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Published on July 8th, 2019 | by Guest Editor


Analysis What Does It Take to Survive in the Music Industry

Do you remember Nelly Furtado, Paramore, and Snow Patrol? Of course, you do. Would you call any of them relevant, let alone your favorite artist? Probably not. These musicians are just a few of the many that have fallen on the wayside in the music industry. 

These days, they simply serve as a reminder that nothing really lasts forever in this business. Despite this, there are some artists that have managed to persevere and pop up every now and then, reminding us that they are still going strong. Taking the lead from them, let’s look at what it really takes to survive in the music industry:

An Ability to Reinvent Yourself 

The music landscape is constantly changing – in more ways than one. People’s listening preferences wax and wane and they can move from one genre to another so quickly that it can make your head spin. Not only that but the general population can get bored very easily as well. What once held their interest may quickly become obsolete a short time later. 

This is why artists who reinvent themselves have more staying power. The most obvious example of this, of course, is the one and only Prince. One of the reasons that his star power continues to shine well after he is gone is because he knew how to keep people hooked. 

There are some newer artists that have learned the importance of doing so as well. This includes Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga. This is what continues to keep them at the forefront of music-related sites like The Music Pal. 

Making a Splash with Social Issues 

At the moment, social changes are taking place all over the world. This isn’t entirely new either since a revolution has always been brewing at some point or another. These days, though, it is cool to be a part of the social movement and to stand up for those who don’t have a voice.

An artist that does this in the purest form possible is Kendrick Lamar. He uses his medium and style to talk about real issues affecting the African-American communities and to get the message out in an innovative manner. He even won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. 

There are other artists, of course, that use social issues a little more deftly. That is not to say that they don’t believe in them. However, they have managed to use these topics to continue to stay in the game. Ariana Grande has done this especially well, becoming the very embodiment of girl power. 

An Ability to Wield Social Media 

It would be nice to think that the music industry was all about, well, music. The truth is that it is as much a popularity contest as anything else. This means that to continue to be relevant, musicians have to know how to wield social media in this day and age. 

Think this might be an overstatement? Well, then just look at Taylor Swift’s success over the last few years. Now, the songstress hasn’t been nearly as active in the music scene as she once was. However, when she launched Reputation, it made millions in a shockingly short amount of time. It wasn’t just anticipation at play here, though. 

Swift has long rallied her fans on social media and continues to do so. In fact, much of her marketing is done here, leading to staggering numbers of pre-orders. So, in an age where social media is king, musicians need to know how to master it. 

These are some of the things musicians have to do to survive in this ever-changing industry. Of course, as the landscape transforms once again, perhaps these tactics will have to evolve as well. 

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