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Monday
Oct172011

The Bastards Of The Digital Age

*bastard in a non derogatory way and in no relation to the old meaning of the word

“New technologies have revolutionised our lives, undercutting established norms and upending industries. It’s in these periods of uncertainty that true innovators revel… this next generation of creative minds is keen to recreate the country in its own image: inspired, individual, artistic.”
David Annand

What we need are radicals keen to re-imagine the creation and distribution of their art.

Many artists still think the internet isn’t all that special, that the internet is effectively just Facebook, Twitter and a nice looking wesbite. A bastard of the digital age is an artist who takes advantage of what is presented to them right now, to do something new. There will be no shortage of those people who only do something because everybody else is already doing it, but there will always be a shortage of bastards – the innovators on the outside – burrowing their way in for the explosion.

An obsessive interest in knowing how people will listen to your music, how it will be discovered and what listeners may associate it with is what will separate the bastards from the pack; it is the way in which we’ll see not only exciting art emerge but exciting ways to broadcast that art to fans. Bastards occasionally trip and make a fool of themselves, but they are running and discovering and this is how great art is made.

The music world will always be focused on its big tech developments (each day), but your job remains the same – to be concerned with everything that surrounds your music. There are no exact answers, this is art for a reason.

Cheap cameras, mixing desks and laptops are no substitute for cinematographers and sound engineers in a state-of-the art recording studio, but you shouldn’t be particularly bothered. Getting on with it now, getting down what needs to be said with what you’ve got is far more important than waiting for a big daddy record label – that has no funds to develop artists anyway – to pick you out of obscurity.

“Now, with pro-tools or a simple musical instrument you can make an album, you don’t even need a musical instrument, you can just remix music. Now, with a $300 video camera, you can make a movie – a movie that might play in theatres. What we see over and over and over again, is a different kind of person is able become an artist and so there is going to this huge surplus of stuff created that’s easy art, and it won’t work, because with that much to choose from we’ll just walk away. But difficult art, art that really challenges the status quo, art that changes us: that’s gonna be scarce, and it’s not going to be scarce because of talent, it’s going to be scarce because of guts. There is only a tiny number of people that have the guts to do work that hasn’t been done before…We don’t seek out the banal or the trivial, we seek out something that touches us that makes a change happen.”
Seth Godin

As soon as you recognise that there is no going back, no going back to over-priced CD’s and a non-digital world, the sooner you’ll want to pick up on the opportunities that exist right in front of you and start forging a new way of making money from your art.

The choices presented to us now are so infinitely great that we are soaked in overwhelm: this is both curse and blessing.

We need some present-day innovators wanting to stir things up.

I want to see some blood vodka chucked in a Gin.

Bastards ‘get’ that music now becomes a free entity on the internet that travels and morphs, gets remixed, gets blogged about – this is a global community of inspired people who are passionate about sound. Ideas that you come up with, however shocking or primitive, can be given an audience. I’d urge you not to quell your inner voice, because that inner voice is what sets you apart from everyone else, that’s what will spread, and you have the tools right now to get started; to build something.

_____

Marco is the Founder of Behyped, a blog which revolves around the music world of today.

Behyped is about new approaches to old ideas, artistry, music and most all - creative genius.

Marco is on Twitter and likes coffee, film & music (duh) and once got thrown off the Apple interview process at stage 4 because he a. talked about being addicted to coffee for 4 minutes and b. mentioned all the times he had dropped and broken his MacBook.

Reader Comments (2)

One of the main problems of the old model was that music had to be treated as a commodity, and it happened to be a commodity people could share/steal.

But no one can steal how an artist makes them feel. That's not consumer behavior, that's patronage. Taking the next step beyond Radiohead and KickStarter, http://patronism.com pay-what-you-feel, direct sunbscription site that empowers compelling artists to monetize what they mean to their fans, not just what they sell. It also empowers real fans to personally ensure that their favorite artist can continue to make the work they love, and they can drill into the vault as deeply as they want.

With a steady income stream from the people who value what you do most, you can afford to share your music with whomever you please. You can also choose not to, and those who steal it will only have a negligible effect on your ability to make an honest living doing something that really moves people.

October 19 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Pointer

"...that inner voice is what sets you apart from everyone else, that's what will spread..."

Now THAT is some powerful and practical advice. But as Godin says, few will have the guts.

Why?

FEAR. Fear of rejection. But finding and expressing themselves is what has made most of the great artists, well, great. And remember, NONE have escaped criticism. Goes with the territory.

So for all those who are complaining how hard it is to make it in music now - step up and show us who you REALLY are. You might be surprised at the results. And worst case you gave it your all with authenticity, which alone will likely inspire others.

NOW would be a good time.

October 20 | Unregistered CommenterDG

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