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.
The objective of social media is no longer getting the most ‘likes,’ but to create the most engagement. Social networks have adjusted their algorithms since it became so easy to ‘buy’ likes. Thus, users with more engagement become more visible. But what does ‘engagement’ really mean?
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.
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.
If music is the biggest and most vivid passion in your life, then it’s probably something you’re used to sacrificing for. Whether you make music alone or play in a band, it’s natural to develop a “me” or “us” against the world mentality. There isn’t an artform more social and universally engaging than music, and yet making it is an isolating process for many artists. But when we cut ourselves off from the world or even just our local music communities, we end up hurting ourselves as well as our careers. No matter who you are, what sort of music you create, or what your goals are, relationships are important not just for your career, but also for your creativity and well-being.
When you’re first dipping your toes into the water of your next big career move, it can feel overwhelming. What once felt like an exciting adventure designed to get you closer to your goals and dreams pretty quickly becomes a giant pile of stress.