March 03, 2023
Asher Laub - The Business of Being an Independent Artist

Asher Laub is an in-demand violin soloist whose expertise in trans-genre improvisation has led him to performances at high profile venues like Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Hall, Lincoln Center, the Jacob Javitz Center a...

Asher Laub is an in-demand violin soloist whose expertise in trans-genre improvisation has led him to performances at high profile venues like Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Hall, Lincoln Center, the Jacob Javitz Center and across four continents. 

In this episode, you’ll hear about Asher’s journey into music, how he chose the path of independent artist, the parallels between being an independent artist and entrepreneur, and how he is growing his brand. 

Asher has been playing the violin since the age of 2 and by age 13 had already performed with the Buffalo philharmonic. He shares how his path began very conventionally attending college and supporting himself with money earned playing music and how a health crisis shifted his focus back to music.

Asher talks about his early music career, working with booking agents to get work, and his decision to become an independent artist. He discusses the challenges of wearing many hats as a musician and business-builder and his story illustrates the many parallels between being an independent artist and an entrepreneur.

Asher gives us insight into the different ways independent artists monetize their businesses, how he has diversified his revenue streams, and how he has been able to build a brand that attracts and truly resonates with his fans. 

Finally, Asher tells us how he knew it was time to hire a team, how he approaches marketing and using data to drive his strategy, his trans-genre approach to his music, and how he prioritizes time with his family and works it around his business.

Skip to topic:
4:51 - The complicated shift going from musician to entrepreneur
7:55 - How independent artists are monetizing their businesses as entrepreneurs
10:03 - Building a brand as a musician and the value of fans as brand ambassadors
15:09 - The aspect of Asher’s brand that he thinks attracts fans
19:46 - How Asher has diversified his income streams
21:54 - How Asher works in different types of partnerships
23:54 - When Asher knew he needed to hire a team
27:50 - Using data and analytics to drive marketing strategy
30:50 - Determining the right production frequency to keep fans engaged
31:33 - Taking a trans-genre approach to music
34:40 - How Asher prioritizes his family life and works his professional life around that 

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Welcome to the Real People Real Business Show. My name is Stephanie Hayes, and I'm a business strategist who helps mature entrepreneurs design their wealthy exits. Whether that means building an asset-based business model for an eventual sale, or simply taking yourself outta your business while enjoying its continued growth. I love to speak with like-minded entrepreneurs to share their real stories and the gritty details of how they've navigated their own way through. On this show, you won't hear about the glamorized entrepreneurship journeys that you see online. You won't be told how to make six figures in six weeks instead. To hear real vulnerable and inspiring stories that you can relate to that have helped create the foundation for each of our guests businesses today, I'm so excited to welcome Asher Laub. Asher began classical violin training at the tender age of two and had already performed with the Buffalo Phil Harmonic by age 13. Asher's expertise in trans genre improvisation has led to at a such a mouthful, trans genre. Improvisation has led him to a career as a bio, as a solo. On demand performing at venues such as Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Hall, Lincoln Center, the Jacob Javit Center, and across four continents. Asher has also been featured on P B S and has made headlines on CNN, WABC, NBC, and many other major news sources. Asher is known for break dancing across stages with his LED electric violin. In addition to performing as a DJ violinist, bringing his experience as a live performer and technical prowess as an auto. Editing and mixing guru to countless clubs and stages across the country. Welcome to the show, Asher, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today. Oh, it's my pleasure. Thanks for having. We have been chatting about, uh, the business side of your music, but back up a bit and tell me the story. How did you get to where you are right now? Because you've been very innovative and I think that you have followed a really interesting journey of entrepreneurship, even though your background and your, you know, your main work has been as a performing artist. Yeah, I've had quite an interesting circuitous route to this point. And, um, what's driven the route has, has really ultimately been my passion and my, I guess, just seeking joy in life. Um, and I guess the impetus to that kind of frame of mind was, um, you know, velocity, the ability to, to, uh, I, I lost my health, uh, I lost my, you know, almost lost my life. And, um, That sort of helped me reframe things. So that's, again, that's just kind of giving that little, little bit of background there. Um, it all started at age two, like, like you mentioned. Um, my mother pretty much started me off on this, this course and, uh, didn't really expect me to make this a full-time professional career cuz the idea was okay, MD PhD, that's kind of how our family goes. And you know, when I reached college I was already earning an income in music, so it was sort of a no-brainer. , okay. So you, so you, you achieved this, uh, status as a performing artist. But you've also forayed into, um, into other areas, into other pursuits. Can you talk a little bit more about those? Um, well, I guess you could be referring to a number of things. Uh, I, I pursued other degrees, uh, other, uh, you know, nine to five, uh, degrees. I have three others in the sciences from NYU and the top uni, top tier universities, NYU Masters, uh, bachelor's, um, bsn. I. All these things were kind of setting the stage for, you know, a nursing degree, a nursing career, uh, career in education, administration, all that stuff. And I did pursue those for a few years and, and I again, lost, lost my health and that, that helped me reshift reframe and move me back into music, which was really all always ha It's was happening since 2001. So even while I. Completing my degrees, uh, in New York. I was working my way through the circuit and playing private events, concerts, and paying my bills, uh, while in university. So it's a pretty, pretty easy transition. Yeah, and I mean, the b the, my sister is a musician and, um, the, the business of music is, is not. It's not easy, right? And, uh, and in some ways you have to be, you know, you have to have similar skill sets in the sense that you, you do need to market yourself and you need to sell yourself. And I think what she found out as she figured out was, you know, this, this is hard, right? Like this is the, the business side of music is almost more of an indicator of success in terms of how you build those skills than how good you are as a musician. Is that. Absolutely. Very much what you said is, is, is the case. And what's interesting is that the first half of my music career, while I was working my way through school and earning, just paying the bills, uh, working on weekends and so on and so forth, uh, there was, there was very little business. Mindset. Um, I didn't have time, time to think about the business aspects of being a musician. I was fortunate enough to have, uh, booking agents just bringing me on. Uh, cuz I, I, I brought a, a unique skillset to the table for venues and, and, and for clients and so on and so forth. But, uh, once I had made the shift to full-time, I realized, okay, I, I really have to start ramping up my income and I have to start taking more. What I'm doing on the artist's end of things and, and really know what's going on. What are the booking agents doing? What are the promoters doing to, to even bring me on? Um, I, I needed to start kind of having a 360, 360 degree view and understanding, uh, especially when you factor in, uh, the horror story is that that independent musicians signed to labels and management end up in what. Pardon the pun, but 360 deals, that's actually what they're called. Uh, which I pretty much means you're getting screwed, , uh, you know, they take all your royalty royalties and you don't get the money back for many years, uh, unless you have a very successful tour. So, so I kind of, because I had a family, or at least I was married at the time, um, so I gonna say about 10 years ago, I. I, I started thinking about marketing and social media and, uh, connecting directly with clients, having them book me directly and still working along with, uh, working, working in, you know, t with, uh, different booking agents. But that's what I sort of put on the marketing hat. And I, I think it's been not, I think it's been very rewarding. It's been quite a challenge. Uh, wearing multiple hats, you know, as a musician, as an artist, as a producer, as a performer, , and then as a, as a, a marketing manager. A ceo, pretty much with people under me who carry out, you know, my recommendations, um, to help, help me grow my channels, help me grow, uh, fiddle Dream Productions, which is my entertainment group. Um, in addition to myself as an artist, I can go on and on. It's just, it's, uh, it's a complic. It's a complicated shift. Well, that's why I was so interested in having you on the show because I, uh, I think as an independent artist, you are. Pretty much an entrepreneur, right? You, you do have to learn and know how you are going to navigate your next contract and your next gig and your next performance. And I know that you can work through booking agents, but as you've mentioned, that's not always necessarily the most viable option. And you put all of your control and you put all of your, your fate inside of someone else's hands. So how often do independent artists. Um, actually make that transition. I think there's a growing number of, of artists that are, you know, cause there are different courses offered out there. Um, some of them are like, eh, . But I, I haven't, I haven't encountered a course that's been entirely useful, but you get lots of tidbits of usefulness, um, and you see that there's like a whole dry, there is a. There, there's, like I mentioned, a growing number of, of, uh, independent artists really looking to take control of their careers because they see that the resources are, are immediately at their disposal that they are available. Maybe not as much the connections, but, uh, so if, if you think of your business as an independent artist, as, as you know, you're a CEO and you know, you try to bring in shareholders and investors. Many May, uh, often are, are your, um, your fans, um, you know, you might have wealthy fans that they, they can kind of commit to, to donating or, or investing and then getting a percentage back. There are, there are systems out there like that, like, uh, Cort for instance. Uh, people investing in you as a, uh, sort of as a shareholders, like a publicly traded type of independent slash independent artist concept. That's another way that that. I've considered monetizing my career. There are just many different ways that you can monetize the, the, I'm gonna say the trickiest part of growth, uh, as a, as an entrepreneur, uh, and artist is, aside from the multiple hats, is knowing how to, knowing how to manage, uh, pretty much your employees. Um, and knowing how to, how to keep them continuously working for you and cause they have other opportunities out there and, They could drop you, just like you can drop them. So I can say that's been the biggest challenge. And I think as an artist, you're always creating a brand too, right? I think at this, in this day and age, people have access to so much more about you than just the art you're creating, whether you're, you know, a, a musician or you know, a more traditional artist. I think that, um, you know, a lot of your time and effort is going into building the brand around the music, isn. That's right. Uh, a lot of it's branding and, uh, you know, people are attached to your brand. Uh, I, I'm playing, I'm playing music, new songs pretty much every day on social media, so I, I don't even have time to perfect things at this point, you know, unless I'm releasing music video that's, uh, kind of a high budget one. Uh, you know, my, my releases on Spotify, they're curated. My music videos on YouTube, they're, they're curated on social media. It's a big fat mess. So I'll just put, I'll just plug in some music and I'll just start jamming away and whatever comes out, comes out cause I don't have time. Um, and the speaking to what, what we were just addressing, the, the fans that they love you, they love your branding, they don't care if you play a note out it slightly outta tune or not. They, they're attracted to you as a person. Kind of this holistic type of thing. I just wanna see you. And that's why it's really just important to build rapport with fans cuz they, you know, they share, share your branding. They are, um, they're uh, what we call representatives, agents of, uh, their advertisers in a sense. Uh, they, they share your music. They share your content with friends, and that's a big deal. Yeah. Yep. My daughter, uh, had her guitar concert on Sunday night, and she had a solo and, you know, played a few wrong notes and she listened to it afterwards and was nearly crying, and I'm like, you know what? When you become a big rockstar, You could play as many wrong notes as you want, and no one's gonna care. And in fact, nobody did care who was at the, the show you sounded great. Nobody would've known if you hadn't made that cringey face when you played them. Um, so yes, I, I think that's, I think that's super interesting because we're constantly, as business owners, thinking about who we are as people. And I think even if you're not, if you're not just a solo entrepreneur, I think even if you are leading a bigger company, Your, your audience or your clients are increasingly more interested in who's behind the company, who you are, what, what you stand for. And so do you find that you need to create more than just the music in, in all of your profiles? Like are people curious about who you are as an individual and who, and like what you stand. Definitely, uh, especially the people that are DMing me sending, you know, that are on my, my mailing list. I know they're the most interested, um, people that are, that are constantly sharing my music and commenting. Um, yeah, it's, it's, it's a challenging situation. Um, and you, you really have to be careful about what you say to pretty much your average Joe Schmo, like anybody who just sends you a message and seems like they're like a nobody. Or they're unimportant. You know, everybody's important. Um, everybody in your life have everybody who reaches out to you, whether they seem it or not. Um, because again, these, these can be people who could be your clients or your agents or representatives of people who are or advocates for you. And, um, I I, I've, it's taken me a few years to really, um, to really shift to that perspective that, you know, your fans are your, um, are, are essentially your clients. Um, And, uh, you know, I guess, I guess that's just a maturity thing that, that eventually, uh, is just sort of intuitive now. Yeah. And what is your brand like, what do you think that your super fans are connecting with? Um, well, my super fans are just connecting with me, uh, because I've literally produced some, I, I've, I've produced material that I'm not even love in love with, uh, that they've. Completely been head over heels attracted to, um, doesn't make any sense to me. It's just cuz they, they, they love the branding that I've created. Um, and it's not for everybody. You know, it's, it's, you can't, you can't attract everybody. Um, no, I hope not. Yeah. Yeah. They're, they're cuz otherwise, yeah, it's, I, it's impossible. But , uh, is, I've been, I've made sure to stay true to myself. Uh, it hasn't been easy, uh, cause I haven't always wanted to. That way. I, I haven't always wanted to be, I I, I, I've looked at other others to and told myself, okay, I wanna be that person. I, you know, I wanna be David Garrett, Lindsey, str blah, blah. I, I, I really am and myself now, uh, for the most part, and especially because I don't have a choice but to be myself. And I guess social media, uh, forces us in that type of position where, you know, we're posting stories of our personal lives and, uh, that's what people want to. People engage with. So yeah, I'm pretty much an open book at this point, but maybe that's why I don't have a huge social media. Follow. My personal life is pretty boring, , you know, God bless you. Uh, this is, uh, keep, keep, keep going with that. Non-social media life. I, I actually was talking about this with a couple of musicians yesterday and they're, they're, uh, they're like, yeah, I don't do social media. I'm like, Good. Uh, cuz you'll become a slave to it. Yeah, it's true. It's true, it's true. I think that the times where I've really been like, I'm gonna, you know, really make an effort on, on social media and it, it's, um, you gotta be committed that, to say the least. Yeah. And if you could describe that brand that you've created, like what, what do you think it is that people are attracted to about you? Um, I've actually seen, um, I'm trying to think how to phrase this, but I've, I've actually seen some interesting comments that popped up in my feed that I maybe weren't supposed to, uh, that made me realize how important what I was doing. I didn't even realize what I was doing to, um, in terms of connecting with fans, uh, I, I treat, I treat fans like royalty, um, in the sense that I, I, I give them the ultimate respect and, and those are the people that are, I think, are most attracted to me. The people that. That are looking for a connection instead of to like worship a, you know, a celebrity god, you know, mu top musical, top 40, you know, obsession type of situation. They're looking for somebody who genuinely knows that they're there and, um, plays meaningful deep music that that's instrumental. You know, I'm a violinist. People, uh, of all walks of life tend to tend to like violin as long as it. Uh, covers the, the gamut of genres, which is what I do. Uh, but I saw a post on social media that, that I guess some influencer asked, what is it, what is it that, can you, can you cite or can you refer to a, an artist who, who I guess did something that you has done something that you, that was unexpected. This happened like a year or two ago. I don't remember the exact phrasing. And a couple of, um, of my super fans posted, um, Asher, like they, they linked me. They said Asher Laub. Um, he's, he's really unusual because he, he takes the time to respond and, and doesn't, doesn't put himself on a p on a pedestal. And it, and. When I, when I saw that comment, I, it, it meant the world to me. Cause it, it kind of reaffirmed what I'd been doing up until that point and I didn't really see much value in it. And now, now it's like a no-brainer for me that I really have to treat people with the kind of, it's not like a top-down relationship. It's a, it's an equal method, equal type of relationship. I play music, you know, you feel a certain degree of reward and it's like a back and forth type of give and. I hope that's useful to your. Absolutely. And I think, uh, you know, I think there'll be actually quite a number of listeners who identify as artists and as independent artists. And I think that this is all really relevant because I think as much as we bemoan the, um, the demands of. being on social media. I think it's also really democratized art, right. And enabled people who would never have the platform or never be able to, you know, break through. Cause a lot of artists are very introverted or very um, You know, unsure about sharing their art and may never have reached those booking agents or may never have reached the, or had the relationships to get to the people who could, you know, work for them. And even that business, it's not about, it never is about how good you are, it's about the brand that you can bring to the table, right? Absolutely. Um, it is ultimately about the brand you can bring to the table. Um, the marketing aspects are really crucial as well. Um, I, I do , I do wanna mention if I hadn't mentioned it prior, that my life has become, um, infinitely more complicated since I shifted into a, you know, wearing the marketing hat, uh, which is, I guess why artists seek a label. Um, but I don't know if I would trade it or anything. Yeah. I mean, if you can get past that hump where it starts, where it's very, very uncomfortable and you can at least understand what needs to be done, I imagine that the trade off of being able to have much more control over your destiny, so to speak, and your, you know, how you show up in the world is, is infinitely worth it. Yeah. And it's not for everybody. A lot of the, my musician counterparts, they, they've chosen to take the path that I had taken 10 years prior. You know, they're, they're okay. They just want the stability and Right. I'm looking for that. I'm not looking for the routine. I'm looking for something different. That's the entrepreneur. Me. Yeah. And it's very much the same as, you know, people who stay in their jobs versus people who decide to start their own business. It's not for everybody. And that's fine. Right. It doesn't have to be. So have, so talk to me about, um, how you make money. So, I imagine you get paid for your performances, but have you diversified your income sources? Yeah, it, it's kind of odd. There's this. For some reason the, the majority of my income is still from live performances. Um, which, which is good. You know, I could see people, um, who are kind of completely dependent on social media looking at me and be like, I wanna do that. You know, but I'm looking at them saying, I wanna do that , you know, because, um, there's something cool about doing everything from, you know, the comfort of your own home studio. Uh, something I've been growing. Anyway, to answer your question, uh, I have multiple streams of income. Uh, even though the majority of my income is, is from live performances. I have, uh, fans that, that, uh, support me, uh, that, that help me, that invest in royalties. Uh, my music on Spotify, iTunes, so on and so forth. People buy my music online, uh, on my website, and also on the major platforms, geezer, you know, Amazon, so on and so forth. Um, Stream. What else can I say? Uh, streams are, are an indirect way of monetizing. Uh, so I guess that's, that, that is somewhat related to, you know, booking agents and companies that wanna collaborate with you. They see that you have an audience, so they want, like, they want you to produce a, you as a me, uh, to produce, you know, music videos, for instance, with them sponsoring. So, you know, directs traffic to them, that, that's another form. Um, I earn, I earn money off of, uh, streaming. So, uh, on Instagram, Facebook. So I get, I get paid, uh, like per stream type of stuff. And, uh, I'm trying to reme. Okay. I mentioned royalties, uh, selling albums, uh, live performances. Sometimes it's, it's, it's easy to forget . I, I remember very quickly when I, I do my, my taxes , all the bookkeeping. . Unfortunately, those Um, and so tell me about partnerships. Is it, does that exist in the, in the music business? Cuz I know in, in most, um, industries, it's a, it's a pretty quick way for you to increase your. Yeah, and it's something I've been working on more and more. Um, yeah, a number of, uh, so I have short-term pro partnerships with, with, with pretty large companies. Um, I, you know, I'll, I'll do like reviews for violin. Sometimes I'll get, I'll get paid for that type of stuff. Uh, different instruments and, you know, uh, I dunno, different interviews for, for, uh, for, uh, lu and violin makers and, um, you know, companies that sell products like Long Island Violin shop type of stuff. Those types of companies, small businesses, um, uh, you know, I guess you could say it's somewhat of a partnership. If I'm doing a live event for, for TNT or CNN or, uh, you know, the history channel, that type of stuff, uh, they're essentially paying me and then I'm promoting on the social media, uh, and I'm doing an event for them and we're kind of cross promoting. So that's, that's a form of a partnership. Also, you know, booking agents. Uh, event planners. That's a form of a partnership. Other musicians, well, that's a form of a partnership. They're, they're booking me, I'm booking them. We're sort of trading events. Uh, put me on, on concerts. I put them, uh, put them on concerts in different types of events. Uh, the, the, uh, what other types of partnerships am I, am I missing? I mean, there are just many of them. Listen on Fiddle Dream Productions, which is, uh, fiddle dream, which is my entertainment group. Um, they're all those corporate partnerships that I've. In the past, um, I'm sure I'm, I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I've had a lot of It's okay. The, the, the point is, is that they, they exist and that they're a vehicle for, I'm assuming finding new, uh, venues or finding new, um, ways to distribute or become known for your art. Absolut. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you mentioned you have a team, and so tell me a little bit about who you're working with and when did that, when did you decide that you needed some help? Uh, when I was continuously going to bed at like two in the morning every night and like, this is unsustainable and my wife was getting upset, my kids weren't seeing me. Um, it's very much a full-time job. Um, and then some, so, So I started seeking seeking specialists. Um, you know, when you're in a position like mine where you know, you're not doing the brick and mortar so much, uh, as an independent artist. Cause you know, for me, my clients and my fans and my relationships are national and international in that respect. So brick and mortar isn't, isn't so useful. Um, but it's really just like the online presence. So, so I had to, I, I had to bring on, uh, One employee at a time. Social media management, um, folks that help with, with outreach. Um, you know, just, just doing collaborative relationships with other artists. Um, you know, getting bookings for my entertainment group, uh, working with clients, event planners, those type types of stuff. Just doing outreach. That's, that, that's just some of the work that my, my employees, uh, handle. And, uh, saves me hours and hours at a time. We're talking thousands of of hours and I'm really looking to ramp that up because, uh, When I can depend on somebody or depend on multiple people, uh, there's, there's no replacing that. So human capital is really probably the most important aspect of my business and part of my success. And, and what, what is it that you wanna be freed up to do? Is that, is that, you know, life stuff, is that more development on the artist front? Is that, you know, producing music? What's the priority right now? Uh, all the above. , uh, I, I am, I don't feel like I have enough time to produce the music that I, I want to, the ultimate level of quality that I want in order to kind of pitch it to, to high end collaborators, other artists, um, who are very much established. Um, and I, I, yeah, so to answer your question, simply, the music, obviously my family's core to my life. Uh, but as far as the music, uh, and the. Goes, I, I, I wanna, I wanna just know what's going on in the business end of things. I wanna be in the dark where you're sort of with the label and the label could just drop you on your, on your butt one day cause they don't like you. Or something's going wrong with your business. You don't know what it is cause you don't understand the, a different aspects of it. Here's like, I have employees, they report to me. I have a question about what's going on, like what's, what's going wrong? And I understand the algorithm more. I understand the. Um, I understand what's working, what isn't working by them reporting to me, and that's just sort of, I think, the most useful way to run a business. If you could look at a guy like Elon Musk, he has a question, you know, that he's gonna get the answer as opposed to being a specialist and then just sort of depending on a third party to promote you, and then they can just drop you whenever they want. Yeah. So I mean, the key to being independent artist is the independence, right? And I, you know, I guess, It's the trade off between do you take control over your own growth or do you let that sit in someone else's hands? Yeah, and I, I guess the horror stories were enough to get me working my tail off to do it myself. Um, it means I, I grow slower, but uh, it's more steady. Yeah. And I've been able to look at the numbers and the monthly income and I'm able to say, oh, when I'm doing XYZ strategy, Incomes like this, uh, I shift to a ABC strategy. Incomes like this maybe at a different, different level, and then I can sort of scale from there. You mentioned something when we were talking earlier, um, about how you use data and analytics to drive what your next strategy is gonna be. Can you talk a little bit, cuz I'm a, I come from the technology world and I'm a huge data person, so made me really happy to hear that there was this marriage of data and artistry. So tell me a little bit more about that. Yeah, well it's cool to talk to you. Um, somebody uses data, somebody in the tech world. Yeah, they're very, very much, you know, the major labels, they're bringing in tech people to do this kind of stuff. So that's sort of the way I have to think. But uh, when you don't have a big budget like myself, uh, a number of years ago, I'm starting with an Excel chart and it's actually, I haven't found anything quite comparable to something as simple as a, as Excel. So those are your listening. Those of your listeners who are limited in budget, just use that. You know, you can do multiple tabs, you can collect thousands of pieces of data, and if you have the correct formulas, you can automatically collect essential targeted whatever. Um, um, what are they? Pki, uh, PKIs or PKIs KPIs. Yeah, there we go. Key performance indicators. , yeah. Performance indicators. Thank you KPIs. Um, and you can, you can determine, you know, where am I getting the best roi? And, uh, that's something that I've, I've been able to look at year, year after year, um, what works with Dozen. And I can actually see, you know, three years ago I actually earned a higher income, but I was taking, I was doing more risky business and I was hiring out to like third party, um, marketing teams. I had no idea what they were, they were doing. I didn't know if they were ruining my band, my brand for the long term. And here I, I know for instance this year income's a little bit lower, but it's steady and it's predictable and. You know, I'm able to create formulas, uh, collecting data over like a month, two months, three months, um, net, um, gross, um, how much my taxes are, whatever. And I know, and I'm able to access, uh, clients from three years ago. I know what, what's been quoted three years ago, and I know what's quote, you know, in that context. Uh, if I'm being booked at a certain, certain venue or you know, a certain number, certain number of people, Um, or concert, whatever. So kind of helps me keep things stable. Yeah, I love that. And I, I think a lot of people wouldn't put those two and two together, but again, like we're talking about the business of artistry and, and I, I don't think it changes, it depending, your product just happens to be a little bit different than what others are. But my strategy in many ways could be similar. For instance, uh, yes, when you're dealing with affiliate, affiliate marketing or percentage based commission, uh, influencers, uh, advertising. Um, yeah, I mean, the list goes on, uh, very similar. Um, yeah, the message is d. . Yeah, a hundred percent. You mentioned, uh, that you, you do spend quite a bit of time making new music, so what's, what have you figured out, and with all your data and analytics, what, what have you figured out is sort of your innovation cadence, so to speak? How, how frequently do you need to be producing new music in order to keep that interest and keep the, the brand active? Yeah, it's interesting. I, I, I see the numbers, uh, rise and, and fall in social media and, and, uh, to answer your question simply about every month, uh, if I, ah, if I had the resources, I do it twice a month. Uh, but once a month producing a high end piece of quality piece of content, uh, that people look forward to, um, keeps the fans engaged and keeps a rotation of engaged fans for the most. Uh, along with a million other things that I have to do around those releases. Uh, that's a simple answer to your question. Yeah. And are you producing electronic music? Are you producing, cuz you, you mentioned that you have sort of a trans genre approach to your music, so let's nerd out on that a little bit. Um, how did that come to be And, and where, what's that all? So, uh, it's me. The way it came to be is me testing the waters and I'm still testing the waters. This is why I'm shifting genres often, but what I kind of stay true to the instrumental feature of instrumental, um, and merging electronic type sounds and merging the past with the present and what classical, uh, type, type of, uh, sounds. So I'm, you know, I, I've, I've been ramping up my releases. Ramping up my, uh, my production level, uh, to like 26 piece symphonies, um, as of recently cuz I'm really trying to kind of up the ante, um, uh, with my efforts. And, uh, I, I, I started last month with Lord of the Rings. Uh, I did a Lord of the Rings, uh, medley, which, uh, I'm really, you know, it's 26 piece Symphony like I mentioned. It's, it's on my website. At this, at this point, uh, it covers nory, brandy, foot, all, whatever. I don't know if people, uh, your listeners have, have watched the, uh, you know, the Amazon series, but it's just like a beautiful medley. I just felt compelled to do something like that, and since I created that and got some good feedback, I, I am doing more of the symphonic releases along with electronic. Yeah, I was, when I read that, I was thinking, Hmm, like death metal and magicals or something like that. . It's funny you mentioned that cuz some affinity, uh, to the hardcore, I don't, the word is death metal, um, heavy metal type of audience. There are a number of those people that have an affinity to what I released maybe cuz it's melodic. Yeah. Or that I do electric guitar. Well, interestingly enough, uh, just to go down that rabbit hole, I find that some of the, like if you think about, you know, back to like the eighties. Um, with some of those kind of hardcore, like the, that the real like kind of on the edges type of like speed metal death, but they actually had this very theatrical, um, almost like a classical kind of underpinning to their, their work. And it's funny to think about that, but, and it's not something I, I spend a lot of time listening to, but every time I have, I've thought, gosh, they almost have this classical like back. Yeah, and it's sort of like they actually do, and then they have to put on all the death metal makeup to make it badass, to make it appealing to the average guy who's like, that's cheesy. I don't listen to classical. But when you put on some distortion, like sound effect, then all of a sudden it's like, . Oh, this is cool. I can show this with my friends. Yeah. And then you have to put an um, out in, in the name of your, uh, of your band, and then you can become a real death metal band, . Yeah. It's all in the makeup, really. Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I absolutely agree. I think that maybe, maybe that would've been my calling if I had been, uh, musically inclined back in the day. Um, so what's, what's next for you? Like, what do you see in the future? What are you, what are you really curious about potentially pursuing next? Um, I've mentioned this before. Uh, yeah, I, I, I try to stay local as much as possible. I get a lot of phone. I like get a lot of calls to do concerts out of town. Um, in fact, is today Tuesday? Today's Tuesday, right? It is, it's Tuesday, tomorrow, , I'm supposed to be doing a concert in Miami and I, I factored in the, uh, the family aspect and I turned it down. Um, and I'm pretty much equivalent income just doing local stuff. So I guess, yeah, you sort of like take yourself off of a pedestal and you think practically, okay, do do I care about my family? Is it all just about ego here? Excuse me. And it's not for me. Right? A lot of people, I can see 'em just jumping on that opportunity. I've done, I, I've, I've done enough concerts over the years, over the decades, um, that it's, um, That it's important to sort of take control of your personal life as well as your professional. But to answer your question, uh, a full scale scale tour is something I'd like to do within the context of supporting my family, um, as in like, not just financially, but having time for them. Having time for my kids who are growing up, got a three year old, 10 year old, and, uh, but that's the direction I see this going in because playing, um, playing with like a, a celebrity or big rock star or whatever, Um, their music isn't the same as playing a concert, half the size, a quarter of the size, featuring your music with fans that are truly dedicated to your message and your music. Uh, so that's really the direction that I see this going in more. Yeah. Yeah. And I think like the parallels are so great between like entrepreneurs too, because not everybody wants to go into business to build some, you know, world crushing. Um, you know, big enterprise and, uh, that's always, you know, traditionally been the, the de facto goal was to create some, you know, you know, some. Some industry killer, but I think a lot of, a lot of independence, a lot of solo entrepreneurs are going into business so they can have the life, right, and they can have some meaningful work and they can do something that really comes from their own creativity, whether that's creative work or it's, you know, the execution of whatever I'm an expert in. So I think that there's a, there's a really strong parallel there. And it sounds like you are building a future that is values-based as opposed to, you know, economic. . Yeah. You, you took the words outta my mouth pretty much. And you, you said it way better than I would've ever. Um, that's, that's why I chose this path. And I think that there's a growing number of people who, with the quiet quitting, um, is that, is that the phrase? The, the grand, uh, exit, whatever they called after, after Covid. There are millions of people who quit their jobs. They're like, you know, I'm, I'm seeking happiness. That's sort of been me over the last 10 years. Uh, people looking for meeting, meeting in their lives or looking. Uh, to, they're looking for joy. Life is short. You know, make most of it. And we're not just, it's not worth just being, being slaved to somebody else, to the man , uh, for the next 30, 40 years just so you can have a retirement. Um, let's, right, right. I have a question that I ask every, all my guests. Um, I'm gonna change it just a little bit for you, but what's the difference between what we hear out there in the world of business, and maybe for you it's the world of, you know, mu being a musician or, or being an artist, and what's real, like, what's that difference and what's the biggest difference between what we hear out there and what's real? Uh, within the, within the context of influencers and musicians? I mean, I hope I, I'm answering your question correctly, or, or at least in the way that you're expecting. It's cur curated, um, material is, uh, runs rampant. I mean that in the pejorative, uh, on social media. So we'll sort of pretend to be. Bigger artists, they, they, they sort of pretend to do things on the fly, uh, when they've taken that video or that photo 18,000 times before they post because they're, you know, whatever, they're being managed or because they have to be careful about the engagement rate. And it's something I try to do a little bit less of. Uh, I try to show people my real side. Um, I guess that's what Stories is all, is all about. Um, But, but then there's also like the, the, the, the frustrating behind the scenes, you know, if you're, you're a public figure, uh, where like, myself, people, people see what I do all the time. They see, you know, they'll see me at an event and then they'll see me online, whatever, uh, they don't know, they don't know about the conversations I'm having beyond the scenes with my employees or with, with, uh, you know, with companies or working out contracts. Maybe, maybe I'll eventually have to create a blog about it. maybe that's something that's gonna interest people, but, uh, that's sort of some of the contrast between reality and what's curating. Yeah. Yeah. I, and I think that that applies. To any of any of these business owners is that you see a lot of this sort of curated, um, content out there that's meant to be off the cuff, but it actually is not. And I think it sets people up with incorrect expectations and they, they're constantly questioning themselves as to why I, it's not as easy for me. Right. It's not as easy for me. I don't get the same results. Why is it take me so many more tries? And, and it like the, I think the message to everybody is, it's not like, it's not easier , you're just Yeah. Seeing that, yeah. It isn't easier. And, and a lot of these people drive themselves to the brink and, um, when you have a larger audience, you have that much more stress and you don't know how many of these people are just hyped up on medication. You know, may, maybe, maybe some of them are just completely smooth, but you, you, you constantly hear about these celebrities, uh, where you know the risk, the, they're taking significantly greater risks because of the status that they have. And, you know, guys at Kanye West, for instance, he's, I mean, he, he, he probably, I don't even know how, if he sleeps, I mean, he's just, he's flubbed all these interviews. He's, he, he's having a lot of difficulty in his personal. And, uh, you know, I don't think anything's easy for him these days. No, I, and I, and I think that's why we see a lot of, you know, celebrity meltdowns because yeah, it never gets any easier, right? It does not, uh, not, not, not as you grow, not as you grow. Get smaller, it gets a little easier. Yeah. , keep losing time. Who knows? Yeah. Well, and who knows what the, the future holds. But it sounds like you've got, uh, everything kind of wrapped up and you, you've been learning and you've been watching, and I think that's really important for a lot of entrepreneurs as to always make sure that you're keeping track of what's actually happening and what your results look like. And, and, uh, even if you're in a very creative business, Uh, absolutely. And even having a mentor where, where you'd sort of expect a, a decent amount of, I have a mentor, a decent amount of like support and insight to like, what to look out for. You gotta depend on yourself when you're an independent artist, essentially. Yeah. Yeah. And, and as an entrepreneur as well, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Awesome. Um, we're coming up on time, but I wanted to ask you if you can share with the audience how they can find you and you need to go with, I should have had you bring your, your, your instrument on and just perform for us . But I, I'm imagining there are plenty of opportunities for. For anyone to find your music and find you performing. So can you tell us what the best place is to find you? Sure. Um, well thank you. So, uh, uh, as h e r l a u is my artist website. Um, Fiddler's Dream Music, uh, way too long of a is my entertainment group. Um, corporate events, whitesville types, those types of things, concerts. The, the artist aspect, which people tend to be more interested in. Uh, just search my name, Asher Laub, but I think I'm the only Ash Laub in the country. on Instagram, TikTok, uh, Facebook, I, I go live weekly, um, uh, Twitter. I'm on all those major platforms and if you wanna listen to my curated music, my produced, um, mastered music that's on Spotify, all major platforms. These are, uh, iTunes, Amazon, so on and so. Awesome. We'll put all the links into the show notes to make sure everybody can find you, and if you're just listening, just uh, maybe start with and uh, go from there. Awesome. Okay, well, we're gonna wrap it up, but I am so happy that we had the opportunity to chat with Asher today to hear more about how his business came to be, his experiences along the way, and what the future of the business entails. Thank you for tuning into this episode of The Real People Real Business Show, where we get the real entrepreneurial stories and journeys that you can relate to. The show notes, resources, and links from this episode are available on my website and social media platforms. And if you've enjoyed today's content, I'd love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on to help us share these genuine stories with an even bigger audience. Until next time, keep dreaming, keep building, and keep being real.

Asher LaubProfile Photo

Asher Laub


Asher began classical violin training at the tender age of 2 and had already performed with the Buffalo philharmonic by age 13.

Asher’s expertise in trans-genre improvisation has led him to a career as a soloist in demand, performing at venues such as Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Hall, Lincoln Center, the Jacob Javitz Center and across four continents. Asher has also been featured on PBS, and has made headlines on CNN, WABC, and NBC and many other major news sources.

Asher is known for breakdancing across stages with his LED electric violin, in addition to performing as a DJ violinist, bringing his experience as a live performer and technical prowess as an audio editing and mixing guru to countless clubs and stages across the country.