“Music & The Beat” documents my journey to various networking events specifically tailored to young aspiring creatives. Attending the #ERICFEST and the #RoundHouse Rising Festival highly inspired me to organise and create my own networking event aimed at the younger generation, which I called Fusion in collaboration with iluvlive.
Over the years, technology has radically evolved due to the shift from the analogue system to the digitalised system of codification affecting the ways in which music is produced and consumed.
Contemporary digital music models along with the internet which emerged during the 1980’s were blamed for causing a piratical threat to the music industry, leading to an “estimated $5 billion loss in 2002 alone” as many were infringing copyright regulations (Lessig 2008: 40). Vinyl was made obsolete and a few years later, CD’s were dusting on shelves as fans and pirates were peer-to-peer sharing and illegally downloading music tracks.
Author, Aram Sinnreich, described the emergence of technology within the music industry
“as a double edged-sword, offering the promise of greater power and the threat of obsolescence in equal measure” (Sinnreich 2013: 54).
Another issue faced by artists is the phenomenon of the radius clause. Record labels have become huge conglomerates, owning other partner companies as well as venues. Certain artists who have a signed contract are forced to perform at specific venues owned by these record label companies. As a result, artists are prevented from performing at privately owned venues which therefore restricts the freedom of artists as well as the wider distribution of music.
Although the development in technology has been blamed for negatively ‘beating’ down the music industry’s traditional models, upcoming artists are ‘beating the beat’ by positively responding to digital methods of distribution.
The above-mentioned social media platforms have become popular mediums of marketing which musicians and creatives are now using to gain recognition, build an audience as well as a well-rounded group of connections. In comparison to previous years, the 21st century is strongly based on the concept of “who you know”.
Nevertheless, simply building connections online may not be enough.
Face to face networking events are frequently being organised by cultural and creative related companies and charities as a way of encouraging creatives to build long-term business relationships. However, there is still a niche in the market for networking events tailored to young artists.
I invite you to follow me on my journey to discover the opportunities that are available for young aspiring artists within the cultural and creative sector.