The music industry really should have been about intrinsic and uninterrupted supply and demand the whole way through. But somewhere between late 90’s post-grunge, copycat 80’s hair metal bands, and pseudo hipster blandness like Lorde and Lana Del Rey, we lost sight of what made music, well, musical. It became about the marketing, and in many ways, it will always be a major part of digesting music and what determines what gets sent to one’s recommendation page.
But crowd-sourcing has eliminated a major part of the burden in marketing, allowing us to choose what we are exposed to. Musicians of all kinds are reaching new fans and built-in fan bases in a direct way. This has allowed fans to be in the thick of things in an intimate manner, and realize what makes their favorite artist human. Find your own music. Find what gives you the chills or the desire to dance or the emotional languish you crave in whatever style music you enjoy. Support what speaks to you, and let the market be dominated by the choice of the greater public in a direct way and not a forced way.
Robin Lore is just like any other struggling musician, in the sense that limited marketing and scope makes her job to survive as a musician all the more daunting. Indie musicians aren’t asking to be committing to a duet with Taylor Swift. They just want to survive and perhaps be relatively successful creating music. Quite frankly, great musicians should be able to do that. Lore has developed a Freefunder account in an effort to raise a very fair amount for the recording of her untitled new album. This is not an easy endeavor. Professional production work could cost anywhere between free (if it’s your parent) or the more realistic $15,000-$25,000. CD production, distribution, art design, web development, engineering/mastering, and everything in between adds up to a rather monumental paycheck to many smaller parties. It doesn’t leave much time to focus on the artsy side of things.
The greatest thing about crowd sourcing is it allows an intrigued fan to tangibly support an artist in a real and logical way. The market is gone. In the future, artists may have to stand on the quality of their music, their ability to presence themselves in an Internet landscape, and the drive of their aspirations. Lore’s leading single, ‘I Don’t Know,’ is a chilling look at craving love from someone that probably doesn’t deserve it. It is about finding happiness in oneself and not through the needs of another. She is battling the disparate realities of confused love. Who can’t relate to that?
Support what you love. Do not allow the market to decide what you should enjoy and be exposed to. In essence, the 15 year old kid making electronic dance music in his room should have a fair shot to make it in the world on equal playing field with the pop songstress with a piggy bank the size of her father’s investment firm. We do not live in this world. But with the advent of crowd sourcing, we can level the playing field as much as possible. We can see music speak on its own terms and not be filtered through the buffet line of business executives, marketing simplifications, and pigeon-holing efforts of minimization. We can see music be born from the mind of an artist and reach the psyche of fans in a direct and potentially beautiful manner. Robin Lore is a clever, approachable, and sensational indie gem in the vast pool of great and bad music. Her chance could be found and realized if enough people really and truly do care. And that is how it should be!
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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