5 Lessons All Artists Can Learn from the TLC Biopic
Once a huge fan of this legendary group, I obtained a wealth of invaluable information from viewing the TLC biopic on VH1. Much of said information was specific to this group, and their particular circumstances; however, after thinking in a broader sense, I was able to extract some universal lessons that any person, especially Indie artists, can take away from viewing this movie.
5. Be Yourself– At the height and bottom of their careers, the members of TLC remained true to who they were. Their style, (which was formerly frowned upon for females), set trends worldwide. Likewise, their sound (many feared too masculine), made them a staple in the industry for decades. There is no wrong or right way, you have to do what works for you.
4. “Haters Gonna Hate”– Yes, I know this lingo wasn’t around in the early 90’s, but it’s as apt and succinct as I can make it. TLC had adversity coming from all directions when they were forming and even after making it big as this group. From Pebbles, to their parents, to upset fans, in order for them to become the greats they are known as today, they had to silence their critics and give it all they had!
3. Money Isn’t Everything– If you’ve at all followed the career of this group then you are well aware of the fact that they were flat broke at the height of their careers. Of course, no one would want to have to endure this, but even from the words of the artists themselves, this was also the most fun and exciting times that they had ever experienced. So while money enhanced their experiences, many of the best times of their lives were spent without a penny to their names.
2. What’s MTB will Be– Another huge theme of the movie is that some things are MTB or Meant To Be. From how the girls met, to how they had to fight to stay together, to even the children they had along the way, one major theme is that what is meant to be, will be. They may have been discouraged, but they always pressed forward and they made it farther than most ever dream!
1. READ your contracts!!- OK, permission to state the obvious, but the number one lesson learned from this movie is always read your contracts before signing! One of the biggest female groups ever and they almost walked away without a penny to show for it…why?? Because they were too trusting and not proactive enough in terms of the business aspect of the music industry. Luckily, these women figured it all out and got it together, but many artists are only known for a few hits before fading into obscurity with all of the royalties going to some big name entity. TLC is a special case of the dishonesty that continues to occur in the industry as they even reportedly had to pay one million dollars per name to continue using the moniker they made famous.
Overall, the TLC movie is a greatly entertaining and educational film for anyone to view. To take it a step further, inspiring artists, or even artists in the business should pay extra special attention to its accompanying precautionary tale. After all, you are never to big to fail, but you’re never so small that you can’t succeed!