Mark Duffett - Chester University
Tradition, consistent image, being memorable, playing your audience as an instrument and using your music.
All musicians need fans. Mark Duffett has built a career around researching, publishing and lecturing on the topic of fandom, so we were really excited to have him on the show. In fact it was such an interesting conversation, we've made it into a double header.
Mark comes with great credentials, so much so that he's recently being referenced in the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine. This week in part 1, Mark covers:
Tradition - Draw on tradition without being traditional. Here we cover how many artists have taken pieces of certain songs or genres from a different era and made it their own in the present. Beware of not borrowing something from the recent past though.
Consistent image - Thinking of yourself almost as a brand, if you aren't consistent, fans may struggle to associate with you and make a lasting connection.
Being memorable - An obvious one perhaps, but something many artists don't always focus on. What is it about your music, live show or interview that is going to stick in the minds of your fans?
Audience - Or more specifically, playing your audience as an instrument. How included are your audience in the overall package of how you present yourself and your music to the world?
Using your music - Your music should be one of your greatest assets. You need to make sure you are getting the most out of it.
Throughout the two episodes, Mark gives great examples from the music world. In particular he talks about Elvis who he has studied at length, and who to be fair was not bad at gaining the odd fan or two.
The good cause is covered in part 2, however we still want to sign post it here, which is Penny Brohn. They run a range of services including courses, groups and individual therapies designed to help people feel better and live better with cancer, its treatments and side effects. Another great cause.
Here are some links associated to the episode:
Mark's website - Mark's website covering a range of things on popular music research can be found here. There's a blog, conference info, links to media he has done, as well as a variety of books he has authored (links below).
Penny Brohn - Run a range of services including courses, groups and individual therapies designed to help people feel better and live better with cancer, its treatments and side effects.
Counting Down Elvis Finest Songs - Amazon link here.
Popular Music Fandom - Amazon link here.
Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture - Amazon link here.
Fan Identities and Practices in Context: Dedicated to Music - Amazon link here.