The Struggles of Independent Artists

9 September 2016

Natheesh The music industry is one of the biggest industries in the world today. With millions of people listening to some of the best singers; music has become a need for people today. There are many genres of music with floods of artists filling them. You have Justin Bieber who leads all singers in the pop category, in fan support. There is also country music, which is led by Taylor Swift. Rap is another big genre, which has many great rappers. Some include Lil Wayne and Eminem. These artists make it hard for independent artists to showcase their talent.

Loads of upcoming and current artists make it hard for independent artists to have a successful career. Independent artists have a lot of competition to go through to have a successful career. They need talent in music and they need an interest in the music industry. They need to work hard and overcome the obstacles they face. Independent artists today have many obstacles in getting their music produced and heard; these include financial difficulties, difficulty in getting their music on the radio, and the censorship and banning of their music. The biggest obstacle in an independent artists’ career is developing it.

This is because if they do not have the necessary amount of money needed, they will have no music to sell. Most Independent artists do not spend their money wisely, which results in failure. They either, blow money on unnecessary services, waste time in getting their music published, or simply do not have the amount of money needed to create their music. Ribas Vinny wrote about this topic. He talks about what artists do with their money and he offers ideas for the artists to improve their financial capabilities. Here is what he wrote. Many artists are under-funded and so they can’t purchase the tools they need or hire the help they need.

Sometimes this is a result of lack of funds to begin with. Sometimes it is because the available funds are not spent wisely. Successful artists know that they need to constantly invest and reinvest in their act. They establish a budget and stick with it. They raise capital if it is necessary, whether it comes from investors, crowd sourcing, a loan or some sort of enterprising venture. If they are not good at managing their money, they hire someone who is. They do not let money, or the lack of it stop them. (Vinny, “15 Reasons Why Some Indie Artists Fail And Others Succeed). Producing music is extremely expensive also.

The more money artists’ put in their promotion, the more people will listen to their music. Artists need to decide on which path to take. They can either put loads of money in their song, or they can work hard and do many social interactions with future listeners. If they plan on selling an album, it can cost them plenty of money. Bar Scott wrote about how much this can cost. Scott say’s says she spent up to $54K in bringing her album to the store. Here is what she went through to get her album out. To date, I have spent about $54k on Parachute. That means that I have to sell 5400 units at an average of $10 per CD to break even.

It’s worth noting here that I have not gotten paid at all for my part of this project. That will happen when I pay off the investors who invested the 50k that I spent so handily, and the additional 4k I put on my credit card to make up the difference. (Scott, How Much Does it Cost to Make a CD in 2006? ). Although this was published in 2006, the cost to produce an album today, most likely, exceeds the amount Scott talks about. Artists can get an idea of how much it takes to make a album from her article. $54K is extremely difficult to get. Many artists will also feel uncomfortable to use this money, because there is a risk involved.

Artists cannot always make their money back. They can get a loss, and lose some of the money they put in. If an artist wants to become successful they would have to take the risk, even if they have some doubts. Artists will have to get their music on the radio to sell their copies, which is an whole other obstacle of its own. Artists also have a difficulty in getting their music played by their local radio stations. Most radio stations play the music that is much more popular. This leaves independent artists in the dust. This is because of the numerous famous artists, crowd the radio stations, leaving no room for the independent artists.

Marie Michaels writes in an article that you have to have amazing music just to compete with the major artists. She states reasons why. She says Indies typically have no issues remembering they have to compete against established artists for airplay. If they forget, there will always be someone at a radio station who will remind them. Established artists have the backing of major labels, so their music can be so-so and still get airplay, while an indie’s good music will be tossed to the reject pile. For an indie to win some much coveted airtime, their music has to outstanding, truly special, not just good. Michaels, Independent Artists: How to Get Radio Airplay). This shows that independent artists have to put all their effort in, even to get consideration, in being on the radio. Another reason why artists can’t get radio airtime is because of Clear Channel. They are the multi-million dollar company that owns the most radio stations. In the Clear Channels Statistic article on Staticsbrain it tells how many stations Clear Channel owns. It says “Clear Channel is the largest radio station group owner in the United States, both by number of stations and by revenue.

The 850 stations reach more than 110 million listeners every week. ” If artists get rejected by one radio station owned by Clear Channel, they will probably get rejected by all of Clear Channel’s other radio stations. So for artists’ to be successful they need to be accepted by Clear Channel. These radio stations get a load of listeners. If artists are lucky enough to get some time, people who listen to the song and like it, will impulse buy it. So the more radio time they get, the higher more sales they get for their album. Even if they get radio airtime, some artists’ music might get censored.

Some songs tend to get banned and censored. This may be because of the views shown in the song or the fact that the song contains loads of violence in it. Most of the music that was banned from the public were songs to do with politics. For example many songs were banned by Clear Channel after 9/11, because “A senior executive at giant radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications distributed a memo to all 1300 Clear Channel stations. This memo included a list of 150 songs with “inappropriate lyrics. ” (Feldman Music That’s Been Banned). Some of the songs that were banned include What a Wonderful World, R.

E. M’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and Kansas Dust in the Wind. This greatly affects independent artists, because their views may not be allowed, o be expressed, because of the restrictions of their music. Another reason why songs may get banned is becuase of violence. They can get banned because of the use of sex, drugs, or profanity. Most songs are even censored. This hurts the artist, because their song may not express its message with the song being censored. Trishool Trident wrote about why Hip-Hop music should not be censored. Hip Hop music has always been controversial.

This is often as a result of the sensual beats and explicit lyrics, Hip Hop music claims to be the soul of the street. It signifies how real individuals in the streets speak, walk, behave and live. Hip Hop music is all concerning reality. Real lyrics! It’s not regarding social welfare although it will be but to ask a rapper to tone down his reality because it goes against the grain of politically correct society isn’t the means to get his attention. This article is regarding freedom of expression in Hip Hop music. (Trident Hip Hop Music Should Not Be Censored).

He shares that he thinks rappers should be free to express their feeling. Artists should be able to express their music freely, without other people ruining their message. The obstacle their artists as to face, is the fact they have to change their song to something more appropriate, without ruing the message. Independent artists will have to go through any type of obstacles to be successful; these include money problems, radio airtime, and the restrictions of their music. Artists will have to control their money wisely and take a risk in using it. They would also have to push hard for radio airtime.

They should also try and change the restrictions of their music or not let it change the meaning of their music. In any case, the arguments in this essay, can go for anyone doing anything. This is because; the essay states what obstacles the artists have to go through. This can be applied to other people in other industries. It could persuade them to use money wisely, fight for what is right, and to be more completive in what you are doing. People will always face obstacles when trying to become successful. They just have to fight through it and get what they want. WORKS CITED Ribas, Vinny. 15 Reasons Why Some Indie Artists Fail And Others Succeed. ” Indie Connect. N. p. , 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://indieconnect. com/15-reasons-indie-artists-fail-succeed/>.. Scott, Bar. “Article: How Much Does It Cost to Make a CD? ” Article: How Much Does It Cost to Make a CD? N. p. , n. d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://barscott. com/articles/cost_of_cd. shtml>. Michaels, Marie. “Independent Artists: How to Get Radio Airplay (Part One). ” Yahoo! Contributor Network. N. p. , 17 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://voices. yahoo. com/independent-artists-radio-airplay-part-12048542. tml? cat=3>. Feldman, Elliot. “Music That’s Been Banned. ” Yahoo! Contributor Network. N. p. , 20 Aug. 2007. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://voices. yahoo. com/music-thats-been-banned-482769. html? cat=33>. Trident, Trishool. “Music That’s Been Banned. ” Yahoo! Contributor Network. N. p. , 08 Mar. 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://voices. yahoo. com/music-thats-been-banned-482769. html? cat=33>. “Clear Channel Company Statistics. ” Statistic Brain RSS. N. p. , 31 July 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <http://www. statisticbrain. com/clear-channel-company-statistics/>.

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