Engaging a group is never an easy thing. I think that it’s a process of creating stuff that fuels your internal passion, showing that passion and building a community around that.
In the case of musician Justin Vernon, he’s found himself engaging a group just by taking his troubles of a broken band and broken relationship to the backwoods of Wisconsin and recording his sorrows away.
In 2006, Vernon posted his sad songs from his album, “For Emma, Forever Ago”, on MySpace, hoping for some feedback and maybe sell his story via a few CDs. The reaction over time has spawned a community of followers that can relate to his style and sincere tone. In turn, that caught the attention of new media blogs and other social networks.
For Vernon, being real and always true to himself, has cashed out well. In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “Musician Finds a Following Online”, he tells artists to always keep on the path, playing shows and putting their noses to the grindstone, not worrying what the end result is going to be. With that concept in his mind, his new band Bon Iver is playing sold-out shows across the United States.
The music industry has changed but the basic principals have not. It comes down to this: you make good music from your soul, you put it out there, you adore your listeners, you embrace the feeling of success and the rest has no choice but to follow.