How many times we flicker through Instagram or other social media platforms, see some of our fellow musicians playing huge festivals or playing with a famous pop artist and say “He/She made it!” ??
Despite the fact that these digital platforms are wired up so that everyone’s life seems way more sensational than it actually is; it’s funny that what we call MAJOR ARTISTS, can sometimes pay MINOR FEES to their musicians.
After chatting to some friends that are currently working in the pop industry, I discovered that especially in the entertainment business, all that glitters is not gold. This of course depends on each musical situation. But I hear more and more stories from musicians who are not well paid to play for “famous artists”. This is most often due to the fact that some of us (musicians) want to play for EXPOSURE, THE BIG NAME etc. and if you’re not happy with your current fee?? it’s ok, there is a long queue of young, hungry and talented people that will accept that same gig at any cost.
But wait, some of these musicians have spent countless hours on the instrument perfecting their craft. They spent zillions of money in education and buying equipment for years and years. They have been playing so many average and sometimes unpaid gigs. All this for what?? so that they could get to play those huge concerts in front of thousands of people. And when that finally happens then they’re not even paid what they’re worth.
There is a famous story about a woman that approaches Pablo Picasso and asks for a quick drawing on a napkin. After 30 seconds Picasso portrays the woman perfectly and ask her 30 million dollars. Outraged she replies saying that it only took him 30 seconds to draw her, why would it cost so much? Picasso in return puts the napkin in his pocket and tell the woman “It took me 40 years to be able to draw that in 30 seconds”.
So my question to you is: What should musicians do? Accept the Big gig that pays Low Money or walk away and be sure that if you’re good at your instrument you’ll find something that pays what you’re worth??
If you have experienced any of this, or know of people who are in these kind of situations I’d love to hear about it.
‘till next time!