There have been countless articles, from online journals and magazines – one notably in Wired UK earlier this year – discussing how different the music industry is these days.How much easier, and harder, it is for bands to make it, as we are all navigating the still somehow “new” space of the internet. Bands try to balance physical tours and face-to-face presence with online presence and marketing to their fans. And there’s the question of downloading music legally and illegally across the world and how artists get recognition for their work anymore.
How is it that in a world where we are already taking for granted the ubiquity of the internet, we haven’t yet managed to figure out how to rocket an artist to fame using the internet? Have we missed a beat, in musical and social terms, by not capitalizing yet on the possibilities that the internet offers? Or is it simply a matter of time before someone does hit it big with a presence that is based solely on their engagement over the waves of the internet?
I’m optimistic, and I think it’s the latter. I think the pieces of the puzzle are being put together, by innovative artists out there, by people who support the movement to democratize music, by supporting the outlet that creative people need to get their voices heard. Of course, that’s in large part because I feel like I’m in the middle of the movement. I’m watching people like Madeline Bell get discovered where before her talent was little known, and listening to great tracks every day that are shared with people all over the world.
And yes, there are other examples of stars who made their start – most notably with videos on YouTube – and have achieved fame, or notoriety, from it. But there hasn’t yet been a wave of stardom to slap us in the face like many expected years ago as the internet took shape as a major force in all of our lives.
But I want to see it go even farther. A big part of me knows we’re still just at the beginning. And I know I’m not the only one.
Experts have noted the demise of the CD sector of the industry, the vacuum that social media creates in a huge percentage of the population’s time online, our interest levels peaked with the sights of each new site on the web.
It’s time for us, the creative crowd, the artists, the writers, the studio musicians, the instrument players, the band leaders, to get a bit more clever in our use of the internet. It’s a tool, like any other technology out there, to be used for something. What is that something? Well, there are infinite answers to that question. And that’s the point: we should be seeing infinite creativity from the stars of tomorrow, building their way on the invisible yet tangible steps of the internet stage that allow us every democratizing force we need to start a movement.
So get your guitar picks out, or put your studio headphones on, warm up your voice, and press record. It’s time to be heard.
Tell us your thoughts, in words or in a song, and leave your comments here.