The music industry is constantly changing. It used to be that major labels dictated what we listened to, but now there are more options for artists and listeners alike.
The internet has made it possible for anyone with a computer and some talent to make their own music and share it with the world without having to go through a label or wait on hold while your demo goes up the chain of command. This has led people who may never have had any other option before to get their work out into the world, which in turn brings us new sounds from all over the map. And because these artists aren’t limited by how many copies they can sell, they’re free to experiment with different styles of music- even if those experiments don’t always pan out.
For listeners, this means they have more choices than ever. They can pick and choose the kinds of music they want to listen to based on their personal tastes rather than what’s popular at any given time. And because there are so many different kinds of people making music now, it’s easier for them to find something that speaks to them.
It also means there’s a lot of junk out there for listeners to sort through, but that kind of thing comes with the territory. Aspiring artists have always been forced to deal with that problem. There’s no way around being overlooked if you don’t have connections or enough money for advertising, and even then it can be difficult to get people to pay attention. What makes this worth it is when someone says they became an artist because they heard your song or bought your album, and that’s something it took years for big label artists to start hearing again. Now independent musicians are experiencing it all over again as they find new fans every day singing their praises where most labels would just turn them away- only these days every good review counts toward selling more music, not just the ones that are positive.
The most important thing for artists, whether they’re signed with a label or not, is to remember that no matter how many ups and downs they go through- or how long it takes them to be heard- there’s nothing more rewarding than having their work enjoyed by others.