The freedoms of being an independent musician

Many independent musicians today are mature and have perhaps had events in their lives that took them down another road. Then as things settled down they are rediscovering their passion for music using a more realistic and level headed approach.

Having read an excellent Plugging and Promo For New Artists article by Neil March (musician and founder of Demerara Records) it prompted me to write this post. Any artist should read Neil’s piece because there is a lot of useful information and advice.

It got me thinking though about the wider picture and my own experiences. There is now a growing community of talented independent musicians who are not seeking mainstream chart success or have any strong desires to be signed to a label.

Indy musicians measure their success within a smaller specialised genre or audience. We might play local gigs, record and distribute our own music or just do it for the total enjoyment of expression without constraints by the corporate world.

We are independent because we want to be in control of both our creativity and our destiny. I think it’s also safe to assume that many of us are also trying to hold down a day job or have a family to look after…but we still want to make great music!

There is a different path to success and it’s not paved with gold! Which is likely the case for anyone struggling in the music business today, at any level. Though some great artists do break through to the mainstream – does mainstream even exist anymore?

I did try and succeed with groups years ago, sending tapes to record labels, thinking about “The Big Time” and all that. We made the best effort we possibly could, hired an awful management firm. I then had to reboot my life and make a living.

After a few years establishing a career as a graphic designer my desire to create music again started to grow. Fast forward to now and I have a mature outlook, plus I am a better musician than I ever was and will continue to evolve.

Now as an independent musician I want to make music I enjoy playing and hopefully others will enjoy it too – without getting bogged down with fame seeking or compromising creativity.

We also have the choice about how far we want to go…when we get the time off work!

Cheers, Paul (aka Guitar PK)

Read the Neil March article – Plugging and Promo For New Artists