New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville are three major music industry cities in the United States. NYC is mostly for pop, hip hip, rap, jazz and music theater, LA is for rock, punk, electronic and pop styles, Nashville has always been the city of the country and blues music.
American music celebrities are world name stars. To sign a record deal is one of the biggest dreams of the struggling musicians.
NYC always attracts gifted artists from all over the world. Greenwich Village is the area of music clubs in Manhattan. There are many spots for unknown musicians in the styles of pop, rock, blues, funk, electronic and rap.
The booking agent is responsible to book evening time. Musicians must have a demo of their live performance and submit it to the agent, including resume that shows the list of venues they play regularly.
Let’s assume, you are a talented singer-songwriter in NYC. You found musicians who believe in your music. Many drummers, bass players, piano and guitar players want to be paid when play your music during rehearsals and gigs. But, let’s hope, you managed to avoid this step and could save money.
Next step is impossible to skip–you need a demo. But, luckily, you could just ask your father or a neighbour to record your last garage practice for free. Most of the passionate music starters are at school, share their room with two other students, work for less than ten dollars an hour, writing music while on the train to work. These kids have no extra money.
Let’s say, you were lucky, and you made it all the way here: you have your band, great music program, and a demo.
You submitted your album to a booking agent of one of the venues. He sent you an email of accepting your band.
He wants you to perform. You are dying from happiness!
Now, one sentence in that email grabs your attention.
‘The bands are responsible to have followings and bring people to their show. First ten tickets go to the venue, the rest is 50/50.’
And suddenly you understand–even if you invite everyone you know, they won’t come to each and every show, when you plan to play a few times a week, every week. And it hits you–your music and these shows will never bring you money. So, working in the bar and living with roommates–it is pretty permanent.
After many shows in the city, hoping to be discovered, you come to the point of realizing that these are just gigs. It doesn’t lead anywhere. As one of the club’s owners say: “It is prestigious to play in NYC.”
But prestige doesn’t pay bills.
You thought about it some more and decided to invest into the recording, and send your music to people who truly can change your life–the music industry people.
Your killer demo was sent to hundreds of record labels, without ever receiving a response. But, music is stronger than any obstacle a struggling musician in NYC can face.
If you guys walk down the street of Manhattan or visit small music venues in the village, you see tons of passionate NYC artists that never stop making music, because music never dies. And no one can take this passion from them.
Theia L.J a/k/a PolinaJ is a motivational speaker, life coach, fiction/nonfiction author, yoga instructor and an award-winning musician/producer.