After our first full episode that went in depth about artist positioning and helping you to decipher what kind of artist you want to be, I figured that this topic might still be a little abstract for some. So we’re calling a friend today to help us put things into perspective for you! Malaysian singer-songwriter Evangeline Wong joins us on today’s show to share about her journey through the world of artist positioning. I first met Evangeline in 2017 or 2018 when she had just signed with Taiwanese indie record label SKR Presents as their very first artist. The team invited me on board to help them plan out the next steps for Evangeline, and one of the very first things we worked on was getting down her positioning and direction as an artist. After we finally hammered it out, things fell into place much easier, and directly led to us being able to conceive the perfect idea for her momentous debut album “Wilder” which got her nominated for best newcomer at the prestigious Golden Melody Awards in 2018. Getting her start in the industry as both an artist and a professional songwriter, Evangeline is a freewheeling artist whose versatility and voracious appetite for new experimentations within the pop genre has made her an artist to watch. We chatted with her in depth about her journey and direction as an artist so far, and how a good direction might go a long way. For English speakers, the key points of our conversation are highlighted down below! As an artist, Evangeline’s initial thoughts on the topic of positioning were more abstract. She described characteristics of herself as elements of this positioning, like ‘blocks’ that she wasn’t quite sure how to put together. Initial discussions on the topic were daunting for her, but overall she felt it helped her to get to know herself better, and better articulate this direction succinctly. She felt this helped her especially when she was facing the media in press interviews. When speaking about the ‘appearance’ aspect of positioning, like many singer-songwriters, Evangeline initially felt that her appearance was not as important; that her music could and should convey everything she wanted to say. But her advice to artists is that it all works together synergistically as if you are putting effort into curating your appearance and it is accurately expressing you as an artist, it’ll give you more confidence when sharing your thoughts with listeners, and they will be more willing to interact too. Evangeline advocates jumping out of ones’ perspective as a creative and returning to your perspective as a listener to think about aspects of positioning such as appearance. During the interview we agreed that positioning is a back and forth between what audiences want and what the artist wants to express to the audiences. Ideally there should be a balance between the two. Her biggest piece of advice for indie artists figuring out their positioning: Start from the music, as the energy that comes from your music is definitely within you and something you would like to express at that point in time. Use it as your compass . Our biggest piece of advice for indie artists figuring out their positioning: Be honest with yourself and what you want. Don’t start the conversation from the perspective of what the market wants. Start it from what you want, and then after you’re clear on that, slowly introduce elements of audience or market feedback/reference. The adverse effects of unsuitable positioning: Will break the synergistic effect that should be coming from all the signals you’re sending out to the industry. And ultimately waste resources because you’re not making the most out of it, e.g. sending mixed signals which confuse rather than contribute to your story Long-term, Evangeline found that even two years on, the positioning we worked on together continues to be a part of her long-term strategy. It informs every decision of hers, and is even something that she keeps in mind when she is creating her future works and thinking about her musical direction. She has continued to look at her ‘Limitless’ positioning from different perspectives based on her accumulated experiences, rendering it a sustainable direction that keeps on giving. Key Takeaways: Start thinking about your positioning based on your music Be honest with yourself when thinking about your positioning Understand the long-term importance of positioning and use it as your compass to inform your direction and decisions as an artist Links and Resources: Subscribe to our mailing list for access to this episode’s cheat sheets! Subscribe to our Patreon ‘Level Up’ Tier for forthcoming ‘Level Up’ cheat sheets and materials (exclusive materials not available via mailing list) Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for Podcast updates Hang with us on Asian Pop Weekly Don’t forget to subscribe/follow our podcast if you enjoy levelling up with us! And please leave a review so we can keep helping even more artists!