Richard Harris

By Dani Felt (November 1, 2016)

1. Who is your inspiration?

My dad and grandfather. My Grandpa was a lifetime musician. Touring and playing in dance bands. Doing session work and TV. The ultimate working muso who fed and brought up his family on music. Passionate and unweilding about the importance of music to life and the world. My dad followed suit. Had an amazing career playing, producing and arranging for some of the world’s big artists of the time. I wanted to be like them both. Everything I’ve ever done was to try and be as amazing as they were and are. Hard shoes to fill! And on a day to day basis my family keeps me going through all the ups and downs. When I need that extra push, which is rare as I’m deeply driven, my kids just smile at me and I get back into the trenches and work harder! 😉 And every artist I have ever listened to and discover each day. It feeds the soul!!

2.What are the toughest parts of being in the music industry/ most challenges you face?

The rejection. Be it as an artist or a writer. We all have to grow that thick skin once we start playing our music outside of the safety of the family! You get used to it and try hard to read into the responses, what needs to be learned while maintaining that dedication to your artistry and perspective. It’s a tough balancing act. Also the politics of this business can be a pain sometimes. But you either learn to play the game or honestly, you have to get out or figure another way to work. Again, hard work!!

3.What would you say are the first steps an artist should take to be successful in their music career?

Become a constant learner. If you think you know it all, you’re done. And don’t think you can do this alone. It takes teams and partnerships to be successful.

4.What do you think music will be like in 5 years?  Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Different! Ha. But seriously I think we are in a very difficult time right now while the industry deals with the ever-changing playing field of music revenues. Hopefully there will be solutions that help reach bigger audiences while continuing to support the very people who make the music we all love to listen to. Music will never go away. It evolves and will survive any issues with commerce. I’m excited for the future. Music is in the hands of musicians and creators and artists. While their passion lives, we we continually be amazed, inspired and challenged. And we can’t ask for more than that. Me, well, I still hope to be in the thick of it. Nothing else makes me feel the way music does. No matter how the career is going I will never stop creating, experimenting and learning. NEVER!

5.What should artists do to protect themselves and be smart business wise?

Same answer as question 3 really. Learn everything. Don’t leave it in the hands of so called experts. Managers, lawyers, A&R, producers or publishers. Become the expert and learn everything. The internet is an amazing resource. Use it. Books about the biz etc. Better you can spot a problem than finding out later on when all the money has run out!

6. What do you feel the mental process is of a successful person in the music industry does? Visualize? Make vision boards? Write down goals or dreams? Meditate etc?

All of the above really. I wrote my own mission statement years ago, which wasn’t just about music but about my life and what I wanted to achieve in this life. A road map that I always reflect on. It has helped me so many times. You have also got to be diligent, work hard every day and do what you say you are going to do. Deliver! Believe it or not most people don’t. Even the talented ones. Be reliable. It’s the hidden gem!

7. Networking is so important, how would you say networking has helped you in your career so far?

Invaluable. Almost to the point that everything good that has happened to me in this industry has come to me because of a relationship I have and those I maintained. And one point I always like to make is be a friend to people. Don’t approach any relationship with an eye to get something out of it. Try and see what you can bring to it. There are far too many takers and industry people, especially, are wary of that. I never look at any new introduction like that. If we work together, great. I’m more interested in their thoughts about who should win the premiership this year! (That’s a UK soccer league!)

8. What would you like to leave behind for the world to know about you as?

That I was a good father, husband, brother and friend to those around me. That I may have inspired some artists and writers along the way to be the best they could ever be. And to have left some music that in years to come people will still listen to and get a kick out of. Job done then!