By Shane Ó Fearghail
It might be the first step. It could be just a small step. But a step none the less. Bandcamp have stood up and taken note on what is happening right now in the musical world. For one day Friday 20th March Bandcamp will waiver all fees for the music downloaded from their platform. What this means is for one day, all revenues made go to the musician. Okay it’s for one day but it’s a positive start and hopefully more will follow suit. Small steps do moon landings make. Click here for Bandcamp Music
Yes these platforms will all stand to gain from such steps, be it by good press and positive feedback or simply concern and good will. But sure look, we all do. The fact is the music has the potential to get out to people… we all have the time and means to help. For me that is good enough. You scratch my back. I scratch yours. In turn, the music get’s heard and music has the chance get out there. This keeps the wheel turning. It becomes its own force. Self perpetuating… not just for profit but for gain. And we all gain. What goes around comes around right. With that in mind I would ask you to think outside the box. If you are a lover of new music. Support your local artists and keep that hamster moving.
Online Support (Keeping the hamster in motion).
How you do it is up to you. We all have our own favourite music platforms. Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and of course Spotify and YouTube. Yes there are many more but these are the platforms I use. All these platforms have good returns for artists. All that is except Spotify and YouTube. Now don’t get me wrong, Spotify and YouTube have been good for me. Huge platforms with global reach. They have given me avenues and streams I couldn’t reach on my own (I am still an independent musician). But, the reality is… Small time musicians don’t see much money from these platforms. Through Spotify, and even YouTube, as an artist, for their privilege and profile, we waiver the right to make the money we should as professionals. Money that would help music and art live. Not just survive. That’s the reality Folks. Sad but true. Something to think about.
So how can you help you might well ask. You come to shows and music should be played live! But when the gigs have dried up, there are other ways to support musicians. I’m afraid to say it but that is exactly where we are right now and may well be for some time. Musicians will alays do their best to keep the music alive. It’s in the DNA. Here’s are some ways you can help them do that.
Physical Music Is Still Available Folks
It’s true. And maybe artists have a lot of stock. Simply go to your favourite artists home page or website and order a hard copy of their CD or vinyl, directly from them. Or even artists you feel my need a helping hand. Easy right! This way they will see the benefit immediately and in turn receive the money quickly. You will also help them move stock, and in turn making life easier on their loved ones as well as making more available space for shoes, bags, and books; at least in our house anyway. Not to mention, and this is huge, help to increase moral. We are sensitive souls and there is nothing as pleasing and uplifting as strolling down to the postoffice with a CD pack under your arm whistling. It’s exercise too – allowing musicians some well needed oxygen and vitamin D (ie daylight). So it’s a win win! You might even get some personal stuff for your collections. Musicians by nature are, generally kind.
Another great way to support your local artists would be to contact your local radio station and ask them to play your favourite artists music. We have time. Write them. Ring them. But keep it local and relevant to you and your area. Act locally… it helps us all globally. And… We the artists, writers and performers receive much better revenue from radio.
Change The Channel
You may not be aware of this: In a world of multi-national media and radio, big record companies and media outlets control the playlists. What that means is only the big names make these playlists because there is a policing of the airwaves by their masters. What you hear is what they want you to hear. Some countries play a huge role in supporting their native artists. But we need more. We the small fish sadly, swim off scraps. We are suffocating in a sea of media and unless you are a piranha or magpie, whereby you will find your own ruthless methods to survive, you will sink sadly. The reality is, in times like these… the air-waves are choked! Like I said, these are political times. Art and Music has always been manipulated for profit. But by using some of the methods above, you can help. Maybe together we can change the channel. And… it’s still cool to use Spotify and YouTube.
News Just in. Where Bandcamp where pro-active – Paypal still decided to glean off their percentage. What it means is – to get paid by Bandcamp you get paid through Paypal. So where Bandcamp gave us a dig out, Paypal saw it as an opportunity. You win some you lose some.
Take care out there and remember your neighbours.
Take care of each other…
Fight for your art!
New Album Coming Soon – Shameless I know.
Le meas faoin grásta