This blog was actually published some time last month, but as a page, not a post. Since it was cluttering up the homepage, I reuploaded it here as a blog post. 🙂
As it has been a few weeks since my last blog effort, I thought I’d jot down a few words to keep the entries comin’ and expound on some thoughts I’ve had about creativity, consistency and coffee. (I just wanted to come up with another “C” word.)
Readers (of which there are few)! I have come to a lot of breakthroughs in the past couple of days alone, which simply must be briefly summarized and ruminated on here. The first being: today I met with a good friend and collaborator Aaron Latos, whose name I’m sure if you’ve followed my goings-on at all you’ll recognize. He just so happened to be hanging out in Franklin, Tennessee around the time I was in the same town for a doctor’s appointment. As fate would have it, we met at a charming coffee/pastry/sandwich shop in downtown Franklin and geeked out for a while, discussing everything from Focusrite interfaces to how to change the text color in the Navigation Bar on my website (how do you do that, WordPress?).
The second half of our conversation, which was held on a charming little park bench next to the historic-looking roundabout, covered many topics sporadically, but seemed to be loosely centered on the subject of personal expression, a topic that is actually quite important to me. It’s one that I dwell on sometimes, especially when thinking about business and how it relates to music, or any art. You see, in my opinion, there is absolutely NOTHING separating personal life from musical life, and in turn, from business life, if one is an artist of any kind. (I think I covered this to some degree in my blog entitled “Why My Kickstarter Failed,” which you can check out right here on this same page.) And there’s lots of reasons for this, but I think the main reason is that art is a very personal thing–it can’t really get any more personal. And when you’re trying to relate to others through your creation, which is really what art is all about, you have to maintain that personal aspect–whether you’re trying to show somebody your artwork or trying to sell your artwork. It’s the demands of modern entrepreneurialism.
I mean, I’ve heard it said that the business part of music, for example, has nothing to do with the music part of music… and I think that this is simply not true. Personal expression is personal expression, and when you’re selling that, you’re effectively selling part of your soul. When you’re a musician trying to make a living from your music, you’re also trying to sell that music the minute you start sharing it with the world. I mean, it would be great if we could all write a song and then be like, “Hey! Here’s my song, hope you like it… great, goodbye!” but most of us actually need Money. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but most musicians would rather be making Money from their original music than “working part time at the five ‘n’ dime”.
So then making music automatically becomes a business. The minute a musician says, “Gee, I’d like to make some Money with these songs…” HEY! He’s a businessman, he’s an entrepreneur, he wants you (even if he doesn’t know it yet) to BUY that shit. Which, incidentally, is becoming increasingly hard to do in today’s Spotify-dominated music industry.
Ah, the Music Industry. Without delving too deep, I’ll just say that it now seems to be one big conglomeration. Well, three: Sony, Universal, and Warner. According to Wikipedia, the record labels of the past: EMI, BMG, and Polygram, were all at one point absorbed into what is now known as the “Big Three.” Long story short, the “Big Guys” are getting bigger, and the independents, the rest of us, are getting…biggest?
There’s no denying that independent musicians are now stronger than ever before…these days, it really ain’t no thang to be making at least part of your income from selling and performing your original music. So us indie musicians are actually taking over, though we may not know it yet. Yes, the big label artists are still going strong, and perhaps always will be, but us independents…well, let’s not lie and say a major record deal wouldn’t be great, but hey, until that comes along, we’ve been doing OK this long, we can stick it out a little longer!
I’m very blessed to be living in this modern age. I mean, forty years ago, who knows if I would have been able to write a single word that anyone would give a damn about…let alone a song. So, here I am, and here we are, doin’ the thing, and boy, isn’t life great? And I know I had more to say, but I’ll leave that for another day…