I once had a conversation with a good friend where she asked, in regards to my musical aspirations, whether I wanted to be rich and famous or whether I wanted to make good music that touches people. My immediate reaction was, “Why can’t I choose both?”
The topic of making money off of making art is one that I suspect will be popular and controversial as long as there are artists, and I doubt anything I have to say would add new points to the conversation. But what I did want to add to my conversation with you is a little about my motivations.
Or, rather, what it is I want beyond making good music that means something to you, and why I want that.
I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t suspect I’d enjoy being rich. And if I could do that doing something I love and not having to give up my integrity (personal or artistic), that would be pretty cool.
But what I really want is this:
- I want to pay for my rather modest bills and “lifestyle” without wondering whether or not I can make it month-to-month.
- I want to have a little extra to give to good causes, buy gifts for loved ones, and support other artists by buying their stuff or attending their shows.
- I want to have enough fans to warrant/fund a tour so I can see my friends scattered around the world when I play in their cities.
- I want to afford to record and release new songs into the wild regularly, because there are fans scattered all over and I don’t want people to feel like you have to be in my city to enjoy my music.
No gold-lined swimming pools or expensive cars.
No bling or mansions.
I don’t even, as I said, have plans to change from my current lifestyle (which, in rough times, can be paid for with an unemployment check).
I want to make good music.
I want to connect with you and, hopefully, make your life a little bit of a better place. (I know music has done that for me personally.)
I want to have the time and energy to give the music (and, through that, you) the best I can, to give it what it deserves. (I make that time now, and push through when the energy isn’t there…I’m not complaining…It’s part of what I do and what it means to do this…)
And, like most people, I think it would be awesome if I could be one of those people whom you point out when telling people “Do what you love and the money will follow.”
So, I’m going to keep making music I believe in.
I’m going to keep putting myself out here (online, at shows) to connect with you.
And I’m going to do that regardless of whether or not I am rich and famous.
But now you know, when you pay cover at a show or buy something from us, what the money is for.
Sorry, not hookers and cocaine. More like practice spaces and recording. Or cat food and rent.
Maybe not as sexy, but you can always write some fanfic and pretend otherwise if that’s important to you. Haha!
Now, time for me to go show support to another local artist. Cos I’m a fan of that 😉