Music Duo Kédu Carlö, write on the exploitation and misguidance of young people within the music industry. Jess & Carly share with us their experience as they move through the entertainment industry.
"The exploitation and misguidance of young people is something that has been happening within the music industry for decades. Given that the music industry lacks standardisation it is important to be aware of the possible pitfalls..."
The music industry is largely run by older men (of the pale variety) but has been built off of the backs of young artists, in fact, the younger and more naïve the talent is, the easier they are to exploit! Movies and biopics of artists’ life struggles such as Elvis, Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman help paint a picture for the general public of how an artist can be kept in the dark and made to feel powerless.
We would love to see more information and mentorship available to developing artists to feel in control of their careers. Oftentimes artists are made to feel like they need others more than they need them, when in fact it is quite the opposite. Whether it is record labels or promoters, there is one thing that they need in order to operate and that is your music. Knowing the value in your art and building it up to a place where it can not be tampered with by any cog who wants a slice of your pie is a really important part of the process. It takes time, dedication and confidence in your point of view to create this, but once you do it is invaluable. And having a team of people around you who re-affirm, empower and support you is essential.
Most of these issues could be solved through great artist management. There seems to be a wide gap in the market for artist managers, not just in quantity but in quality as well. For a while now, the music industry globally has been transitioning towards a more independent artist-focused system with labels becoming less and less powerful. Artists every day are choosing to self-release their music, discounting tired label contracts which offer minimal mutual benefit. This is great to see but it is again propelling the need for more and better artist managers. Being a good artist manager is not easy, and is often a very thankless job. Hopefully, we see more systems/organisations popping up that will help train and support artist managers and create more avenues for independent artists to access the support they need.
It is exciting to think about what is possible. Locally and globally there is still a large degree of gatekeeping and nepotism within the music industry. The world is changing and the music industry is one that requires you to adapt. We hope to see a rise in more independent artist careers, where new pathways are being forged that don’t centre their success around old archetypes. We’re calling for more mid-tier, sustainable artist careers. Everyone deserves to do the things that they love if they have talent, a solid work ethic and dedication to their craft.
Written by Kédu Carlö