Like many others I am sure you have a musician friend or you know someone in person who is an aspiring singer/rapper/producer. And I am also sure you have made the following mistake without being aware of the consequences. Here is the thing: when you talk to your best friend, you ask them how they’re doing, how’s that specific relationship going on, whether they live in the same city etc. Questions that make sense. But… when you talk to a musician, not knowing better, you go ahead and ask ‘so how’s music going for you?‘ or worse ‘you still doing music?‘. That is the worst and the most offensive question you could ask someone in the music industry or a person in the art world. PERIOD. Why? Let’s flip this for a second. You don’t go and ask your friend working in retail ‘so how’s scanning items going for you?’ or ‘you still scanning clothes at the checkout?’. Oh now that sounds really bad, doesn’t it? Let’s take it a step further, let’s imagine the same question addressed to someone doing a job they don’t like but they have to in order to support their family: ‘So how’s cleaning floors at Dunkin’ Donuts working out for you?’ or ‘Any new cleaned floors recently?’, which is literally the same when you ask ‘any new songs recently?’. I will explain this further. Being a musician is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Unless you’re in top 40 and worldwide famous, people always doubt you, criticize your work, hate you for doing what YOU love doing, belittle you in your face and behind your back and you got the whole world basically disrespecting you because in their eyes, you will never make it. And still, every day, these art people wake up, put their brave shoes on and do their best. Being a musician comes with the stereotype of being arrogant, egotistical and dumb since most musicians don’t pursue the society paved academical road. It is a mental struggle to do music and to stay consistent. And when you got these people asking you repeatedly offensive crap like mentioned above, eventually you just wanna cut them off and that is the right thing to do for your mental health and well-being. First and foremost, if you’re asking me about new songs, obviously you’re not following my work otherwise you would have seen my most recent cover/single/performance. Musicians POST THEIR CRAFT all the time. It is essentially what we must do to survive so don’t be an asshole to ask something that can easily be answered on your own by taking a look at that artist’s page/profile. Secondly if you’re asking me how’s that music thing going on, that tells me clearly that in your eyes that is just ‘a thing’ and you do not believe in my artistical abilities, it is almost as if you are expecting me to fail and are just waiting on my confirmation. You are so getting cut off if you ask something like this. And thirdly, and probably the most offensive of all: ‘are you still doing music?’. Just because you haven’t seen any new posts in a while it doesn’t mean I gave up. If anything it means I am busting my ass off to get things off the ground. For those 3 minutes of music that YOU hear and then feel entitled to criticize, months(if not years sometimes) of work go into it, lots and lots of money, tears and sacrifices. Do you even know the process of how a song gets to your phone on your Spotify playlist? There is a producer that composes the music, then an artist that writes the lyrics, then serious money has to be spent on recording, production and post-production aka mixing and mastering which is done by the sound engineer. THEN (we’re not done yet), money has to be spent on making the song AVAILABLE to YOU on all platforms and then EVEN MORE money on promoting the song and bringing it to your attention. And if the artist is lucky enough to be able to do a music video, all of that has to be paid too and promoted AS WELL because audio promotion is different than visual promotion. It takes a village to even get a song radio-ready. And this does not include ANY guaranteed return. It could all turn out, as it usually does, just for visibility and credibility. THEN AFTER YEARS of pumping money into the image and sound, things MIGHT turn around for the better and you start seeing your money BACK. No profits yet. Those come in so so much later.
Thus, if you know a musician, a singer, a songwriter, a rapper, an instrumentalist, anyone in the music business, be more respectful of their work and don’t ask them dumb, offensive questions. When things are gonna go great for him/her, they’re going to SHARE that themselves with EVERYONE. Because the hard work will have finally started paying off. No musician stays quiet in his success.
Article by Mariana Berdianu
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