Killing Itself to Live: Further Discussion

Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor

6a00d83451b36c69e20115715056f8970bFirst and foremost, I wanted to thank everyone who took their time to read, comment, Digg, and tweet my latest essay:  Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived It’s Own Demise.  I was completely humbled by the resounding response of 60 tweets and 25 comments (and counting), making this my most highly shared and commented on essay to date. 

More importantly though, I believe this raises the question:  

In this “digital age,” where no path can guarantee success and all routes, from a major label deal to signing to an independent, or, going completely DIY, tend to have their fallbackshow do you sustain your career as an artist without killing yourself to live?

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  1. I think artists have been killing themselves to live for a long time. There has never really been an easy path. The internet makes it seem easier because you can be connected to a worldwide audience. But the same tools that help you can also limit you, as they are the same tools that are available to everyone else and can become your false security blanket if you aren’t careful.
    I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think that although there are a ton of great online strategies, the safest bet is to still work the pavement. Get out and play gigs; network…get noticed. Start locally, build from there. All the while, suppliment what you are doing in your area with online updates, videos, demos…whatever you have. You can reach that worldwide audience while still connecting with those directly in your own backyard.
    Don’t worry too much about things like piracy and the rapid changes we are seeing almost daily…worry about what you can control, like songwriting and your live performance. If you build a solid foundation and focus on improving the core fundimentals of your art, you WILL get fans and you WILL have opportunities.

  2. Again, I think you’ve nailed that one on the head. It’s also meant as a career metaphor too though, as in, you could be instant in and out of internet fame or major label. Neither route, is actually that safe, one might come will less debt though.


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