So 20% of the people polled in the UK would give up their jobs for a chance to work in the music business… I wonder what they think “working in the music business” means? Sure, the bricklayer probably dreams of becoming a rich and famous pop singer, with a starlet on each arm, but does that disaffected surgeon really want to become the guy who picks the publicity photo for the next Josh Groban ad campaign? There is almost certainly a big disconnect between the image of the business – even with all its well-documented challenges and losses recently – and the reality of the jobs that are available. By the time I got out of school I knew my way around a studio, and my dream job would’ve been “record producer.” Or so I thought. But for every Brian Eno, taking a scruffy band whose members were still mastering their instruments and creating a rich sonic palette of unexpected sounds and intriguing sonic combinations, there are thousands of producers whose job basically consists of booking the studio, keeping the engineer awake, writing down notes on which takes worked best, and all sorts of equally tedious tasks.
And yet… there are some very cool jobs in the music biz, even if it means jumping onto a sinking ship. And if the industry as we’ve come to know it flounders, something is going to take its place, and that something is going to need even more creative people to survive in a media-saturated marketplace.
Tell us: Would you pursue a career in the music business? Even if it meant something other than being a musician? And if you’re already in the business, what’s the reality of working in a struggling industry?