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Chatting music career with AI | Structured considerations

Updated: May 3, 2023



Guys this week has been tough: dealing with a flooded house is no joke!


Well, thank you for your encouraging messages and let's deal with the talk of the moment: Chat GP3.


I'm not a tech person but listening to all the people telling " this is the future ", " it will write music and musicians will disappear"... well, made me decide to give it a try and ask some basic questions.


Later my final considerations.


Some things AI said were just a collection of things you can find everywhere, more or less common sense.


On purpose, my questions were a little wide and dumb but some answers or consideration were interesting.


Here are the questions with AI answers and my considerations.


The first question was " What means to be an independent musicians? Can you tell me the pros and cons?"


" Being an independent musician means having the freedom and control over your own music and career. It allows you to make your own creative decisions, release music on your own schedule, and build a fanbase without the constraints of a record label.




Pros of being an independent musician include:

  • Creative freedom: You have complete control over your music and can make decisions about your sound, style, and direction without any outside influence and you will not have to compromise your artistic vision

  • Direct connection with fans: You have the ability to connect with your fans directly through social media and other platforms.

  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to release music on your own schedule and tour as often as you want.

  • More control over income: As an independent musician, you can make more money from your music by selling your own merchandise, merchandise and digital downloads, and streaming revenue.

However, being an independent musician also has its challenges. Some cons include:

  • Financial instability: Without the support of a record label, you may have to rely on your own resources, and it can be challenging to make a living from your music.

  • Lack of industry connections: As an independent musician, you may not have the same industry connections as those on a record label, which can make it harder to get gigs, tours, and media coverage.

  • Self-promotion and marketing: As an independent musician, you are responsible for promoting and marketing your own music, which can be time-consuming and costly.

  • Difficulty in standing out: With so many independent musicians, it can be challenging to stand out and gain recognition in the industry.

Overall, being an independent musician can be a rewarding experience, but it also requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons and be prepared for the challenges that come with it. It's important to be prepared to work hard, be resourceful, and continuously educate yourself in all aspects of the music industry.

If you are an independent musician and choose to handle all aspects of your career on your own, it can be challenging to achieve success without the help of professionals. Here are a few potential challenges you may face:

  • Limited resources and knowledge: Without the backing of a record label or management team, you may have limited resources for marketing, promotion, and distribution.

  • Limited network: Without the help of industry professionals, you may have a more limited network and may not have access to as many opportunities for exposure and growth.

  • Lack of objectivity: Without outside input, it can be difficult to assess the quality of your music and your marketing efforts objectively.

  • Burnout: Handling all aspects of your career on your own can be time-consuming and demanding, and it can be easy to burn out

Generally I agree with AI on this, nothing much to add besides the fact that lots of people are very outgoing and they know how to sell themselves.



The second question was " How long it takes to an independent musician to become successful" and the answer was pretty standard without having ( of course! ) a personal opinion.

Basically it said that it can vary greatly depending on the musician, the level of talent and dedication, and the opportunities available specifying that some independent musicians may become successful quickly, while others may take years or even decades to gain a significant following.

Interesting part of its answer was the definition of success that can be defined in different ways, such as financial success, critical acclaim, or a large fan base. But it was and it is difficult to provide a definitive answer on how long it takes for an independent musician to become successful.


It sounded kind of human especially in the definition of success.


The third question was " how important is marketing and in which percent it affects the music career of an independent artist".


The answer was pretty straight forward with a little surprise.


"Marketing plays an important role in a music career, but it's not the only factor that determines success. The quality of the music and the artist's talent and performance skills are also crucial factors. A well-executed marketing strategy can help a musician gain exposure and build a fanbase, but it's important to remember that marketing should not be the only focus. It's also important for a musician to have a strong network, fan engagement, business acumen."


This answer for me was a little cliché, common knowledge around Internet. I was skeptical when it mentioned that "artist's talent and performance skills are ALSO crucial factors" : ALSO? I think that the base of everything together with studies!!!!

When I ask, in a provocative way, if marketing is 80% of the job, the answer was also surprising:

" It's not realistic to say that marketing plays 80% role in a music career. Marketing is important. A musician with a well-executed marketing strategy and high-quality music will have a better chance of success than one who only has strong marketing but subpar music.

Marketing strategies and channels are constantly evolving, and what worked well in the past may not be as effective today. Therefore, it's important for musicians to stay informed about the latest marketing trends and to adapt their strategies accordingly.

The percentage of importance of marketing in a music career can be between 20-50%. It depends on the stage and the level of the artist. For independent musicians, it could be on the higher end of this range as they have to rely on their own efforts to promote their music, tour and merchandise. "


I partially disagree here. For my job I listen to lots of music and I hear lot of bad music in terms of intonation, overuse of autotune, 3-4 minutes of loops.... Keep in mind i'm not questioning people tastes, it's just my personal opinion, but when you see that this people have thousands of streams I wonder if marketing is more than just 20-50 %


Following question: " How long before giving up on your music career?"


" The decision of when to give up on a career can be a difficult one and is ultimately a personal choice. It depends on individual circumstances, goals, and aspirations.

It's important to have realistic expectations and understand that success in any career takes time and hard work. Many successful people have faced numerous setbacks and failures before achieving their goals. It can be helpful to set short-term and long-term goals and regularly assess progress towards them.

It's also important to have a balance in life and not to compromise your mental and physical health. It's important to consider factors such as job satisfaction, financial stability, and overall well-being before making a decision.

If you feel like you've been working hard for a long time and not getting the desired results, it may be worth taking a break, reflect and re-evaluate your goals and strategies. Sometimes, a change of perspective and a fresh start can help you see new opportunities and ways to succeed.

However, it's important to remember that giving up on a career should be a well-thought decision and not an impulsive one, and also it's important to have a plan B and a way to support yourself before making such a decision."


I was also moved when I saw this answer.....


The last question : " what are the challenges when switching from performer to pure composer? "



" Switching career from performer to composer can make a difference for a professional musician. While a professional musician already has a level of experience and expertise in the music industry, transitioning from a performer to a composer can still present new challenges.

  • Different skillset: Composing music requires different skills and knowledge than performing, such as understanding harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. A professional musician will need to develop these skills if they wish to become a successful composer.

  • Different audience: As a performer, a musician may have built a fanbase that is primarily interested in their live performances. As a composer, they will need to build a new fanbase that is interested in their compositions.

  • Different mindset: Composing music requires a different mindset than performing. A composer needs to be able to work independently, have a good sense of discipline, be able to work with a deadline and be able to receive feedback.

  • Different income streams: As a performer, a musician may have built a career around touring and merchandise, as a composer, they'll have to focus on different income streams, such as royalties for their compositions and commissions for their work.

However, switching career from performer to composer can also present new opportunities for a professional musician. Composing music can provide a new creative outlet, and the ability to work with other musicians and in different media, such as film, television and video games.

Having the ability to write and arrange music can open up new opportunities for a musician.



I have mixed feelings about this answer: to be a performer and a composer are not necessarily two separate things. I'm not here to give statistics but I wouldn't be so drastic in the separation.... chances are that my question wasn't very clear.



This answer made me also think about the fact that often times we take for granted that if someone follow us because of our piano music , for example, then they're going to follow us if we write instrumental music or songs. Instead it could be a different crowd.

It brings me to mind the example of Joji ( the singer who wrote Glimpse of us ): he was a Youtube celebrity with millions of followers and then, when he embraced the singing career full time leaving the Youtube persona, probably not all of his followers digested well the change. But for sure lots of them kept following him and new people discovered him.


FINAL CONSIDERATIONS:


It was fun to interact with AI. It looked like talking with a Wikipedia page in real time. I understand that the answers are the results of all the possible information the machine can find online, shake them and pour them on the screen. I'm aware that information are not updated ( someone reliable told me they are 2 and half year old ) but all considered it's impressive you can have a conversation with a machine.

It makes me a little sad because if before most of the people had their faces buried in their phone limiting the interactions with other people with this AI chances are that people will isolate themselves even more.


Call me romantic but I still believe that AI won't substitute humans. And this is because humans have feelings and a soul.

Humans can play by instinct and lots of times you hear people saved by it. I'm not sure, in the same situation, if a machine could save itself.


As a tool it could be formidable only if we decide to not become lazy and rely on it to do 90% of the work.

Human creativity is unique and in my opinion any machine will ever be able to replace it.


That's all for now!


See you next week!




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