It’s a little more than obvious by now that livestream concerts are here to stay. Many artists and music fans spent the past few months trying them out for the first time and quickly realized their value. While nothing can replace the experience of watching musicians perform in person, live streaming delivers important benefits for both artists and audiences that conventional shows can’t, including the opportunity to play/watch concerts anywhere in the world that has a stable internet connection.
The novel coronavirus has changed music in seismic ways over the past year. Career touring musicians who’ve spent decades on the road suddenly found themselves out of work and stuck at home last spring, and countless developing artists woke up to the reality of live shows becoming inaccessible at the same time as well. From the way we promote music during this strange time to how we pull off collaborating with other musicians has changed due to lockdowns. However, some things about music haven’t been transformed because of the pandemic. Here are four of them:
With so much of the music we hear on a daily basis being chock full of heavy instrumentation and sleek production elements, it can be hard to understand and hear what the true bones of a song are. Dig deep beneath track automation, instrumental layers, and effects like EQs and reverbs, and you’ll discover the foundational elements of a song.
In today’s shockingly competitive music industry, it’s not easy knowing how much music to release and how often. There’s a feeling that between how hungry listeners are for new music and the astounding number of new songs uploaded to major streaming platforms every day that artists will lose their audience’s attention without constantly releasing music.
At least over the short-term, the pandemic is transforming almost everything about music, including the way artists need to promote their work effectively and enduringly. Whether it’s heading off on tour to promote a new record to sending CDs out to college radio stations, the usual ways of getting the word out about music are being upended. Here are three current promotional changes you should think about if you’re sharing new music right now:
As a serious musician, you probably think a lot about what it means to be successful in your work. For some of us, it’s making enough money to live comfortably. For others, it’s all about creating the most meaningful art we can and getting people to notice. The truth is that no matter how you define success in music, you’ll need dedicated and energized advocates of your work to be successful. These are fans, and they’re getting harder to come by.
When it comes to releasing new music, it’s an exciting time. After all, you’ve been working on this new piece of art for months or even years, and when it’s finally time to bring it to fruition and show the world what you’re made of, it can be tempting to just throw it out there, wait for the crowds, the press, the labels to jump on it and realize your brilliance, and for fans to go nuts over it.
We’re creating music in one of the most uniquely challenging moments in modern history. Something as simple and carefree as getting up on stage in front of a crowd of people in an indoor space is now burdened with danger and uncertainty due to a pandemic that has no end in sight. A fascinating and endlessly frustrating problem is that as the crisis drags on, audiences need music more and more when it’s often difficult or even impossible for musicians to deliver it to them. But between a world connected by the internet like never before and the timeless innovative and tenacious spirit of songwriters and performers, music is still enriching lives during the pandemic in a huge way.