With the rise of the digital music industry and streaming, there are artists generating reasonable livings (~$50-300K) producing and releasing music from their bedrooms to the public instantly. This phenomenon takes place most significantly in electronic music, although it happens in rap, pop, and other genres too.
These artists, many of them teenagers or in their early 20s, put their songs up on DSPs [demand-side platforms], often powered by digital record labels, distributors, or YouTube promoter channels.
I have seen a couple of these artists go onto immense success, such as Alan Walker, by growing their businesses beyond their bedroom, most notably by creating successful touring businesses.
While many bedroom artists attempt to take their career to the next level, many don’t try at all.
There are so many positive effects of being able to create a healthy career from your home studio. Furthermore, touring can often have negative effects on mental health, relationships, and even diet. Not every artist generating $100K independently has the desire to do what it takes to become a truly multi-dimensional artist in the public eye. And that’s totally okay.
But some of these artists did aspire to grow outside of their comfort zone, yet lose their ambition once they are making a living. I refer to them as suffering from “Bedroom Artist Syndrome”.
Artists suffering from the syndrome lose the drive to reach their full potential or aren’t willing to risk the time and or money developing their business further, especially to create an engaging and profound live show. Some even become afraid to pursue the next phase of their career for fear of not living up to the standard set from their online numbers and hype.
Artists are more entrepreneurial than ever these days… They have to record and release often, market themselves via social media, connect with creatives and ideate content, put together their live show, and tour it… In some cases across the world. It is a lot of work…
At the end of the day, it’s about the music… And if an artist has to do it all or overcommits themselves, they might not make their best music. I commend so many artists today for their unique abilities to balance all of the above successfully, while also making many of the most important decisions for their businesses.
In my experience, part of the early drive an artist has often comes from the fact they don’t have the resources necessary to support their craft or sometimes even themselves.
It’s worth mentioning an artist doesn’t have to tour at every phase of their career to have a successful and diverse business – just look at Daft Punk. While the above lifestyle isn’t for everybody, it can still be frustrating when an artist reaches this first pinnacle and give up on growing their career before it reaches the exponentials.
However, more importantly, it’s incredible artists today have the digital tools to create fan bases and generate revenue accordingly right from their bedroom.