' section can simply be ordered via Netflix's mail service).

The Kindle gives you instant access to over 190,000 thousand books, anywhere at anytime. It also has a wide selection of newspapers, magazines, and blogs to choose from, not to mention free access to Wikipedia. It was created by Amazon, and is without a doubt the future of books. The best part about it is that every book you ever purchase is maintained for you by Amazon in a cloud. Bookshelves are now a thing of the past.

iTunes is well known, but recently I uploaded my entire CD collection to iTunes thus eliminating boxes and boxes of CD's saving myself space and ensuring that I would have the music safe and secure as digital files. Coverflow (a function in iTunes) helps in reproducing if not surpassing the feeling of album ownership and of enjoying the artistic image associated with albums.

The latest thing I have been doing is moving all of my pictures to Shutterfly, where I can store a limitless amount of pictures and create digital photo albums which can be shared through webpages that Shutterfly provides. Once I have completed the scanning of all of my pictures, the elimination of my 15 to 20 photo albums will save me additional space and ensure that my pictures are intact for posterity.

Please rememer to back up your digital life to an external hard drive which you can keep neatly hidden away in your closet.

Wishing you continued success!

Cristopolis Dieguez