ADN: 021 — The Music Business Is Hard Enough; Don’t Be An Asshole

Artist Development
3 min readApr 16, 2023


Hey Friends -

Welcome to the Artist Development Newsletter.

Every Sunday, I send an email providing actionable tips for artists and industry on one area of the music business.

Last week we discussed balancing headlining and support tours and strategies for when and why to do both.

You can re-read last week’s newsletter here if you want to refresh.

Let’s jump into this week’s Artist Development Newsletter, “The Music Business Is Hard Enough; Don’t Be An Asshole.”


The music industry can be a cutthroat and challenging environment.

You need every advantage you can get to succeed.

One simple rule can help you easily navigate the industry — don’t be an asshole.

Below are 10 ways to help ensure you never get labeled as one.

1. Respect Goes a Long Way

Treating others with respect is a simple way to build connections and earn trust.

A little kindness can create opportunities and open doors that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

2. People Remember How You Treat Them

In an industry built on relationships, your reputation is everything.

If you’re known as difficult or rude, people will be less inclined to work with you in the future.

3. Collaboration is Key

The best music comes from collaboration — great ideas, different perspectives, and diverse talents.

Being approachable and easy to work with will help you forge these invaluable partnerships.

4. You’re Not the Only Talented One

Humility is essential in the music business.

Recognize there are many talented people in the industry, and you can learn from them.

Being arrogant will only isolate you and hinder your growth.

5. Stress Doesn’t Justify Rudeness

The music industry can be stressful, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to take it out on others.

Keep your cool and maintain a professional demeanor, even in high-stress situations.

6. Empathy Builds Connections

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their perspective can help you build stronger connections, which are crucial for long-term success in music.

7. Authenticity Matters

Being genuine and sincere will make you stand out in an industry full of egos and false personas.

People are more likely to trust and want to work with someone authentic and honest.

8. Patience is a Virtue

The music business is full of setbacks and delays.

Being patient and understanding with others during these times will help you build a positive reputation and make people more likely to support you in the future.

9. Communicate Effectively

Master the art of communication to ensure your ideas are understood, and your collaborations run smoothly.

Good communication skills are essential in building trust and fostering strong professional relationships.

10. Karma is Real

Lastly, remember that what goes around comes around.

If you’re consistently kind and respectful to others, you’ll find that the same energy will come back to you, leading to more success and happiness in your music career.


  • Respect goes a long way
  • People remember how you treat them
  • Collaboration is key
  • You’re not the only talented one
  • Stress doesn’t justify rudeness
  • Empathy builds connections
  • Authenticity matters
  • Patience is a virtue
  • Communicate effectively
  • Karma is real

See you next Sunday!

Neil Mason

Artist Development


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