Money from Music: Where We Live
Networking: the ‘special sauce’ that moves careers
Success in music is often attributed to talent, but as one of our interviewees suggest, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. A Nashville Songwriter states:
Being in the right place at the right time with the right people came up again and again in interviews; the serendipity that leads to career defining moments. Often when interviewees talked about the value of location, they described the value of being able to network effectively in that location and pursue opportunities. Some clarified that the relationships they built, rather than a specific location, were what helped them get ahead. All agreed that working relationships and in-person connections facilitated many, if not most, career opportunities.
Music Industry Cities
Before the internet, most of these chance occurrences happened in major cities where music industry executives and connectors could be found. These were also places where service organizations for musicians are headquartered, where you can find prestigious music schools, and where structured networking opportunities for artists in all stages of their careers are not impossible to find. With the advent of the internet and social networks, some assume that these serendipitous moments can also happen online – divorced from location. But even in a global, networked, internet-facilitated world, the draw of certain music cities is still powerful, as we heard from our interviewees. The key benefits to living in a music city such as Los Angeles, New York, or Nashville include:
(a) proximity to networks and opportunities;
(b) a greater perceived likelihood of working full time as a musician; and
(c) the social, artistic, and business benefits of living in a creative community.