If you’re not a musician, or an individual who is trying to promote a message, a product, or simply, yourself, then you won’t have any idea about the whispering robots in the dark. You won’t understand the constant pimpery (my word) that is taking place online. I’ll use my music project as an example here.
For almost ten years I have thought highly of myself for being a straight laced diy artists. I felt like I was really good at hustling my work, making new relationships so I could manipulate these online personas into covering my creations. You probably have a grip of online friends who you’ve never met. There’s a back and forth of regularity thats some what trusted. We have these weird unspoken “word is bond” esque contracts in the modern era. Back in my fathers day it was a handshake, now my generation has somehow transferred that into the digital realm, and emails, or tweets. Its all for shrinking the globe into our devices to get more out of promoting what you, the individual, is doing. Some are really good at it, transfixed on the notion of being relevant by the second. Hustle it baby!
But its all bullshit, all of it. Everyone is pushing a product, retweeting their work, or merchandise to the masses to perpetuate the fickle following they’ve obtained over the years. I use to think that most of the traffic on Soundcloud was organic in all forms. All my work up to this point has been, plays, comments, likes, etc. And there’s a lot of them. But my most recent experience revealed the impossibility of trying to get yourself in the right spaces to be heard. You have to pay, period. There’s is no denying it, or sugar coating it to death. The new paradigm is quite disgusting and its killing me a little. Making me wanna be a flower on an empty hill. Trust me when I tell you, that label you think is huge, it’s not. They’re just really good at social media.
Recently it was disclosed that Soundcloud is in financial trouble. And quite possibly might not be around much longer. At first I thought how bad this would be, but now I’m thinking it might be a great thing. A sure thing to clean out the cobwebs of failed dreams, and people, while heartfelt in theirs hopes to make music, or cover music, not willing enough to make a worthy product for the sphere of creativity. The business of music is fake, it doesn’t get much clearer. So what do we do about it?
If you’ve ever sent your work into a website to get press, you’ll soon discover you’re asking someone to promote you, and the amount of work that requires. The timing, moods, and all the other things that go with how you come across, or what they want from you, soon punch you in the face, and beg the question “Why am I doing this?”. They don’t want canned messages, not a long message, not a short message, not a message at all. There’s a whirlwind of “about pages” and “contact pages” on hype machine you can surf through and spin the wheel, see what kinds of fortune will come your way. You can figure you’ll get a 10% return on a 100 submissions if you’re lucky. Thats about my average, maybe, give or take. Worth it?
Its not worth the shitty writing that you’re bound to get on the song you’ve worked tirelessly on. Some are really good, but most are lazy. A few words, and a widget, couple of likes, and then off to the archives. Or even worse, you do an interview or special post for a website, and they delete the thing after a short period of time, thanks jerk. That happens more than you think. We owe it to music to stop making our material so widely available for free, and we owe it to ourselves to make the press realize we’re not little pawns in a “soundtrack for your life” factory. We’re artists, and you shouldn’t get to treat the sounds like ketchup for your french fries. Ultimately, I will either hire a PR person at some point, or swim in my flowering solitude, with a mostly obscure reclusive existence.
We need to dropout to stop the suppressing corporate hands from turning our hearts into wide eyed, smile faced emoji that only see the future by how many people liked, shared, or tweeted our work. The 20th centuries energy killer was the television, and the influx of cubicle culture. Well now those very cubicles are mobile in the form of a smart phone. Remember that the next time you’re texting and accidentally run into a tree. It hurts your face, really bad.