If you’re an unestablished artist reading this with the goal of being able to do nothing but perform and create music for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. It’s a completely understandable goal, and something countless musicians strive for. For many of us, a perfect situation would be to spend our days focusing on music and doing nothing else.
Few non-musical people listen to music and realize just how much money, time, and work goes into creating a single song. From music lessons to recording equipment to the creative and emotional labor it takes to write, record, and produce a song, music takes an immense amount of work to make. For developing music-makers who have yet to find their audiences, asking what, if anything, listeners owe you is a fair question considering the sacrifice involved in creating music. However, the answer might disappoint you.
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.
There are countless songs about loss and heartbreak, but something music fans probably don’t think much about is just how frustrating, disappointing, and painful the process of making music can be. The truth is that virtually no musician is immune from the inevitable hardships that are involved with seriously pursuing music. Alongside other character traits like bravery, curiosity, empathy, and awareness, tenacity is a priceless asset for serious musicians.
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:
What would it feel like to not worry about how many “likes” your new photo just got? To not obsessively hit “refresh” after posting a new song, waiting to see if it’s getting the attention and praise you’d hoped.
If you’re the type of artist that can’t approach music with flexibility and finesse, you’re going to have a rough go of it in today’s music industry. In the spring of 2020, countless in-person music events were canceled, ranging from some of the world’s largest music festivals down to the weekly open mic night at your local coffee shop.