By Eduardo Castaeeda
What do some of the biggest names in the music industry like Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez have in common? These artists were average people that started from nothing before they became international superstars.
According to Next Big Sound’s 2013: Year In Review, 91 percent of artists are undiscovered and 2 percent are mainstream acts.
In order to increase the diversity of the music industry, more music fanatics should support local and unsigned artists instead of just listening to mainstream musicians.
Society is subconsciously exposed to this small amount of mainstream artists that represent a minority of styles and cultures on television, social media, magazines and radio.
There are several undiscovered artists in every major city and online that may be the next musical phenomenon.
While these underground musicians would benefit from more support and publicity, the consumers may also experience the perks of inexpensive concert tickets, intimate venues, free music and meeting the artists.
Purchasing tickets to a local artist’s show is probably the cheapest alternative to live entertainment anywhere. The best part about attending a local show is that artists usually share the stage with several upcoming acts. Concertgoers may be interested in one artist, but they might be introduced to new styles of music, which may even become a new favorite.
Another bargain that may seem like an inconvenience at first is a small venue, but it is certainly a blessing in disguise. Regardless of the seat number or position in the room, the view in a small venue allows the audience to have a more intimate experience that would not be guaranteed in a concert arena or stadium.
The performers in an intimate venue are also more likely to interact with its audience because they are so close to each other. Granted, there is a lack of security usually blocking the stage, but that does not mean that audience members should misbehave or attempt to jump on stage. They should and will kindly be escorted out of the venue.
If a fan is able to respect the venue’s rules and waits patiently after the concert is over, he or she may have a chance to meet the performers of the night. Unless the performers ask their fans to wait for them, there will not be a long line of people waiting to meet them. Most local artists do not leave these venues in fancy cars or underground garages because they usually walk out the same doors the audience does. Cross your fingers, and you might just get a selfie with your favorite artist.
The ultimate reward of supporting local or undiscovered artists is access to unlimited free music. Several upcoming artists share their music online at no cost on websites like SoundCloud, YouTube, Mixcloud, Bandcamp and Mixcrate. Mainstream artists share their music on these websites as well, but most of their music is available for a monthly fee on music streaming services like Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify.
Local artists are able to provide consumers with more creative and experimental music because they have control of their talents. Unfortunately, several mainstream artists who sign contracts with manipulative record labels are limited to create music that maintains the image and sound that is most profitable.
These unsigned musicians may express their feelings and those of their fans courageously because they are not selling music to compete with money-hungry record labels. By staying out of the fast-paced music industry, these artists are given the freedom and time to develop their music with minimal external influences.
If people support more local musicians, more undiscovered artists will increase the diversity of the mainstream, and music lovers will experience all the perks of attending these artists’ shows.
Monica Lopez / The Poly Post
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