Believe it or not, not every band can achieve U2-like fame just by penning a catchy tune. This Monday at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, along with the Chicago Music Commission, presents “Building an Audience,” a panel discussion featuring artist Shala Akintunde, singer Anita Chase, En Prise Management co-owner Nelson Colon III and more, moderated by Invisible Records musician and producer Martin Atkins. “I think that most artists, when they look at somebody else’s success, it’s impossible for them to fathom how to get there,” Atkins says. “And I think the problem is artists will look and say, ‘OK, I’m playing The Hideout, how do I go from Hideout to stadium shows?’ You just don’t see it.” Atkins says that the panel plans to discuss the realities of building a fan base. “People like to be told, ‘You’ll be an overnight success,’ and even artists that spend ten years to become overnight successes perpetuate the idea of overnight sensation. Because it’s not sexy for them. When they’re asked how it all happened, it’s not sexy to say, ‘We worked our nuts off, lived in a van for a year and never want to see a microwave burrito again.’ It demystifies their success.”
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