StreetcredMusic...This blog has followed a quote I heard many years ago..."Sometimes you must leap first, and build your wings on the way down". From nothing it has become a blog containing dozens of Indie artists. Follow me as I introduce you to them, from the place where they breed, New York City! ....and come with us as we document it on film!!

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StreetcredMusic; Would You Give Up Every$$thing To Make Music?

I posed the question,
   ...'would you give up all other jobs and try to make a living from making music'?
I asked artist I know, and said they could answer anonymously, or tag themselves.

I was prompted by my observations over six years.
I wondered why the successful indie artists, were not copied by the others who were struggling
   ...having to share apartments, work two or more jobs, and still playing venues for free.
While others of equal skills were being paid for gigs, and traveling, and quite frankly, refused to under value themselves. It seem to me the conveyor belt the industry has set up to keep artists from breaking out was still attractive to most. It seems the make up of the individual is the answer.

I'll be adding posts as I receive them.

Shrederella Regretowittz, Bklyn. NY:
 "Sometimes I wish that someone would have told me when I was younger how hard it is to be a musician. I get kind of resentful of all the people I looked up to but then I remember that literally everyone in my life told me constantly, and also every movie, biography, and casual piece of pop culture explicitly stated how haggard and lonely and broke all musicians are...

...but as a child I had no concept at all of the perils of adult life so none of those things even made sense to me... and then I get kind of wrapped up in the perfect innocence of children and how many times my entire world view has been shattered and then I think that like, life probably isn't hard cuz I picked a crazy thing to do with my life, life is probably just hard in general and that's pretty chill. I can get down with that cuz it means that I'm probably not wasting what little time I have working on a craft and using that craft to try and benefit other people somehow,

...and then I feel better because in a broad sweeping way life is trash, but it's like, trash all round, Y'know? Like, trash for everyone? And that's pretty comforting"

Anonymous, NYC:
 "Don't do it. When it becomes a way of life, it ceases to be an escape from life. Gradually, you'll compromise your musical principles for the bottom dollar, and when that happens, your passion will erode away. Where I'm at, I'd go insane if I didn't have guitar to decompress, but I'd also go insane if it constituted 90% of my time"

Alan, NYC:
 "I don't understand the question. I've been a musician my whole adult life, and I work in the biz for $ as a tech. I even married a professional backing musician. I didn't give up anything. This is who I am.
Nothing would change my central core identity, I am an artist. It's my soul. It can't change. I could be a postman or a janitor, and it wouldn't change. (Fuck office work, though. Working in an office is my idea of hell) And I would suggest that for you it is the same.

What I would advise anyone with a "normal" career (WTF is normal?) is don't throw it all away. Be cautious and keep an income, maybe modify the way you work, because you ain't gonna make big money being a touring musician unless you are staggeringly lucky. And you probably have better chance of winning the lottery.
Unless you are preternaturally talented, like a Hendrix or something, and even then luck plays a huge part.

If you read dots, you can do well as a session muso, but that really depends on where you live, because it is all about demand.
My experience is that doing audio and stuff for a career really ate into my passion for music as an art form. It became "a job" and whenever I played or listened to music I wasn't listening with absorbed passion, but with the jaded cynicism of someone who works on that for a living.
I stopped playing in bands when I was in my early 20s, 'cos most musicians annoy me (ha ha) I'm more of a loner, but I've heard the same from people who play touring groups, they have to compromise what they love for playing shit that people want to hear. And they get real jaded. Some people love it, of course, but you have to be a particular type.

Remember also that you ain't always gonna be young. This shit is a young person's game. You can always make music til the day you die, but the touring lifestyle gets old really fast, and it will make you crazy, as Mr Zappa once noted. You need to have something to fall back on when your back gives out and your prostate is cranky.

At the end of the day, it's your life and your adventure, so take a risk and go for your dreams. But always have a backup plan"

Sarah, Boston:
 "After graduating college, I spent 4 years working with my band. I would only work jobs that had complete flexibility for gigging (mostly seasonal positions), I worked 2 jobs...barely scraped by money wise, and sacrificed relationships with family and friends.

A little over a year ago the band fell apart for multiple reasons (we got to complacent and too comfortable) and I've felt empty since. I have very few friends, barely speak with most of my family still, and am starting to practice less and less.
It is worth every second and I would give anything to have it back again.

Our refusal to stick to what we did well, and trying to fuckin fit with trends destroyed us.
Do what made your followers happy, not the industry. know your audience, they don't like
moving around"

Sarah: Do what made your followers happy.

Just added Dec. 11th 2016.

Marissa, NJ:
I met Pete Carma in 2011. He saw my music on line and contacted me, and came to see me perform.
That was so encouraging to me, because to be honest, not one other person who had any influence reached out to me. I was teaching at the time, second grade at a private school in NYC. I was living in a roach infested building on the lower east side, and my rent would go up every year. Every spare dollar I had went to my music career. Chasing rainbows, and hearing bullshit from everyone.
I'm out. I now live in NJ, I'm 37, teach and sing and play for the kids. The exhausting life style, the misogyny, playing for nothing, was too much to waste my youth on.

Pete Carma:
Let me add one sentence to this. Marissa was great, a bluesy, jazzy, sexy vocalist. Miss her! 

Added: Jan. 2d 2017:
DJ: Jay:
 Quitting your day job, or at least your main stream of income, for music doesn't mean you'll never make money outside of playing shows or selling merchandise. Many musicians in consistently working bands still pick up a shift here and there at a job when they are in their hometown. Others have the occasional DJ night that pays a set amount, and often comes with a drink and food stipend. So like other musicians, you may still work every now and then, without having to compromise tour plans or band rehearsals.

  Last year, I had a chance to do just that, quit my day job and I learned a few things during my exciting, though sometimes heartbreaking year of freedom. Although it certainly feels great to throw caution to the wind and dive head first into pursuing your dream, music, my biggest barrier to success remained the same. I simply did not use my time and resources wisely. 

Added Jan. 5th, 2017:
PlayMC: New Jersey:
The artists and bands that I know that are making a full-time living are some of the hardest working people I know. They hustle every day and work long hours, evenings, weekends, whatever it takes to get the job done and bring in the income they need to survive. Most bands dream of quitting their day job to do music full-time, but some don’t realize that it is a job to be a full-time musician, and you might end up working harder and longer than any day job out there, but the reward will be to do what you love for a living. 
....More coming~

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