When good things start to happen for an artist, it’s only natural that the musicians around them might feel and express some amount of jealousy. But while a little bit of jealousy in music is to be expected, dwelling on it could prove to be a major source of distraction and negativity for you if you’re not careful. From serving as a harmful distraction from your goals to earning your project a bad reputation, jealousy is something capable of seriously harming your music career.
It does nothing to further your music
It can be difficult not to dwell on feelings of jealousy over another artist’s success, but it won’t do anything to further your career. If you catch yourself doing it, rather than stopping at jealousy, try delving deeper into your feelings and ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Garden variety jealousy over another artist’s success won’t help your career, but being honest about your feelings might help you define your goals and understand yourself a bit better.
It’s also important to note that you may be feeling jealousy for a good reason. Whether it’s that someone else’s music is just plain better or that another is simply luckier than yours, holding on to jealousy is a bad idea because it won’t help you reach your goals. Only doing the hard work of making music can do that.
Negativity reflects poorly on you and your music
We’ve all had conversations with that sullen guy at the bar who just can’t wait to unload on you about how much your city’s music scene sucks and why the local bands who are managing to break out and find an audience aren’t really that good. Jealousy often reflects insecurity, and this sort of negativity is a good way to squander any good your project has managed to build up in your music scene. Successful and happy artists don’t have time to talk badly about other artists because they’re too busy doing awesome things with their music. It’s easy to bring an entitled, jaded attitude into the public sphere of your music scene, but it won’t do anything good for your music. Time and time again, the bands who support each other are the ones who end up making something happen with their music. You don’t have to like every band in your scene and the success they might be experiencing, but you do have to keep negativity to yourself if you want to develop a good reputation.
And if you simply can’t get over the fact that another band in your scene is doing well and you’re not, then jealousy might be the least of your problems. Why aren’t you happy with your own music? Are you doing everything you possibly can to write great music and get it heard? What goals are you not meeting that another artist is? Those questions are worthing dwelling on. Being honest about your feelings might be uncomfortable, but facing difficult truths is an unavoidable necessity of making meaningful music.
Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.