Confession: I have been a mysterious performer. I don’t wear jewelry that reveals my marital status. My face is not on the cover of my CDs. It’s all on purpose though. It’s to remain anonymous, in hopes the music speak for itself.
While I’ve noticed the – ahem – younger musicians are taking the world by a storm by selling their image, a fantasy, with skin, it’s become clear we all play the skin-showing game, even the most talented among us.
If done right, a sexy image can and does sell CDs. This was evident to me in the mid 90’s when a friend bought a CD from a new singer on the scene without even hearing a note. He purchased Diana Krall’s All For You because, as he said, “she shows a lot of leg.” She created the fantasy with that one image. Wonder what he thinks of her 2012 CD Glad Rag Doll…
I was very careful while picking the “back photo” on my first album, My Someday, because it often feels the image can make or break CD sales. It’s my attempt to bring sexy back (no pun intended) by not revealing too much and keeping it classy. Second, the photo has longevity; no matter how much I change, that image has staying power. And finally, I was hoping to tap into those folks (you know who you are) who buy CDs based on the amount of skin seen on the cover.
What I’ve discovered lately though it’s a graceful, balancing act: while I long for more sales and attention, I hope it’s the music I love to share draws in the audience. And as I get more involved on-line, thanks to a gentle push from my social media advisor, I find my anonymity is slowly coming to an end.
I won’t start twerking but I may start tweeting. Stay tuned.
What do you think? Do you think a sexy image sells CDs?