Why your age doesn’t have to hold you back in the independent music world
Youth has always been a component of popular music culture: Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Madonna, Britney Spears, One Direction, Lorde — they all got their start well before the big THREE-O. And some of them were still in their teens!
But if youth is a prerequisite for success in the pop music business, well we’ve gotten used to plenty of exceptions to that rule throughout the years.
Celebrated songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams, and Mary Gauthier didn’t really break through until their 30′s or 40′s. Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Sharon Jones, Peaches, Thelonius Monk… the list goes on and on. Plenty of artists didn’t find their true voice, or record their best songs, or start to build a loyal following until the September of their years, to quote Ol’ Blue Eyes.
And these days, with the powers of home recording, web marketing, affordable video production, and global music distribution at your fingertips, you have just as much a chance to make money from your music** at age 55 as you would at age 15.
(**I WANT TO ADD HERE THAT FOR ME, PERSONALLY, MY PURSUIT OF CREATING MUSIC/ART IS NOT MOTIVATED BY MAKING MONEY, BUT RATHER THE JOY AND HONOUR OF SIMPLY CREATING & PERFORMING & BEING IN PURSUIT OF SHARING MY MUSIC WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE. ALL ELSE AFTER THAT BE WHAT IT MAY. TO GENERATE MONEY FOR DAY-TO-DAY LIVING, I ENGAGE WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF LIFE/WORK. I LOVE IT THAT OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN BLOWN OPEN FOR SO MANY MUSICIANS OVER THE LAST DECADE OR SO AS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAS BEEN TURNED ON IT’S HEAD. // Christopher/My Northern Sky)
Now becoming a “rock star?” “World famous?” A household name? Honestly, that may be a different story. But if that’s what you’re striving for I’d like to remind you that we’re a decade and a half into the 21st Century. Look around. Have you noticed there kinda AREN’T that many NEW rock stars these days anyway?
Instead… independent artists across every genre that are sustaining full-time careers from their music through concert fees, publishing royalties, music sales, streams, YouTube ad revenue, merch, and more.
Whether you’re in that group of musicians, working towards it, or just a hobbyist, in today’s music industry YOU get to decide what “making it” means. YOU get to define “success.”
Make the music you love. Find the people that love your sound. Your audience is out there — so you should put yourself and your songs out there too, no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake.
This article was taken from “Why your age doesn’t have to hold you back in the independent music world” by Chris Robley / CD Baby.