As I approach the release of another music project, I start wrestling with familiar things. One of them being whether it should be a free download or not. Another thing I wrestle with is wondering if it is good enough or not. I guess I can only speak for myself really, I don't know if my peers experience this. I should ask them.
I have released 3 free mixtapes and numerous free tracks over time (these are apart from the 2 official albums, one official EP and one official dubstep/EDM instrumental compilation project I have released). I did it for the love and because I just wanted to share. I do dream of days of earning money from music and I do earn from music in other ways but I wonder if that dream is ever gonna come fully true. As an artist you do have to create multiple streams of income. In these times we live in being a professional independent artist is probably one of the hardest things to do if you are relying on album sales. In fact I don't personally know anyone who lives off selling tunes alone.
I have listened to my new finished EP over and over again. I have to always remind myself that because I am the one who recorded it I will hear things differently from another person. I love the creative part but most times I get anxious when it is release time. The marketing and promotion aspect can be fun but it can also be tedious but it has to be done. I don't have a machine behind me but I do have great supporters who have been following what I do and who "get" what I am about. The greatest blessing as an artist are supporters like that. Thank you! I cannot even say that enough!
I think one of the best things to happen in recent times in this digital era of music is the rise of streaming. People these days don't have to download music even if it is free. They can just stream the whole thing from spotify or even youtube (due to people uploading the whole new project there, be it the artist themselves or very enthusiastic fans. I don't think fans should do it without the permission of the artist though but hey it happens) and see if they like it or not. It reminds me of how I used to go HMV on Oxford St and listen to albums in their entirety before deciding to buy or not. In fact sometimes I would buy an album and return it the next day if I didn't like it. (ok I will be honest there were times I would burn the whole project on a CD and then return it hehehe naughty nova)
The most important thing is that you get to hear the new project. Whether you choose to buy it is another matter. I always feel I have to earn the money i.e I want people to buy because they like it and not support out of pity or sympathy (even though that is kinda nice though) I am not entitled to anyone's money but if a connection is made with the project then a financial exchange should happen if the price is reasonable right? I think that is a fair deal.
These are just thoughts going through my mind hahahaha. Ah music, it is a beautiful thing.
Karl Nova Music