As the music industry continues to adjust, it’s becoming more and more clear that digital concerts are going to be a much larger part of the way audiences enjoy music moving forward. To get the most out of live-streaming shows as artists, the first thing we have to remember is that they’re not a suitable replacement for in-person experiences––far from it. Instead, we’re better off seeing digital concerts as completely separate performance opportunities with their own unique advantages and drawbacks. If you’re new to the world of digital performances, here are some important ways they differ from conventional concerts:
Even before the pandemic, it’s safe to say that funds were probably pretty tight for most developing artists. But now without the ability to earn money through touring, festivals, and even most local live in-person shows, money is a bigger concern than ever for many independent musicians. This doesn’t change the fact that if you want to release music and find an audience in 2020, there are some things you can’t avoid spending money on. Here are four things worth investing in as a developing artist making music in today’s complex music industry:
In today’s music climate, technology gives us a constantly-updating snapshot of how our music performs over streaming platforms via play counts. The higher the counts are, the better the music is, or so goes conventional thinking. This is flat wrong for lots of reasons. Yet, with a healthy desire to find an audience for your music, it can be easy to give in to this idea in ways that damage your creativity and career in the process. There’s nothing wrong with wanting lots of listeners to love your music. In fact, wanting to build those connections is an essential part of building a music career. But if your only metrics for musical success are the stats behind your music, then you’re missing the point.
When you set out to create new music, what does your mindset look like? Are you curious and ready to explore ideas wherever they take you, or are you bogged down with the baggage of expectations? The truth is that it’s impossible to completely separate ourselves from our past experiences when we create. But when your desire to sound a certain way or accomplish something specific when you write overshadows your creative spirit and freedom, your work suffers badly for it.
If music is your career, it makes sense that you’d want to entertain the masses with your work. The more accessible your music is to everyone, the better chance you have of earning money and winning over lots of fans, right? Unfortunately, no. Music that’s made with the intention of trying to connect with everyone usually ends up doing just the opposite. As artists, it’s our job to create work that goes on to mean something special to the people who hear it. But shaping your music intentionally to reach as many listeners as possible is not only unrealistic, but can also be damaging for your creativity and career.
Isolation can be a huge asset for music-makers. Some of the most successful and captivating modern musicians have origin stories filled with major changes that inspire them to take impromptu songwriting retreats alone in remote locations. But isolation also has the potential to do damage to an artist’s creativity and productivity. We’re all stuck with some level of isolation right now whether we thrive through creative partnerships or do our best work alone. Whether we succeed or suffer through periods of isolation depends on the work we put into creating music and prioritizing connection with our audiences and ourselves.
If song lyrics had to be 100% real, music as we know it would be a lot less interesting. Fiction in music is empowering for songwriters and exciting for listeners. Instead of representing the world exactly as we see it, fiction lets us dream up entirely new worlds and invite our listeners to experience them. But if you’ve never added a fictional element to your lyrics before, it can be tough to know where and how to start. Here are four tips to help: