In my now part-time day job as a professor at Birmingham City University, I wrote an article on the research centre’s blog, in which I referred to a new field of research that I’m helping develop. It bridges computer science, cultural studies, media theory, musicology, medicine, psychology, sociology and more. That probably takes a little explaining. Interdisciplinarity is not, in itself, a field of research.
Entries in Industry (5)
Every now and then, I go on an open mic binge and discover new little spots and new artists honing their craft. There was this one girl who was absolutely amazing. I told her what I did and she started asking questions. Our conversation came around to how one can get the right exposure and further their career. I shared with her a lot of things, but one of them was about reaching out to industry insiders and building a professional network that will help propel her career forward. It’s not enough to play live. You have to also work hard at building your professional network in the music industry. Finding contact info is easy. There are directories and registries out there you can buy. However, there are some realities concerning industry people that you have to understand before you reach out to them. Or else, you’ll only annoy and alienate them. Here are those realities.
2010 is - rather tragically - shaping up to be the year when Rock Stars (and old-industry millionaires) complain about the state of music on behalf of ‘the little people’.
Here are three examples: Peter Waterman, in an interview with The Times, said that Spotify was a terrible thing. It, he says
“devalue[s] our artists, they damage this country economically, culturally and morally”
Why’s that then, Pete?
“The big stars are a tiny percentage; the rest are broke, including a lot of well-known faces. Who is developing new talent? Without money, new acts are strangled before they mature. We all suffer.”
This, from the man who made a multi-million pound career of writing and producing ‘hits’ for soap stars
OK, I’m going to try and explain why Big Music genuinely doesn’t get what’s happening with the online stuff. It’s easy to dismiss the thoughts coming out about ‘3 Strikes Laws’, and Bit Torrent being to blame for the death of musicians’ livelihoods etc. as being a bunch of really rich people want to keep their massive piece of the pie - and there is some of that, for sure. But there’s also an entire way of thinking that explains why they feel the way they do.
The problem is to do with the difference in response required between transformative change, and incremental change.
Sticking with the music industry, let’s have a look at some examples of both, starting with incremental change:
It takes a lot of patience, professionalism and effort to put together a good plan of action, whether it’s a business plan or an attack plan when it comes to your career. It takes tens times as much when it comes to following through with that plan. All too often artists, and even business people, will set up a great plan, but then slack on it, cut corners, change it without a solid reason or just go in an entirely different direction. Much of the time, this results in failure because a hodge podge of unorganized and erratic work leads to problems.
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(Updated July 8, 2015)