Updated: Oct 26, 2020
The entire world changed in front of our eyes, and we’re just reaching the halfway mark of 2020. While we were still dealing with the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd sparked a revolution to end police brutality, specifically the killing of unarmed black men & women.
The dark side of America and it’s violent, prejudice undertones shined brightly on public display. Large media outlets and companies have to pick a side between the people fighting against justice & the Police Department and the government, which seemingly supports the murders of their innocent citizens.
Every industry has been affected by the turmoil that we have gone through in the past six months. One of the more significant industries is also due to be under reconstruction: the music business.
Whether you’re Taylor Swift & Drake or a kid in Wisconsin making music in your bedroom, every artist out there is having to study the landscape and change their gameplan. With most of America still fearing the coronavirus, it looks as if concerts and festivals are slow to start back up. Most artists are making little money off streaming music alone, so canceling all live performances is hitting the pockets of many creatives worldwide.
For the first time in years, celebrities and artists of every stature have to promote and engage with their fans via social media. While this was very entertaining, many well-known figures had to put their personalities and views in front of everyone, and many witnessed their offensive and out-of-touch thinking. Even the most influential people aren’t protected by that power anymore. Celebrity culture is starting to go extinct. They can no longer hide behind their money and fame.
So if you’re a music artist, what do you do from here? Are you using your platform responsibly and using your voice to shine a light against injustice for black people in America? Or are you just going to fall back and wait until everything is normal, keep your stance to yourself, and go back to business as usual?
Some musicians have been conscious of the message they put into their music. One of the biggest songs is Atlanta rapper Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture.” Even large corporations are starting to follow suit with taking a stance.
On June 28, 2020, BET aired its first-ever virtual award show. Although questioned, the virtual “live performances” were a success. DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, and Alicia Keys made sure to preach their message during their performances.
Multi-million dollar companies have never chosen aside. When the majority of said companies make their money from “our” culture, we must make sure that our voice and influence are strong enough to hold the powers responsible.
If you’re an up and coming artist, make sure you use your platform wisely. We’re in an era where you hold power no matter who you are or where you reside.
Society and business are also changing. We are moving to a world where information and resources are a lot easier to find. Since the world moves into a different space, we have to roll with it. The internet is the source of everything, from advertising & promotion to entrepreneurship.
If you are an up-and-coming artist trying to make your way into the industry, remember you have the opportunity to be heard by hundreds and thousands of people. Please use it to your advantage. You don’t need a label or a large record company to promote your music or record music. Tap into your social media presence and target your audience. Find your strengths, build your team, and create your business plan for these evolving times.