Sufjan Stevens, Entrepreneur

    I consider myself part of the New Populist Approach, in which artists no longer rely on the “star-stoking machinery” of the music industry, and instead focus on more sustainable means motivated by modesty, autonomy, community, loyalty (and other benign abstractions).

This from a sweet essay by singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens discussing his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris.” He makes a nice distinction between building a fan base (and a business) through modest, ground-up methods, rather than the top-down, high-risk, Big Business approach. Indeed, Stevens practices what he preaches with his business Asthmatic Kitty, which relies heavily on building community over the web, supporting small acts with modest means, sharing songs from the site, and doing many small things to build an audience of kindred souls. A far cry from a huge label plotting which billboards to buy and what payola to distribute.

And, in a small way, an inkling of how many new ventures in the post-web-2.0 world can emerge.

Posted by tom at September 13, 2007 03:48 PM
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Sufjan Stevens, Entrepreneur

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