I THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU
When I first started sharing my demos with the world, the only online platform we had was myspace and live shows; pay to play venues filled with thick cigarette smoke. I got a few hundred followers on Myspace and show-by-show the audience would expand to include a few total strangers, not just my poor friends and family who I dragged around London.
My favorite songs by the artists I adored were on my iPod, ripped from my scratched up CD collection or downloaded from apple music and my younger sister got us all hundreds of remixes and obscure UK Garage songs from Limewire.
A few years later, in 2011, I met the Soundcloud reps at the ASCAP expo in Los Angeles, which I had used my savings to fly out to for a week. I thought to myself, "oh gosh I can't deal with a second Myspace to manage," but I soon saw the advantages of a streaming only platform for indie music. A few months later it opened its ingenious doors to any one and everyone who had something musical to say. No one had to agree to distribute you music for you, you could just put it out. For me that was the start of a future that would allow my music to become something "real" and find more and more of you out there.
If the landscape of indie music had remained the old way - indie artists waiting for an indie label to find them and release their record to Apple Music or the radio - you would have probably never been able to listen to my music and I would never have found you all. And I wouldn't have as many songs to listen to myself, as a huge fan of indie music.
The next big milestone was the distributors who opened their doors and said, "hey Rachel, we can actually send your music to stores WITHOUT you needing a record label."
WHAT?!!! You mean my music can be in this online music store next to all the massive bands I love? Someone could listen to their music and then listen to my music in the same playlist? Someone NOT actively looking for indie music on indie platforms may be recommended my music amongst major label artists? It's then up to them to skip it and say it's trash or keep listening? No one is telling the listeners, hey this is good enough or not good enough for your ears? THEY get to decide? You mean MY music will be on Apple Music and someone can download it to their iPod without Limewire, and I will be paid for this?
There is a lot of hate out there for streaming platforms this year, from songwriters specifically and I get it. I am a songwriter too and I stand by the request for better streaming rates for songwriters. But let's not forget that only 10 YEARS AGO 50K NEW SONGS A DAY ONLY HAD MYSPACE as an option. Hundred of thousands of artists like me had NO HOPE of getting our songs out to the masses without a label.
A lot more has happened in between, content for another blog another day, but ten years later my music has surpassed 100 MILLION STREAMS across all platforms. Each and every stream is a dream come true. I NEVER thought I would reach such a massive goalpost.
What comes next? There are three things that will make this decision:
and NO one can stop us :-)