When musicians experience loss, it’s natural, and typically helpful, to delve deep into the creative process to find solace. But viewing the times we go through grief as unique chances to make meaningful music is overly simplistic and can actually end up hurting us and our music. Death, disease, heartache, job losses, and frustration have and continue to serve as the inspiration for great music. However, we’re kidding ourselves to think they can and do for every musician.
For some, the idea of getting more time at home seems like something that would be good for making music. Many songwriters who completely or partially rely on non-musical careers to pay the bills tend to think of their homes as carefree places where writing, recording, and producing can be easily prioritized. I myself have spent the last five years freelancing and making music from home. I can tell you that balancing your home life with your musical one isn’t easy. In order to get the most out of each, you’ll need a plan.
Did you hear the story of the artist whose social media account got hacked and locked her out? Just like that, she lost 10k + followers. The worst part? This was the second time it had happened to her! The truth is, it happens far more often than you think, and not just to accounts with tens of thousands of followers. While sometimes it can be fixed, oftentimes, these users end up having to start from scratch and all those followers. Those potential buyers and supporters of what you offer are just….gone.
This is just one of many reasons that it is so important to have and maintain a healthy email list. Email lists might sound like something reserved for the big corporations. But when done right, your email list is the glue that holds you and your fans together. It’s a space for your most loyal followers, it’s a way to build connections, get vulnerable, and give them exclusive access to you. And best of all, unlike with social media, you don’t run the risk of losing those fans. There’s no risk of someone locking you out of your mailing list provider (and even if they do, odds are you’ve downloaded csv files of your followers and will still have their emails), or changing the algorithm (your emails will always be delivered to their inbox).
There’s no getting around how monumentally bad repercussions from the COVID-19 are impacting musicians. From indefinitely rescheduled festivals to canceled tours, musicians are being challenged in profound ways. There’s no silver lining here, but trying to stay as creatively engaged as possible during this time can help. Not every musician will be able to stay productive while stuck at home. However, many can use the time to plan their next career steps, write new songs, and engage with fans.
In the last few weeks, the music industry has scrambled to figure out livestreaming. Whether it’s major artists starving off their boredom on Instagram Live or artists trying to replace touring income, everyone is trying new things and learning as they go.
The questions I hear most artists asking is where to put their energy, what to expect from it, and how to do it. If you’re wondering the same, these nine questions will help you find answers.
When things are going well in our music careers and personal lives, it’s easy to think we’d be able to stay just as productive and creative during times of crisis. But when life gets tough, our ability to write songs, practice, or even think about music is challenged. Creativity can help us cope through times of stress, anxiety, and loss, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to embrace. No matter what you’re going through, the following tips can help you approach musical creativity in a positive way through rough periods:
Even under the best of conditions, musical collaboration can be hard to pull off. During times when musicians can’t meet in person, it’s even tougher. Aspects like body language and in-room chemistry are difficult to translate during remote collaboration sessions, not to mention the hurdles of technology. But despite its challenges, remote music collaboration has resulted in creative work that’s gone on to change the world. With patience and planning, you’ll be able to make your long-distance musical collaborations productive and exciting. Here are five tips to help:
Whether it was normal for you or not, writing and recording from home have become an unexpected necessity due to the COVID-19 crisis. As musicians, creating from home presents many challenges that we may not be used to. Distractions like roommates, family members, pets, and other things can make creating music from home especially hard. It’s not easy, but by managing our time we can make room for music in our lives at home.