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Music Over Money

This is not a bleeding heart plea to do what you love only for the love of it. This is, hopefully, a vital dissertation on the plight of the artist. 

The average singer/rapper does not pay their bills with music. The bills, however, remain. There is no Songwriter Fairy that covers the light and water (unless there is and I’m missing out) Therefore, we are usually forced to 9-5. The path to beginning to support yourself through music is paved with open mics, opening acts and road trips. All of these things are likely to overlap or be affected by work hours.

So, considering that musicians are also humans who need food to survive, what are some alternatives to losing job security for the sake of your passion?

First, passive income.

In case you’ve never heard of it…passive income is the money that makes itself. Things like royalties and investments. I say first not because this is the fastest option to make money, but because this ones needs some work to get started. Lay the groundwork now and cut me in for 10%.

That’s me. Laying groundwork.

Second, diversifying the way you use your talents.

This one is a bit faster turnaround time but it has the downside of adding to your workload in the short term (until you can get paid regularly enough to quit your job).

The groundwork for this one: find a need that your talents can fill. For example, you write songs? Ghost write for other artists. Try your hand at submitting newspaper or magazine articles. 

Third, merchandise!

You can start with small items like buttons, sell by order, and test the market before making a large investment. You may need to collaborate with someone else or hire a graphic designer but this revenue stream has the added bonus of making your brand more visible, while also providing a bit of an ego boost each time a fan supports your craft.

Go make time. Then make music.

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