Mind Your Business
By Julia Saites, RYFO Communications Coordinator
Ah, the music business. I can’t pretend to be an expert on it, in fact, I can say that I may only know a bit more than the average Joe. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy an education of sorts from close friends who have made music for well over twenty years as both the musician and the producer. It’s complicated to say the least and even artists who have been making music for years still get surprised sometimes with the business side of things. It’s a difficult world to maneuver within. It can be a killer of dreams or at the very least, it is a perplexing road most artists don’t care to explore.
GMA Immerse is helping demystify the business of music. From May 26th through May 29th, the Gospel Music Association and LifeWay held a conference in Nashville specifically tailored to new artists and those interested in the music industry. It was a glorious few days filled with informative sessions from music industry professionals, competitions for singers and songwriters and of course Jesus. Make no mistake, Jesus was there.
Each morning began with a devotion from artists and speakers, Montell Jordan, Milam Byers and Mike Harland. Some sessions had titles such as, “Artists Called To Be Warriors”, “Redefining Success: Understanding Your Artistry in the Context of Servanthood”, and “10 Ways to Make Your Soul Strong and 10 to Make Your Songs Sing”. These sessions focused not only on the artist, but about making sure the “Why” of making music doesn’t get lost in the “How”.
It was a beautiful combination of encouraging new artists in their craft, equipping them with the business aspect of music and folding it together with the heart of God to send out disciples with passion and knowledge.
We at RYFO were thrilled to be a part of the conference, joining several other exhibitors set up to help encourage, inspire and educate the attendees.
We enjoyed meeting many artists from around the globe. We were even treated to some impromptu performances at our booth. For many it was the first time they had heard of RYFO and after explaining it was pronounced, “Rye-foe” we were able to offer them information about who we are and what we do.
The main draw for many touring musicians is our Host Home Network, currently comprised of 59 homes around the country. Our Host Homes provide housing, food, laundry facilities, wifi, and other practical things (such as safe parking) to touring musicians/artists at no cost. That information was usually met with a jaw drop and a look of confusion. It was fun to watch time after time.
Yes, indeed, the RYFO Network serves musicians, all musicians at no cost. Our Host Homes truly have the heart of servants and expect nothing in return. We understand the journey is an arduous one and all we wish to do is give you some of what you may need to help you along. Sometimes that comes in the form of a meal, peace and quiet, an ear to listen or a heart to heart conversation.
RYFO Host Homes are one part of who we are at RYFO, but at this event filled with an overwhelming amount of information, we were so glad to be able to say, “This part is easy. We’ll help take care of you.” So, yes, mind your business. Learn all you can and do it to the very best of your ability. (Col. 3:23-24) There is more to music than putting notes or lyrics on a page. It’s difficult, but not impossible. You can do it. We’re here for you.