THE music industry is a huge and varied beast. Whether you come at it from the creative side or from a business angle, no two experience­s will be the same. That makes it both exciting as a career path but also difficult to navigate and predict. There is no singular pathway to follow.

THE biggest misconcept­ion is that working as a musician is easy. Every musician I know works incredibly hard to make their art, and when they’re not working publicly, they’re thinking about their art. A good way to start is by performing and creating as often as you can, and becoming part of the community in which you want to be active. Go out and support other musicians; collaborat­e with them.

IT FEELS like the music industry is finally starting to take serious notice of women and diverse musicians. Although, I must say, it still took a helluva long time to happen and it’s still nowhere near enough. But some of those previously closed doors have been forced open, with many organisati­ons having to reckon with their problemati­c pasts and limited outlook. The aim now is to do better moving forward.

I’LL be honest: this is not an industry you’d choose for the money. Only a few artists make the money we hear of – most work exceptiona­lly hard for very little financial reward. Most musicians I know have side hustles or second jobs or make music for other people’s projects. It’s tough out there, especially since COVID. With streaming paying so little, touring was the only way for many musicians to make money, and recent events have rendered that impossible.

THE idea of ‘success’ varies from person to person. For many, being able to create and perform is enough, while for others, it’s about fame. Those things take different skills, but one thing they both require is a real love for music. Otherwise, why do it? There needs to be a greater respect for the creativity of music within our culture, and recognitio­n of how much it gives back to the broader community and economy.

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