Musicology 102: You Are Your Own Competition
The music industry is full of copycats and replicators, but that doesn't mean you have to be.
Sure, it's easy to get aboard the train of what people are listening to and try to emulate what you hear because that's what people like, but there are 7 billion humans in the world. Not everyone is going to like what you put out and that's okay. Focus on those who love your music for what it expresses about yourself!
There are so many independent artists, but "independent" is just a term. Most people who have their own are getting outside help, whether it be advice, or technical advancements. Instead of seeing everyone as an enemy, look at people as an ally. Everyone has something to bring to the table! Just because someone may have a following because of a specific skill doesn't mean that you are lacking in that department or unable to get as far as they have.
When it all boils down, be yourself. There's nothing worse than an artist who isn't living their art. There are a lot of those people who instead of doing music based off of who they are and where they are in their life, they rather just tend to the understanding of others, when really, the market there is so people can believe that you are practicing what you preach.
You are the canvas of your art. Don't allow anyone to tell you not to be yourself. It's always difficult hearing "You sound like [fill in person here]" and that's okay. Even if the comparison is someone you feel like you are in competition with or it is someone you admire, find out what makes them unique and see how you can apply that tool to yourself. Everyone has some room to grow.