I’m so glad that this video has been making the rounds… it really addresses something that really is a problem. I am not even going to try and predict what the future of the music industry will be, I don’t think anyone knows but one thing I do know is that along with the over-saturation of music there is an equal amount of over-saturation of music “services” designed to help artists connect with fans blah, blah, blah. Isn’t that the purpose of the music?

I’m mean I know I’m somewhat oversimplifying the issue(or am I?) and as always the irony is not lost on me that I’m having this moment on one of a gazillion blogs, but the point is maybe the solution to these industry woes should be as elementary as: Spend the time crafting some great music(great not good) connect with a few fans and then let the growth be spurred on by your fans touting what you do, not you. Does that sound like a plan? Possibly?

Yes of course press/new & social media can help, but if the music isn’t great who cares? Music is not great because some reviewer on some blog says so(yeah I know, I’m doing it again) music is great when it strikes a chord and resonates with a collective of people be it a large or small collective. When people come together and let an artist know that something the artist created spoke to them in a certain way and that they want to support that artist whether it be by financial or other means, that’s the definition of success to me.

I think the problem with a lot of these services and strategies is that they are based upon a paradigm of ubiquity. A paradigm that while it once reigned supreme in decades past it just may not be possible today. I think that’s actually cool. I remember when I was a kid and we would go on vacation you would see different local or regional department stores, restaurants etc. and each town had its own flavor. Nowadays of course everywhere you go you see the same big box stores and restaurant chains banded together and it sometimes feels like you never left home. What was the point of the vacation?

Artists you cannot be everywhere, but you have to be somewhere. Find a place or two that your fans will know that they can find you either here or there, but not everywhere.

I wonder what would happen if some of these “services” had to operate like real estate agents: If the house doesn’t sell you don’t get paid. Maybe that would separate those who are in it for the music and those that are in it for the money.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.