It’s easy to think you’ll be able to make a living from music from the comfort of your chair, when you’re not really doing anything about it; when you’re dreaming of stardom, hitting it big. But when you actually start to do something about it, you start to form a game-plan and put it into action, only then do you realise what a massive task you’ve set yourself up for. And it’s not even like you’ve got that much control over the outcome; for success in this field luck is always a massive factor.
Music is a commodity which is in extreme abundance. And if you are practical-minded you might even say that it’s not necessary. I don’t believe this is true myself, but you could say that people don’t need music; it may enrich one’s life, but you could have some kind of existence without it. I mean, it’s not like you can wipe your arse with it, or stick it in your washing machine. Without sounding too disheartening, if you’re practical-minded, you could say it’s a luxury. But poor, passionate fools like myself follow their hearts for year on year, so there’s just no other way but to try and make it work.
It’s been drilled into us from an early age- stardom, hitting it big, million-pound record deals. And when your life is rather humdrum, well, the idea of it sounds so completely fantastic. Strumming in your bedroom, imagining the rows and rows of adoring fans falling at your feet. And the talent which lies within the quality of the productions. How could you not aspire to create something like that, to give your life that purpose and goal?
Even if you’re not trying to be a superstar; even if you’re just trying to get by, it’s hard. Imagining success is so much easier; pining over that big break. Surely some big record company representative will just spot you somewhere and tell you you’re amazing; take you to the crossroads. No? Well, they certainly ain’t gonna spot you in your bedroom, that’s for sure. Getting out there is hard. Doing it yourself is tough. Especially if you’re an introvert, as many creative people are. But on and on you have to try; on and on you must persevere, if you want to pursue some amount of credibility and sustenance. And these days those big record deals are getting less and less.
It’s probably a good thing. I think things are taking their natural course. Art should be done on a smaller scale, or at least more humbly; appealing to only those who it is genuinely relevant to. And for the artists getting to be more hands-on, it is empowering. It allows for more headroom and less exploitation. The vision can remain whole and untainted. There are so many platforms out there, we are spoilt for choice. So, now more than ever, it’s time to stop dreaming and get on with it…
Like this article? Then maybe you’ll like my book, At Home in the Bushes, about a year I spent living in a tent, cycling & busking around Britain. It’s available HERE
And for a monthly newsletter of songs, poems, videos, articles, subscribe to my mailing list HERE