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What can aspiring artists learn from Disney?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Written by: Matt Lillywhite

Disney is undoubtedly known for being able to integrate a character into our emotions via their powerful methods of storyline. Whether you are 10 years old, or 50, I think we can all agree that it’s almost impossible to dislike a Disney film. And so in this article, we’re going to explore how Disney builds their characters, and how you can integrate these ideas into your music career.

So what actually sets Disney apart from all the other companies out there? The truth is that they put the story before the product. When Walt Disney started the brand, he knew that having an authentic relationship with customers would be absolutely integral to the success of the company. Therefore, the storylines within Disney films & products almost always have a form of character building so that the viewer can establish a connection between themselves and the character.

Once they have built the initial connection with the audience (the movie), they proceed to expand into merchandise and related products in order to increase revenue from a particular movie. For example, although Frozen was a highly successful film, they also made millions of dollars in merchandise sales as the toys etc allowed the (mostly) kids to enjoy the story in a totally new way. By growing the Frozen brand image via an authentic storyline and a memorable soundtrack, it quickly became the highest animated grossing movie of all time. Likewise, the Disney Theme Parks around the world allow consumers to be completely immersed within the Disney brand. Everything from hotels, food, and rides, they’ve covered the entire user experience so that you’re suspended in their magical vision throughout the entirety of your stay.

But how can people within the music industry learn from this? In order to create an impactful story around your music career, you have to have an extremely strong connection with your fans. After all, posting “listen to my song” on social media isn’t exactly engaging content. Instead, strengthen the relationship by responding to comments, doing Q&A sessions on a livestream with your fans, and even meetups in cities around your country. If you put your fans at the forefront and make them feel as if you care about them, their mind will quickly become a lot more integrated into your music career. And of course, a background story to provide your audience context of your career can go an extremely long way.

For example, Skrillex was brought up as a Scientologist and took several courses based on the teachings of L Ron Hubbard – founder of the Church Of Scientology. Although he participated in multiple rock bands during the embryonic years of his music career, his vocal chord problems prevented him from continuing. Therefore, he ventured into electronic music, and later released his “Scary Monsters & Nice Spirites EP”.

Likewise, Calvin Harris began funding his career by stacking shelves in a London Supermarket. But after using the funds to produce an album called “I Created Disco”, he ended up having his big break, and subsequently got signed by EMI Records. Producing every single track from a computer in his bedroom, it just goes to show that hard work and persistence pays off.

In conclusion, developing strong relationships with your audience is absolutely key to maintaining a successful music career if you wish to have a dedicated fanbase. And so during interviews, I would highly recommend talking about your origin and the story of how your career started, and engaging with every single comment – good or bad.



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