From busking in Byron Bay to Triple J Like A Version! Ziggy Alberts has certainly made a name for himself in the music industry. He prides himself on being an independent artist and has organically built a dedicated following, and paved a pathway way to success!
Ziggy has headlined a European tour, and sold out nearly all shows on his ‘Heaven’ Australian tour last year. He’s sure to stay on the same path following his latest single ‘Love Me Now’ and next album on it’s way!
We were lucky enough to have a chat with Ziggy to bring you some music industry insight!
Who was your first musical inspiration? Why? Who inspires you now?
Horrorshow, because they really opened my eyes to the depth of storytelling possible through lyrics. Then Ben Howard, because his take on acoustic folk song writing is so unique. Now, the list is impossibly long. There is so much good music being made, it’s incredible!
What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Health, health, health. It’s fun getting drunk on tour, I’ve done it, but if you want to play your best shows for the people – and tour for years to come – partying just isn’t much a part of the equation.
What has been one of the most defining moments in your career?
Staying independent and co-founding my own record label, Commonfolk Records. I was really close to signing to a record label, after being independent for so long – but we as a team made the decision to stay independent and start our own. I’m really proud of that. It’s my vision that once we pave a solid road out of my career we will take on other artists who want to do it differently.
[Want to start your own record label? Check out our Record Labels Course]
How has your music practice changed over time?
It used to be all in-situ; I was busking so much that on average I played 3 hours a day. Right now I’m in Norway and don’t even have a guitar (haha!) the landscape has changed. I will rehearse and busk a lot before tour starts again to get a groove.
My top business tip for new artists is…
Stay involved. First couple years I was my own manager, my own booking agent, my own driver, my own sound guy, sometimes even my own ticket collector (haha). Try to learn as much about the business side of your career as possible. Then you will choose better people to work with and have a greater understanding of their work. I am, now, hands off with quite a few sides of the business, but I am across all major decisions.
[Interesting in becoming a band manager? Or in managing your own music career? Hit up the Artist Management Course!]
My biggest career mistake has been… What would you do differently now?
I don’t believe I’ve made my biggest career mistake yet. Everything I’ve done to date in my career, even if it’s been a bad decision, has led to beautiful things.
Example: In November 2017 I, with encouragement from my team, decided to take 10 months off touring. The most time in 5 years, at the peak of my career. You could argue that is a terrible career decision – but not touring has given me time to get 2 eye operations, get healthy again, work on the back end of the business, finish my new album, start a record
label, and – hilariously – has led to better opportunities and growth that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is… What do you think can change that?
Plastic use. The amount of single use plastic in catering backstagewhat’s provided for the listeners out front… It’s fucked up. Artists are starting to stand up and demand better,
and that’s creating change, because if the artist is unhappy all hell breaks loose (haha) – but I think the biggest change will come with choice. Listeners and artists – I say it in that order, because who’s the bigger crowd? They should have the option to choose or buy more sustainable packaging for their food and water at music events. Because there is lots of people right now wanting to make a better choice but it just isn’t always facilitated. Massive thank you to all the festival organisers, venue owners and stall holders who are currently making these changes. Let’s keep it growing!
If Ziggy’s hands-on tips inspired you, check out the courses page here at Music Industry Inside Out for more on how to be savvy with your own music career!