Indie Artist Survival— Insights from Ruth Hertz Weber

It is not always easy to make a career as an independent artist, though there is no denying that strategical planning can help you better and make sure you enjoy what you love but still earn your bread and butter!

Ruth Hertz Weber

Ruth Hertz Weber

Ruth Hertz Weber is a composer, conductor, and pianist and is based in San Diego, California. She is also a member of the Recording Academy. She has composed music and has worked on a number of projects establishing herself as one of the finest musicians in the country.

She talks about surviving in the industry as an Indie artist and how to succeed in the digital world of music.

Q.1 What quality distinguishes an artist from others?

“This is an interesting question because there are definitely many amateur musicians that are on equal par with, or perhaps better than some artists out there. I feel the distinguishing factors are the musician’s dedication to their craft and their willingness to give up most of their free time to devote themselves to their art. The amateur has the luxury of being able to play or create music whenever they want to, however they will not be able to achieve the level of exposure or experience the joy of devoting their life to their art, as an artist will. The amateur artist will not have to deal with the “business” part of being an artist either if they don’t want to.”

Q2. How can an artist stay relevant in the technical world of digital downloads and online streams?

“I think the best thing an artist can do to stay relevant is to create music that is uniquely theirs, and which sets them apart from other music artists. In this way, they won’t get lost in the massive amount of artists who are streaming their material. I have decided to try to use my music to bring about positive change. Aligning my music with a cause, or an organization I believe in brings me great satisfaction and also expands my audience at the same time! For example, our new children’s release, The Spaceship that Fell in My Backyard helps to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. This wonderful organization provides housing, food, schooling, and many other services to families who have children being treated for serious conditions or illnesses in the hospital. Because of the many families can now afford to stay together and support each other during these hard times. Since this album is a children’s album it seemed fitting to align it with a charity that supports children and their families.”

Q3. Do you think collaboration with other artists is crucial to surviving as an indie artist?

“I do not think it is crucial to collaborate with other artists in order to survive as an indie artist, however I do think that collaborating with other artists brings you new ideas, broadens your horizons and base of followers, and can also help your music cross over into other genres that you would not be able to reach on your own. I don’t write jazz tunes for example, but if I feel one of my songs is meant to be a jazz track I will search out the best jazz musicians I can find to help my song reach that potential. I learn a lot each time I do this! I also love to push the limit with each album that I create. I want to try and achieve something that has never been done before. That could be something like mixing two types of world music genres together that have never been combined before or making a classical melody into a new age/jazz fusion mix.”