~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~NO WAY OUT~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
The story of the rock star is an old one: Boy meets guitar, guitar meets three other boys with slightly less vision to back his band, Boy plays small venue for a couple of years in his early twenties, then *BAM*, Boy is discovered by a Record Executive from EMI or Sony and he is rocketed to fame. The Boy goes from 0 to Springsteen in just a few weeks. The Boy leaves his old life of "struggling" behind, and the rest, is history.
Only one problem: this is all wrong
Music it not an escape.
If you are using music to get past your life, to get past who were when you start, you will finish in a place that you have little control of. Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, Winehouse, Avicii, Miller, the list goes on with artists who had "made it" only to find themselves falling to the overwhelming pressure of being an overborne celebrity who lost themselves in a haze of million dollar contracts and obligations to a faceless army of fans.
But this should come as no surprise.
When you hope that the money, the praise, the millions of adoring fans would help them attain the success they envisioned, but that record deal they signed may as well have been their death warrant.
that record deal they signed may as well have been their death warrant.
When you commit yourself to creating music, you commit yourself to revealing a part of you, and an increasingly large one the longer you perform. The music you are making is not a way for you to leave your past in the past. On the contrary, creating music is how an artist makes sense of their past. Their music serves as the means to put into context trauma, nostalgia, loss, joy, anxiety, anger, passion, etc.
The most innovative musicians are those that stay far away from the escapism provided by the larger music industry. They know that is not money and admiration they seek when they create music. Instead the seek that ultimate significance from music: understanding. The size of the audience is irrelevant compared to whether they are actually communicating with their listeners on a very real, personal level. You cant reach this level if you cant receive honest feedback from your listeners, if you cant be sure it is your voice they are hearing.
You cant reach this level if you cant receive honest feedback from your listeners, if you cant be sure it is your voice they are hearing.
You can succeed with your own voice, without the influence of outsiders and strategists, but there is no shortcut to make songs that define you and your experience. There is no way out, no exit that will appear, because you aren't looking for one.