I was thinking about musical artists who are completely uncompromising in their art form, but are simultaneously trying to score big hits on the chart. That’s a tough road to travel. Decisions typically have to be made either to stick to your art for arts sake guns or target yourself commercially. There are some rare and wonderful cases where art and commerce actually sync up and the artist can enjoy the best of both worlds.
I don’t believe in selling yourself out and compromising your music so much that the process of creating music and performing isn’t enjoyable any longer. However, I also feel that if you’d really like to get out of the coffee house obscurity and have a desire to play the big houses, you need to lighten up and stop taking yourself so seriously. It’s not rocket science or finding a cure for cancer.
Just like anything, you need balance. Don’t sell your soul on one side, but don’t be a raging fundamentalist on the other. Neither ends up being any fun.