Josh Ritter
Singer, Songwriter, & Musician
02:00

Josh Ritter on Self-Promotion

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The artist's business plan is simple, says singer/novelist Josh Ritter - you just commit to putting your work in front of as many people as possible.

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste magazine. He started out studying neuroscience at Oberlin College, but later switched to a self-created folk music major. His albums include the self-released "Josh Ritter" (1999), "Golden Age of Radio" (2000), "Hello Starling" (2003), "The Animal Years" (2006), and "The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter" (2007). His newest album, "So Runs the World Away," was released in May 2010. Ritter's first novel, "Bright's Passage," is due to be published by Dial Press in the summer of 2011.
Transcript

Josh Ritter: The most important thing is to start off with a business plan of saying "I want everybody to hear this," you know, and to be comfortable with that.  To get the most people to listen or to promote yourself is not so much the idea as to promote this thing that you have done, you know?  There is a difference.  If you’re a Kardashian, you’re promoting yourself.  You’re promoting this idea of the Kardashians.  But if you’re a novelist or a cinematographer or you’ve written songs, you know, these are things that are important to you.  These are like children, you know?  These are creations that you want people to see and to experience because you spent a lot of time on them, and they’re important.   

You know, when I first started I just knew I wanted everybody in the world to hear one song of mine.  I thought of, like, This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, and I thought "That’s the most amazing song, and everybody knows it, and that would be so amazing if people knew a song of mine."  

If you’re ambitious, you have to be honest with your ambitions.  You can be the best and the smartest and the cleverest and the most talented songwriter, but if you just assume that you don’t need to promote this song or whatever it is, that if you don’t feel the need to do that . . . if you get your own strength from hiding it away from the world, then no one is ever going to hear it and no one’s really going to care.  So I’d say, like, just start off and be honest with yourself and say that the world needs to hear what you’ve got to say and you deserve to be able to go out there and show what you do.  

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd


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