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niki's avatar

What is the difference between Solo artist and band leader in a band?

Asked by niki (699 points ) April 15th, 2010

(I know I’ve asked similar question in the past, but this is just to clarify furthermore):
what is the most prominent differences between a solo artist and a band leader in a band?
example: what is really the main differences (or the main determinants of the differences) between, say, Jason Mraz, and a “band” like Muse, where we all know the ‘leader’ of the band obviously is Matthew Bellamy (he wrote all the songs, even seemingly take full control of ALL the instrument’s arrangements from bass, guitar, etc..correct me if i’m wrong though) ?

as I’ve mentioned in the the past few months,
I want to start forming two music projects of mine.
One is going to be an entirely “Solo” project, ie: Solo acoustic piano ‘orchestral’ project (I will sing too).
and the other one is the electrorchestra pop/jazz project.
the latter is where I’m still confused, and mainly it’s this:

1. I am still currently one individual, and right NOW, I am actually capable of making the whole compositions and arrangements until they’re finished. So should I just upload (or “released”) it first on the Net (ie: Myspace, Reverbnation, Facebook, etc)?
or should I better wait until I’ve found other musicians, for the LIVE performance?
(I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t deny there is some “ego” part in me that wants my FULL and complete control in my music & its concept to get recognized the most for its worth (it’s quite normal,..isn’t it?), this is why i’m asking this question: what should I act as? Solo or band?)

2. if I can do all the stuff by myself, how important is it to have to find other musicians? is LIVE performance really, really essential?
what if I just immediately create the project, and self-release my music (a “promo”, and media-ready) online, like on iTunes, CDbaby, WITHOUT having to wait or search for completed musicians/band members? or, to think about those later on?

3. most important question perhaps:
then should I better act as a “Solo artist” (& telling my other musicians firsthand that they’re going to play exactly like I want, and perhaps if they want, only contribute very little bit), or in this case, is it better for me to just form as a “Band”, where I’ll become the band leader?

I figure this is going to be a very important, crucial information,
as I try to not get a wrong start anymore this time.
also I figure this would surely important in terms of “legal, music business” stuff perhaps, such as the copyright, royalty issues.
please help me solve this musical predicament.
thanks!

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6 Answers

rebbel's avatar

For the solo-project i suggest to call yourself Niki.
For the electrorchestra pop/jazz project you could go for Niki and Band.

When i hear on the radio, let’s say, ”Ennio Capretti and Band”, i assume that Ennio is the musical brains and the Band are ‘just’ musicians.

john65pennington's avatar

Solo artists are just that. solo. they work alone.

Band leader leads the band. this person is not a solo artist, while leading the band, but could become one in the future.

It all depends.

A good example is when Diana Ross was with the Supremes. she was more or less the “band leader” of the Supremes. when Diana Ross decided to depart from the Supremes and go it alone with her singing career, you could then say she is now a solo artist.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

A lot of times, lately anyway, these things have become jumbled. Generally if someone is using their own name, they’re a solo artist, or at least started out as one… also a lot of times they may be a a studio solo artist, but tour with a band because it’s impossible to play other instruments, simultaneously, live.

PacificToast's avatar

As a soloist you work alone or collaborate with others in the music industry, only your name is printed on the album cover. As a leader, you lead, you collaborate with others in the band, and the bad name goes on the album cover.

evandad's avatar

A solo artist would be like a guest star on a track or tracks. They would not be an actual member of the band. A lot of bands don’t have leaders. If there is a leader of the band it is usually because they are the primary source of original material.

filmfann's avatar

A solo artist (like Paul Simon) works with a range of other musicians, including locals and studio muscians.
A band leader is just the frontman.

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