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Indie Artist Tips: How to Handle Haters

By ASKM Publishing

Simple Yet Powerful Indie Artist Tips for Dealing with Haters

When you’re an aspiring artist or independent artist you’re face with a lot of obstacles. From constantly having to promote yourself around the clock via social media and online. From having to finance your own career. From having to book and manage your own appearances. The list goes on. This isn’t to discourage you. There are many great aspects to being an indie artist. However, the one thing many don’t address with being an artist in general is the conquering jealousy and haters. This may seem small but having haters can be a heavy burden. It’s the number one people most people never achieve their dreams. Listening to haters. Here’s the most powerful indie artist tips to handle dealing with haters.

Understand Who Gets Hated on the Most

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One of the most effective indie artist tips to remember is when working in the music field, especially as an artist you’re more likely to get hated on.

This post will cover dealing with haters and indie artist tips for all artists across the board. However, for the most part I will be referring to singers and rappers in regards to being an indie artist and handling haters. This is due to the the reality that singers getting hated on the most, followed by rappers. This isn’t to say producers, songwriters and musicians don’t get hated on at all. But in the field of arts and entertainment singers and rappers get hated on the most. Here’s why. Singing and rapping composed of your craft and instrument coming out of your body. It’s a special instrument inside of you. That makes it rare and appearing almost magical. With other artist crafts such as being a musician, songwriter, etc. your talent has a partner, a tool outside of itself. Meaning whatever instrument you play. Or if you’re a songwriter you pen and pad (and instrument if you’re a songwriter that plays one). This makes people from the outside feel like they can accomplish your talent and craft because you have an outside tool. However, particularly with singing you tool is literally inside of you, your voice. This make onlookers and outsiders feel like you possess a special gift they don’t have or can never tap into. Another reality is realizing singing is the most desired talent to have. Most people wish they could sing. Some are just more vocal about expressing it than others. You’d also be surprised how many people had dreams of being a singer but was too shy or hesitant to pursue them. This is why a lot of singers constantly get compared to each other. This is why there are so many harsh critics when it comes to the talent of singing. This can be applied to rapping too.

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The number one type of indie artist that tends to get hated on the most are singers/ vocalists. This is due to fact that singing is an beautiful talent that many admire and are fond of. Whitney Houston who’s noted as the greatest vocalist of all time is one of the few vocalists who never received any negative feedback regarding her voice. This is due to the fact that her voice is extraordinary and considered a national treasure within itself. 

Stop Subjecting Yourself to Haters

A lot of indie artists want to know the exclusive on how to be an independently artist successfully. Yes indie music promotion, social media and building a brand all plays on part in becoming successful. However, one of the best kept secrets to becoming a successful artist is to not open yourself up to haters. Simply stop subjecting yourself to haters. This is actually one of my top indie artist tips. A lot of times we put ourselves in positions to have people hate on us and drain us with their negativity. You may feel you Can’t control other people or what they say. This is very true. But there are still ways around subjecting yourself to haters. For example if you have a certain person in your life who always have something smart to say about your career or always try to bash you as a singer or rapper, why open the door for those comments to creep in? Why even have music related conversations with them? This doesn’t mean you have to hate them. This doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life. However, you can and should set boundaries. If you have someone in your life that doesn’t believe in you as an artist don’t share your vision with them. Don’t invite them to any of your shows. Don’t practice or play any of your songs around them. That way you’re protecting yourself from the hate and negative energy.

Protect Your Baby

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Visual of famous scene from movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” with actor Will Smith and son Jaden Smith, here Will Smith says famous quote about protecting your dreams. This ranks very high on the list of indie artist tips when dealing with haters.

As I once heard Will Smith say in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”, “if You got a dream you have to protect it.” You dream as a singer, rapper, songwriter, etc. has to he protected. You to protect what you love. Treat your dream like a newborn baby. If you had a newborn child you wouldn’t let any and everybody come to the hospital to see it, pick your baby up and kiss your child. Why? Because of germs, your newborn child could get sick and then some. This should be your same mindset with your dreams, talents and aspirations. Don’t share your plans regarding your career with everyone. Don’t share your artist ideals with everyone. As I stated before a lot of times we open the door for haters to walk right in. Learn how to surround yourself and your dreams with people that nurture them and build them up. They don’t have to tell you what you want to hear. But trying to discourage you and intentionally doubting you should be a big “no-no.”

Music is Subjective

Another factor you have to realize when dealing with haters is the fact that music is subjective. Singing is subjective. Rapping is subjective. Not everyone is going to like you. This definitely tops the list of indie artist tips when dealing with haters. A lot of artist tend to doubt themselves if they get a few negative reviews. When the reality is that may just happen to be those few people opinions about you. That doesn’t have to be your reality as an artist. When it comes to singing they are countless voice types. Not everyone likes the same type of voices or same style of music. Unless you’re someone who’s extraordinary gifted like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey where your voice possesses universal appeal, chances are some people will love your voice and some won’t. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t sing. It simply means you voice isn’t their cup of tea. Same goes for rapping. Unless you’re considered the greatest rapper of all time like Tupac Shakur or Biggie Smalls not everyone is going to like your rhymes. Once again this doesn’t have to define you as a rapper. Although everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion, the thing with haters is they’ll take their personal opinion and run with it. The difference between someone who honestly isn’t a fan of your music and a hater is this:

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Michael Jackson in his heyday, was one of the few artists who never received mixed reviews and seemed to possess universal appeal. Meaning everyone liked him and couldn’t speak against his talent. Remember as an artist, especially indie artist you don’t have to be “Michael Jackson talented” to be good or great.

  • Someone who honestly doesn’t like your voice but ISN’T hating – “I personally don’t like her singing voice or his rapping but it’s not bad. Just not my thing.”
  • Someone who is hating and using their “opinion” as a smoke screen – “I don’t like his voice. He can’t sing.”

A hater will try to convince you you’re not good just because he or she personally isn’t crazy about it. There’s nothing wrong with voicing your opinion. There’s nothing wrong with no loving every artist on the planet. But how you present it and the place it’s coming from is what makes you a hater or not. Also knowing the difference between something not being good and something not being your cup of tea also defines whether or not you’re a hater. Once you grasp this fact and no longer let it faze you as an artist your journey will be a lot easier. Your music marketing will be easier. Your confidence will be stronger and your artistry will actually grow and mature.

What Do They Know?

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Honestly what do most haters and trash talker know?

A major indie artist tip you should always remember when dealing with haters is most of them what they don’t know. Think about how many times you heard someone critique or come down on someone’s craft, come to find out the person had no idea what he or she was talking about. That’s how it is being an indie artist and handling haters. You must understand most of them have no idea what they’re talking about. The average person who judges and criticizes a singer knows nothing about music theory, pitch, tonality, range, breath control, etc. The average person who criticizes a rapper knows nothing about rhyming, tempo, bars, punch lines, etc. All the hater know is what he or she sees on t.v. I’ve literally heard people say in the past “if you can sing, you can sing. You don’t need all that extra stuff.” The “extra stuff” they were referring to was water. This person was literally saying you don’t need water to sing. Clearly this person didn’t know what they were talking about. Every professional singer knows you’re suppose to lubricate your vocal cords and keep them as moist as possible. You should never sing with a dry mouth or throat. However, the person giving this critique was only talking what they thought they knew. This is exactly why as an artist you can’t listen to the negative comments of people who aren’t even qualified to give you any feedback. There’s nothing wrong with taking feedback and true constructive criticism. However, it has to be by someone who has some sort of credentials and validity in what they’re saying.

Embrace Other Artists

Another great indie artist tip to handle haters is to embrace other artists. This tip may seem like a surprise. You may say what does this have to do with advancing my career? How does this relate to an independent artist guide? The answer is energy. Embracing other indie artists allows you to surround yourself with positive energy. This means you won’t have to be focused on the haters and their negativity. It also helps destroy the spirit of constant competition. A lot of people and fellow artists hate because they assume other artists are always in competition with them. The way to cover up this insecurity is for them to hate on other artists. It’s almost like they call themselves beating you to it. You as a positive, mature indie artist could lead by example. If you show them you embrace other artists. If you show them the only person you’re in competition with is yourself, then maybe they’ll be inspired by you. Maybe they’ll “check themselves” and realize they were hating. Next thing you know their hate and shade will eventually fade away.

The easy indie artist tips on how to deal with haters appear small but they will produce amazing results. They’ll help you overcome any insecurities. They’ll help you next time you’re at an event with other artists and notice any shady vibes. They’ll help you with future unsigned artist opportunities and more. However, keep in mind there is no perfect way to deal with a hater and there’s no magic remedy to cure all the negativity in the world. Sometimes you have to handle each situation as it comes. But with tips each situation will get easier and easier every time. Pretty soon you’ll be completely unfazed by others negativity.  The most important thing to remember is successful independent artists, successful independent musicians and accomplished artists are only in competition with themselves and have no time to hate on no one else.

1 Comment

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