It’s interesting to think about where a musician falls on the artist vs. entertainer spectrum.
Musicians with an “artist mindset” typically create out of self pride. They are eager to make things they like and believe others will like whatever they do.
Those with an “entertainer mindset” are interested in pleasing their audience. Of course, they seek to do what they love, but they care deeply about what their fans think and take it into consideration as they decide what to create.
Very few are solely one or the other, but rather a blend of both of these mindsets. Many interchange depending on the situation. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell which mindset is being exercised and other times both are used simultaneously.
I’m not sure if one end of the spectrum is more successful or not. I believe we as fans are equally amused by those who commit to any point of the spectrum as long as they consistently execute in excellence.
We as fans love to be entertained, but we also find immense appreciation in those with the audacity to share their inner truth regardless of what others think.
Some artists inner truths are naturally more aligned with entertaining than others.
Some are more gifted than others in being at the right place at the right time.
Whether intentionally or not, some are more relevant in connecting via social media or sound design than others.
If a musician is wise enough both mindsets exist, they can choose to view an opportunity from each perspective, which may help them see a fuller picture on key decisions.
From an advisory perspective, I am somewhere in the middle of the spectrum – I am an advocate for understanding fans as best as possible, but then choose to make decisions most natural to the inner destiny of the artist.
It’s rare anybody knows an artist better than themselves.