Do perceived standards of “making it” in the music industry often coincide with practicing PAA?
Why You’re Never Going to “Make It” in Music
“Making it” in the music industry is a dream harboured by countless individuals around the world. With the ubiquity of music in our lives and the glamorization of the music industry in pop culture, it’s not surprising that many aspire to reach the top echelons of this industry. But before chasing this dream, it is important to consider the realities of the music business and why you may not necessarily reach your desired ‘stardom’.
The Gravity of Competition
The music industry is inundated with talent. According to a report by the Next Big Sound, over 90% of all artists are largely undiscovered. Every day, hundreds if not thousands of songs are uploaded to streaming platforms. The sheer volume makes it incredibly difficult for any single artist to stand out. There is a constant need to innovate and set yourself apart from the competition in order to catch people’s attention.
Fickle Nature of Fame
Even if you somehow manage to break through the noise and capture public attention, maintaining that status is an entirely different beast. The music industry is notoriously fickle - one minute you are riding high on public adoration, the next you might be the target of public scrutiny or worse, indifference. The public’s musical taste can shift unexpectedly, making it hard to secure a long-lasting career for many artists.
The image of wealth and luxury portrayed by successful musicians tends to mask the financial struggles faced by most practitioners. The majority of musicians are actually making very little from their music, especially with the rise of streaming platforms that pay paltry sums for individual streams.
The Toll on Mental and Physical Health
The music industry can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. Long hours in the studio, gruelling tour schedules, constant scrutiny, and pressure to succeed can lead to exhaustion, burnout, or even substance abuse for many musicians.
This is not to say that you should abandon your dreams and passion for music. Rather, it is to highlight the complexities and challenges inherent in ”making it” big in the music world and to encourage realistic expectations. As with any career, success should not be solely defined by fame and wealth, but rather by fulfilling personal goals, artistic satisfaction, and a steady path of growth.