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Bryan Calhoun: How To Be A Successful Musician & Creating a Music Business Budget

Joining us this week out of Atlanta is Bryan Calhoun. Bryan is the creator of The Music Business Toolbox, which breaks down in easy-to-follow steps what both brand-new and experienced music industry professionals need to do to get to the next level.

Bryan has spoken on panels and taught workshops at all of the key music industry conferences including SXSW, MIDEM and CMJ. He’s also worked with artists including including Kanye West, Questlove, Nicki Minaj and Drake over his 25 year career so far. In this interview, Bryan shares the traits he sees in successful artists, the importance of allocating a budget correctly, and the importance of consistency in today’s music industry. Enjoy!



  • Bryan is an advocate for independent musicians and labels, and is always fighting for the underdog
  • Bryan shares the common traits that he sees in successful artists – both independent and major
  • “What I’ve noticed in all of the super successful artists and executives is that they have a really great sense of intuition” – Bryan Calhoun
  • Bryan shares a story about Kanye West’s website back in 2005, and how Kanye’s intuition enabled him to be an innovator in his field
  • “The biggest mistake musicians make is the way they allocate their budget” – Bryan Calhoun
  • Bryan shares that you can’t spend 95% of your budget on recording and only 5% on marketing – because you won’t have the impact with your record that you’re hoping to if no-one knows about it!
  • We hear about why Bryan started The Music Business Toolbox and how it can benefit artists
  • “I saw problems artists and independent labels were making through creating music… I realised I could package resources up and guide people through the business” – Bryan Calhoun
  • Bryan talks about the importance of releasing consistent content in order to build more connections with your audience
  • “Be diligent about paying attention to the details” – Bryan Calhoun

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