It's Not Your Dream

If you're a musician, making music is your responsibility, not your dream.

The supply of unique and meaningful original music is much lower than the never-ending sea of tracks being shoved down our throats would suggest. So this idea of making music as a responsibility is easily traded for the assumption that what I make isn't in demand at all - that there's already too much of it - and for me to use resources to add to the noise is a selfish pursuit. It 's just a dream.

But there's a big difference between unique, meaningful, original music and the bulk of what's out there. Each genre has its formula and, just like every other industry, people who care more about money than about meaning have found ways to squeeze every last penny out of each formula. The result isn't art. It can't be meaningful because it didn't come from something that means something. It's robotic. And while it may look good on the outside, one touch is all it takes to realize that it's cold and empty inside.

To be honest, as a musician, I have no idea how to cut through the noise. All I can think to do is keep making my art. Maybe that's all I can do. But at least once or twice a week I'm tempted to quit. "No one cares." "You're releasing your music into the abyss." "Sure you want to make music - so does everyone else. What makes you so special?" "You're selfish."

But do I do what I do to appear a certain way, or do I do what I do because it 's who I am?

If you're a musician, a true artist, then there's no getting around it - as hard as you've probably tried. And while you feel like a drop in the bucket, you know there's a difference between what you do and what the industry does. The real challenge, once you submit to who you are, will be to accept this: You 're not selfish. A musician making music is a responsible thing. And while you'll probably never get the affirmation you want from the outside world, you can choose instead to obey the voice you've always heard inside whispering, "this is who you are". The fruit that grows from your branches will always be music. There are people starving for the art that only you can make. You can either give or withhold.

It's not your dream. It's your responsibility.

*Someone please print this and hand it to me sometime in the middle of next week. ;)


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