In the majority of cases the answer is actually no. You might have to move to another city, but let’s see why changing countries altogether may not benefit you at all contrary to popular belief.
I know that just like me, you were influenced by the likes of MTV, Billboard, BET, or shortly put: American marketing behemoths. Heck, Billboard still dictates who gets in and who stays out. Thus, we grow biased. Anything American will be deemed as of high quality, worthy of your time and money. You KNOW this is true, especially if you were born OUTSIDE US.
So you start making plans in your head and aim to get to the land of opportunities because, hey, this is where all your favorite mainstream artists come from! And yet, when you do make that continental, cultural, and emotional change, your whole life gets flipped upside down and you’re rather discouraged than encouraged to pursue your dreams. Truth is, if you were born in any other country, you have higher chances of realizing your much-dreamed career THERE, at home, where people know you, dealt with you, and care about you. What no one will ever admit is that when you start life from scratch, you need A LOT OF TIME to process the change before you can even THINK about music. You need to pick up the language, the mannerism, get a day job, work on your legal status, pay your bills on time, take care of your health, find a new social circle AND save money to invest in your songs and marketing. Just adjusting to a new country is such a trauma to ANYBODY and more time consuming than you could imagine. It takes up to 4 years to fully grasp the new place you’re in and to feel like you’re starting to belong there. And the saddest part is when you’ll finally have built your financial and emotional foundation to start pursuing your music calling in this new country, you’ll notice people from back home rising to career heights you never even dreamed of. And then eventually you’ll understand that maybe you made a mistake and just maybe, if you were as determined to succeed back home as you’re in this new place, maybe you’d already achieved what you came here for.
That is not to say that if you were born in an isolated village and you want to be a rapper then you should stay in your village. No, move to the city as soon as possible because that’s the place music has a market for. But moving in another city is majorly different than moving to a whole ‘nother country. Being able to travel a couple of hours by train or by bus and see your family every now and then is still better for your mental health than NOT SEEING THEM AT ALL. The whole music industry underestimates the mental wellbeing of artists. I would like to mention here Avicii. Go see that documentary and come back to this article and tell me how you feel about it. A kid that was pretty much ”snatched” from his family at 18 years old, went to discover all we dream of (money, parties, friends, industry connections, touring etc), only to crash and burn at 28 years old from ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, EXISTENTIAL QUESTIONS, LONELINESS. See how he talks to his trainer in that documentary, how he is afraid and fragile, how no one actually has his best interest at heart and how he knows it, he knows his end is near. I also want you to THINK, would have his manager had the courage to push him so hard had Avicii had his family next to him at all times? I highly doubt it. When you’re ”fresh meat” in a new country, the sharks smell the blood in the water and WILL GET YOU. They got years of experience under their belt, they got tons of connections and power, they know every right word they need to tell you and your investors to get what most benefits HIM/HER.
You are unlikely to succeed in a new country, and if you do, you are not much more than a means to an end, someone’s meal ticket. And no one will be there to wipe your tears when you’re alone, no one will stand by your bedside at the ER, and no one will tell you STOP when you need to be stopped.
And definitely look for Avicii: True Stories. Make sure you watch it in the morning because you won’t be able to sleep if you watch it in the evening.