Life as a musician with the pandemic now seems to be settling a little with the wide vaccination programme. The arts and culture in general has been hammered yet again. Images of musicians on balconies playing songs giving relief to people have long been forgotten and life as usual seems to have returned for us. Only in the sense that we have been pretty much forgotten or told to get another job, hmm.
Personally, I have spent this period trying to reinvent myself. My situation has been a little difficult over the past few years anyway, losing my hearing (see about page) and trying to find a way forward. Luckily, I have regained my hearing but then Covid hit, bang! I have been very lucky and been able to spend this time building a studio at home and starting to compose and record once again. So where does this leave me now?
The future of music is certainly uncertain, at least in the sense that musicians are having to find yet again, another way of being. We have already been hit very hard by streaming. We get something like $0.00437 per stream which doesn't go anywhere near feeding anyone or paying for your bills. A song can take weeks to compose, record, produce and put out there, unpaid time too of course. Without trying to be too negative, this is how it is.
We post on FB, Instagram etc where people 'like' your music but what for? It is lovely to receive positive feedback, don't get me wrong, but it's not so much the exposure we need after many years, but more a way to survive, to make money. The record industry and people's mentality need to change. Imagine this - you work for months on end, invest thousands of pounds in a studio, create a new album, put it out there with all the hope and energy in the world, it's your baby...then, nothing. Loads of lovely (and sometimes not) comments, 'likes' and 'shares' but zero revenue. How can this last? I think this situation must impact on many of us. How or why would you continue to be creative if you have no chance of producing that album, that live show, that composition? It must stunt creativity sometimes even without realising any more. The future is tough for music. So, my question is, how are we going to change the mentality about music? How are we going to make people pay for our work again? I would love to hear your suggestions.
Please leave me your thoughts below.