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• "Stay away from the drugs. They only slow you down. Take vocal lessons. Don't let anybody hold you back. If you're not finding what you want here, don't be afraid to venture out. It's not easy. You take a lot of abuse, but that's OK. I think artists thrive on it. It's easy to be taken advantage of when you're an artist. If you don't have any business skills, get some." —Karen Neal of Queen Bee

• "Develop your own thing. Be yourself. Don't try to imitate others. It's really important to be yourself — express yourself and what you feel and the reward will come." —Tabatha Predovich of Radium

• "As well as studying the music, read up on the business. You don't want anybody else handling your stuff because they will try to run over you. There's a book called Hitmen. It's about the Mafia in the music industry. The section that I took away from that mostly was on Tina Marie. At the height of her popularity, she was taking home $100 a week because she wasn't running her own business. She just assumed she had a big record deal and was touring so she'd make a lot of money and when she’d get home, it would be there. Well, it wasn't there." —Jelly from Jelly's Pierced Tattoo

• Play what you want to play. Play what sounds good to you. Play around your house. Play with as many people as you can. It helps you get more comfortable playing with other people. Play randomly with anybody no matter how good you are or not. Just call it avant-garde. Nobody'll ever know. ‘It's free-form jazz. Leave it alone!’" —Teri Lynn Williams from Die Zünderpatooties

Melissa Giannini writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail her at letters@metrotimes.com

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