I was bored one day this past week and wanted to learn more about the music industry and the effect that streaming is having on artists, record company managers and consumers. I was watching some interviews that the late jazz singer Amy Winehouse did, and for some reason I thought, Hmmmm, maybe I should learn more about how people make it in the industry, and how prolific I need to be to do this. So I thought about streaming my music, but then it got complicated, I felt my recording could have been better, and also they were covers of songs by other artists and I didn’t have copyright permission yet, and so I ended up not streaming it or putting it on YouTube and playing it for my own pleasure.
At first I didn’t care much about the wider issues around the music industry and how it treats artists, but it led me thinking that even as a person you’d normally think of as a classical musician, I really want to unite with my fellow musicians in all different genres. I remember playing a gig for free one time at my job because I felt bad for saying “no” and thought it would be good for exposure, but then I told people I did it and some of them told me that it’s important to not play for free if people can afford to pay you for your performance. At first I had a careless attitude, thinking, Eh, no one really does music for money, especially classical musicians, so why should I demand pay? Why set rates if no one cares? (looking back, this thinking was ignorant and self-pitying) But then, a year goes on, and I still think about how salty I am for not getting paid my dues. Or even really speaking up for myself and straight-up telling the people I was playing for, Hey, I set this rate to pay for this much for this many hours, can you pay me? Of course, not like that, but somewhere along those lines.
I figured, If I’m going to be a musician who wants to collaborate with other artists, get a Grammy and expand my boundaries beyond the classical realm, then I need to know a thing or two about the biz itself. And I need to take my music seriously and strive to listen to and create as much music as possible, experiment for myself first before rushing to put out every piece for people. I decided to listen to my inner child and explore what was going on in the industry as someone who hasn’t what in mainstream terms people call “made it” in the big league industry yet. So out of sheer curiosity, I pored through dozens of articles after Google News-ing “the music industry” to see what was going on in the business. Here’s a few articles I found:
Let me know your thoughts!