*Before you start reading, please note that all that is mentioned in this post are, solely, things that I have experienced. So, please don’t take offense if you (or someone you know) is also in the industry and has a different take on these experiences. That’s the beauty of life, people may have the same goal, but the journey that they take to reach said goal will vary from person to person.
I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while, but, sadly, its taken me some time to muster up the courage to actually sit down and type it. But, recently, I’ve gotten some good news, so I thought that it was about time that I got this post up and out.
So, if you don’t know (which a lot of you probably don’t), in addition to being a journalist, I am also a musician. I am a singer/songwriter, who for the past few years has been trying to break into the music industry. But, sadly, it has been harder than I expected. I, honestly, thought that it was all about talent. I thought that as long as you can sing (which I can) and as long as you have a couple believers to help you through, then people would take a chance on you. But I’ve found out that it’s not that simple.
I’ve heard on several occasions that the music industry is all about money. You have to have money to get in and you have to have money to stay in, so the fact that I am not someone who is blessed with unlimited funds, has made my musical journey so much more difficult. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard or how many meetings I have attended where I kept being told “You need more money.” After a while, it became really annoying to hear, but it’s true, especially if you want your music to reach a vast amount of people.
I haven’t said anything, but you can probably guess that I’m an independent artist. That just means that I am not being backed by a major label, like Sony, Interscope, Epic, Universal, etc., so since I am not backed by a major label, all of the money that is needed to fund my career is coming directly from me and my family. These are not small costs. These costs add up and they can easily be more than any one of my family members will ever see in a lifetime.
For example, a singer can never have too much music in their arsenal, but in order to get music, you may have to go through a couple of different people (who all need to be paid) in order to get a song completed. If you don’t do everything on your own (produce, write, sing and mix-down) than you have to pay other people to do those things and, from my experience, they don’t come cheap. And let’s not forget the studio that you have to rent out in order carry out a couple of those things. Most studios charge you by the hour and their hourly price can be hundreds of dollars. So, it usually takes me a least 4 hours, minimum, to complete a song, so if I’m being charged $300/hour, than the cost of just renting the studio would be $1,200. Now, I don’t produce, mix, and, occasionally, I like working with a co-writer, so I would have to pay other people for those as well. Those prices can also be hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars each.
Do you see how easy the money adds up? And that’s just for ONE song. A typical album has at least 8 songs on it, so imagine those prices multiplied by 8. It’s a lot!
Also, a lot of the prices (especially with producers, songwriters and maybe the studios) are determined by experience and who they’ve worked with recently. For example, if you want to track from a producer who had a song on Ariana Grande’s most recent album, than he/she could ask for $20,000 per track, but if you ask someone who is new to the game, than you can probably get a track for a couple hundred, if that. The same rule can apply to songwriters, especially if a song that they’ve recently written was a hit.
Of course, if you or a friend owns a studio, writes, produces and mixes than you can probably chop a lot of these prices down by a lot. But, remember, that’s just for a song. That doesn’t involve promoting the song and branding yourself so that people would want to purchase said song. Promoting and branding are two more beasts that can cost you a ton, but I’m not going to get into those because this post would be way longer than it already is. Oh, and you’ll also need distribution.
I didn’t plan on going this in depth, but I just wanted to make sure that you all understood what I’m talking about.
I’ve been sitting on the shelf waiting for more money to appear out of thin air for far too long. I’ve graduated university, I’ve started this blog and I’ve even gotten a job, but, a couple days ago, my manager got a call and she found out that there’s a couple investors who are interested in investing in my career.
You guys have no idea how happy I am about this! I can finally pick back up with my singing. I can’t wait to get back in the studio and to get my creative musical juices flowing again!
One of the main reasons why I wanted to get this post up is because I want to take you guys along with me on this journey and I wanted you all to know a little bit about what I’m going through before things got started.
I will be vlogging and blogging the whole thing. I will be taking you guys with me inside the studio, on photoshoots, in a couple meetings and, hopefully, in the near future, some live performances. I want to document this not only for you guys, but for me too. I think this would be something cool to look back on after I’ve acquired some success. There are also a couple things that I am nervous about and I want you guys to watch as I concur them. I want you all to see that it is possible to live your dreams, even if it takes a little longer than you anticipated. Just stick with it and, someday, you’ll make it.
Anyway, I’m going to go now. I hope I didn’t bore you all with all this, but I just had to vent. I left a lot out because as I said earlier, if I’d have added everything into this post, it would’ve been a novel, but if there is anything that you are still curious about, please feel free to ask me. I promise I won’t bite.
A Little Extra: If you want to hear some of my old (and I do mean old) stuff, than click here. I do have more completed songs, but I don’t have clearance to post them up yet, but, hopefully, in the near future, there will be some new material posted. *fingers crossed*