When we think about the kind of music that makes a real impact on people, we’re not just talking about emotionally deep songs written by tortured artists, though “serious” songs certainly are meaningful to a lot of listeners. Tracks that blow out speakers in clubs and music that’s heard by thousands of spectators at sporting events have an effect on audiences as well, though in a completely different way than someone playing the same song over and over again to get through a breakup.
It’s possible for musicians to find success with their music without the help of their friends and family, but it’s much, much harder without them. From showing up to your first concerts when no one else will to donating money to fund your releases, the community closest to you is a priceless asset for a developing artist. But if your plans don’t extend further than the people closest to you as a musician, you’re creating an unsustainable situation for you as well as your friends and family.
If we’re lucky, safe in-person music experiences will become a regular part of life again sometime in 2021––if we’re lucky. While music fans and artists alike are desperate for a sense of normalcy to return to live music, there are still a lot of unknowns around the idea of people packing into venues to see musicians. If you’re not sure what to do when it comes to waiting for touring to become safe and viable again, the same advice applies now as it did back when the U.S. started locking down in the spring. By staying productive, active, and creatively engaged, you’ll make the most of this time. We don’t know exactly when touring will be a major part of music again, but there is a lot we can do while we wait.
When it comes to creating and sharing music, there are few guarantees as far as fame, money, and fans go. But pursue music seriously and long enough, and it will end up enriching your life in other important ways. Making music makes us more human, interesting, and connected to people regardless of how conventionally successful we are. Here’s how:
Every songwriter’s creative process is unique and shaped by dramatically different factors––goals, intuition, experience level, genre. For example, most seasoned professional songwriters follow rules and expectations that most developing artists don’t have to think about when writing a song. But the idea of recording and producing music that can’t be played live is something that musicians of every experience level should consider. From making live shows much more complicated than they need to be to impacting the humanity and immediacy of your writing, creating unperformable music comes with some significant drawbacks.
Happy New Year! First of all, can we all just do a collective sigh of relief here that 2020 is over and we are now officially kicking off a brand new year? And while yes, every year comes with the promise of new beginnings, I think we can all agree that this year we are feeling this more than ever.
We’re living in a bizarre time in music where it’s completely possible for an artist to be streamed thousands of times a day without having any true fans. Meaningful engagement between musicians and audiences has never been more important in the age of playlists and streaming, but it’s not always easy to tell when or how audiences are showing genuine enthusiasm about your music. Here are five signs that show that someone is becoming more than just a casual listener of your music.