People that embrace music as an essential part of their lives, that is, as their job, end up in uncomfortable places that may make them think differently about something they used to love. This is not strange or new, and it happens with every form of art that gets involved with marketing, sales, and large audiences.
However, there are moments when music can become a simple means to an end, with the end being making profit out of it. This of course means that the main reason why a musician does what he does becomes a secondary thing.
A Few Dark “Secrets”
The absence of women in positions of power undoubtedly contributes to a culture of sexism in the music industry. High-powered figures like Dr. Luke, Russell Simmons, and R. Kelly have been accused of sexual harassment.
This is a delicate matter because sometimes it can get out of hand, however it is something real, and it can’t be left out.
If you’ve got big dreams of striking it rich in the music industry, think again. 63% of album and download sales go to the label, and another 23% to the distributors. By the time the lawyers, publishers, producers, and managers get their cut, the average musician sees just 2.3% of the profit.
While money is not the main goal for most musicians, it is an important part of music as a career since it can become the main source of income, and sometimes it feels as if the musician is the product itself. From the musician’s point of view, maybe the only big thing to avoid is feeling as a product, while the percentaje of earnings seem small, there is a lot of money to be made in the music industry, so in the end, it’s best not to focus on making money.,
Fame is something that is not always handled in the best way possible, and sometimes it can even come from the band itself. Sometimes hits and popular music have some dark secrets or little things that make the whole vibe a bit weird, this was the case with the famous “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.
The classic riff at the beginning of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses began as a simple string skipping practice exercise Slash would do. As he was playing it, the rest of the band started playing along in what was just meant to be a jam session, but Axl Rose heard them playing in the other room and began writing lyrics to it. The song would become one of their biggest hits, but Slash always resented it, saying “[The song] turned into a huge hit and now it makes me sick. I mean, I like it, but I hate what it represents.
While it may not seem such a big deal, it can be very uncomfortable to know that something that was not intended to be anything is now a piece of music thought to have a deep meaning and great process behind it. Again, some may have no problems with this situation, but maybe it’s a matter of honesty.
It’s Not What It Seems
Of course, while it’s no secret, many people fall prey to the magic of music and the artists who play it, however most of what we see may be part of an image ready to sell and it does not represent the real thing.
In many cases, bands and artists are just an image, while the producer takes care of doing all the writing, recording and mixing, being the real creator behind the curtains. Being concious of this sometimes makes it as if the musicians we all know and love, may be just puppets to an extent, and while there are many exceptions, every musician is is potentially one of these puppets.
There is also a musician’s personality; this can also be an image to sell, and does not represent reality, but just like an actor, a musician needs to act the part in order to sell the whole package to their audience. Maybe that’s not all bad, but there is no denying that when the private life and the alter ego get mixed up, there is a problem.