Why the music game is totally in your head…
Let’s begin by admitting that you’re a factor of an age where we’re bombarded with ads. Your idea of what is going on behind the scenes of something on TV, radio and the internet and the news and media is skewed by a system of smoke and mirrors designed to confuse distort and disguise reality. Everything you see is centered around one thing, making money.
Isn’t surprising that the music business is centered around money…. I mean that’s what everybody wants right?! I mean we all need money to pay our housing and food bills each money. What that means for the artist, the consumer, and the individual trying to have a semi-normal life as a functioning member of society is where it gets interesting; And unless you plan on throwing your computer in the lake and adopting a hunter gatherer lifestyle, listening only to live acoustic instruments which are donated by the community, you’re going to have to figure out how to make money doing what you can reasonably stand to do, on a semi-regular basis. Whether you plan on playing shows, selling merchandise, selling CDs, licensing your material for TV and film or something else, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your fans for something, and if you work hard, people will appreciate your efforts and will be willing to support you (in theory).
Unfortunately, the people with the money intend to keep as much of it as possible, and the guys (and yes it’s usually men) at the top with loads of dough want even more money. The whole system is rigged for the top. With you on the bottom. The whole system cannot survive without artists at the bottom, so don’t be afraid to have a spine and backbone in the whole thing. Only you can decide whether playing a free show is worth it. Only you can decide if your music is worth selling to people, and if you value your work at 0$, most other people will too. Everybody does some things for free, but nobody does everything for free. Respect yourself. Understand the game is played with your efforts, and only you can decide what your time is worth.