The Reality of Being a Musician in 2021

    Every musician has suffered at the hands of the pandemic in one way or another, and as many independent musicians are looking to find a way of keeping their music alive, but also their creative spirit, it seems that the bigger record companies are forever looking at ways to beat down the smaller acts. With the news that small artists are being beaten in streaming services by the big-name acts such as The Beatles, we need to ask, what is the reality of a musician in the modern-day?

    The Technological Advancements and How It Helps Smaller Artists

    These days, if you’re looking to get your music on Spotify, you do not need to go via a major label record company. The benefits of having the ability to share your work with the world helps you to build your own career at your own pace and it helps you to attain creative control. This is something that is naturally important to any musician, but technological advancements have aided a musician in this respect. It is not just about the ability to upload your work to SoundCloud or any streaming service, but there’s also the fact that technology is more affordable now. This is why we have seen a rise in rap as the dominant art form in the music industry. All it requires is a beat and a rhyme. Yes, this is simplifying the approach, but the fact of the matter is that increasing access to technology means a wider variety of people putting their music out there. There are also tools that help anybody to create an album at home with all the finesse of a recording studio.

    How Can a Musician Earn Their Living in Music?

    With approximately 80% of musicians not earning enough from their music careers, as well as the fact that 50% of independent artists are concerned about cash flow, there are companies trying to find new approaches to pay musicians for their work. Companies have been founded by technology and music experts, and are working at finding ways to help musicians upload their work while also functioning as a record label. They are working on growing independent artists. But this is not just a lesson for musicians to go for companies looking out for their best interest, it is about actually taking the bull by the horns and many musicians want to exert creative control, and this is when naturally they expand their reach into other areas of music. Once upon a time, it would have been that the artist didn’t touch upon any of these aspects, but now an artist is someone who exerts creative control but also does the administration and everything in between. It is a necessity of the modern music world that they do this because they simply don’t get paid enough as a musician. You will find many musicians diversifying their efforts in being tour managers, and even going into teaching.

    Musicians Do Not Chase Success

    The tide is shifting. With all of the stories of artists getting screwed over by management and record companies, now the 21st century has given rise to a more savvy kind of artist. Arguably it is to the benefit that they are not chasing success. For those that look for fame and money, now, it is more apparent than ever that being a musician is not the way to get it. And this is to the benefit of anybody in the music industry. The reality of a musician in 2021 is that they are not chasing success, but it is going back to the age-old adage that they are going for creative fulfillment. Much like the artist and their canvas in a loft in the middle of a city in the 18th century, now a musician has Pro Tools and a laptop in a freezing cold department. The fact is that being a musician in the modern world is about diversifying their efforts, but also realizing that now because the model is so wrecked as a result of the music management looking after themselves and nobody else, this age-old story has now resulted in a musical revolution. But now, musicians are more than aware that success is not defined by finances. 

    The world we live in, for creativity to thrive is about independent-minded artists. And the reality of being a musician in 2021 is that if they are to continue doing the job that they love, they have to diversify their efforts.

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