2 Comments Let’s Support Our Musicians

Article written by the awesome Sean Lloyd on the 20 Aug 2010

dvd collection

A selection of my fully authentic, fully piad for DVD’s, book and CD’s…Gosh I’m a good boy!

The world today is a weird place, compared to when we were growing up as kids. Back in the day we bought music, saving up for those albums we really wanted. Nirvana’s Nevermind, Lives ‘Throwing Copper’, and hell if you liked to wear pink Tutus as a young boy you probably bought a Spice Girls album. We also paid for news at one point in time, but now we refuse to pay for anything. We read websites for free and as soon as there is any advertising or too much advertising we shout ’sell out’. But everytime we shout sell out, there is someone struggling to make money, working for free or for very little. As soon as a friend buys a CD these days, we simply take it, make a copy and it’s on our iPod and on iTunes.

Look, I like most people have listened to loads of copied music in my time, so I’m no saint (Although I resemble a Greek God and you no doubt want me)

But for some time now I’ve believed that you should treat people the way you’d like to be treated. This doesn’t mean you need to live a dull life and go to church and drink Coke Light and not laugh when a fat person falls down an elevator. I mean I’m the first to laugh when a fat person drops their burger, steps on it and falls on their whale ass. But when it comes to some things, if people have worked hard, then they deserve the recognition for their work.

And paying musicians for their work should be standard. Unfortunately these days, it’s the exception. And I hate it, I really do. People are forever telling me that they have loads of music I need to take from them, but you know, I don’t feel that good about it. And everyone always says ‘Support local’, but how many of those people actually buy the albums?

cd collection

SLXS…supporting…and most importantly, paying for local music

For musicians, many have struggled for years and years to to refine and perfect a sound that the public want to listen to. Ten or more years of hard work, and finally the public deem their music worthy of a listen…and then don’t even pay for it!

KIFF! How would you like it if you ate bread and baked beans for 10 years while you struggle to build your business up? So you build a massive brand, let’s say Virgin. then someone else comes into your office, clones your staff, your ideas, photocopies all your paperwork, and sets up their very own company like yours and people go to the ‘cloned’ business. Wouldn’t you be pissed off?

Wouldn’t it literally make you want to go mad?

This is exactly the same thing as pirating music. And if you want to copy music, then go for it. I just don’t like the way it feels when I listen to copied music. It’s like wearing stolen clothes, or driving a stolen car.

And the point is, music gives my life INCREDIBLE amounts of happiness, and this is all thanks to the talented musicians. Music brings insane amounts of joy to my life…and I think the musicians need to be rewarded for making our lives better. Because they do.

Musicians, when you really look at it, are the glue of society, keeping everything together. Think of a social event where you had fun and where there wasn’t music? When was the last time you got drunk and danced in a club in silence? Can’t think of any?

Exactly. Music is a link in our lives, when removed, will surely break us apart. It’s pretty much a fact that musicians form one of the most important sectors of society. A small sector of society, keeping it all together in these lost and crazy times. When we’re happy we listen to music, when we’re sad we seek solace in music.

We listen to music when we’re drunk, when we’re sober, when we’re at work, when we’re on holiday, when we’re in the car, on a plane,  at the beach, in the bush…it’s just always there, pushing us on, helping us break our limits, forging a path where we can’t see one. Music gets us through the easiest times and the hardest times. And shouldn’t the people who make it be rewarded for that?

Wouldn’t we hate to work for free? Wouldn’t we hate it if we had to take another job, to support our job? This is too often the case with musicians, music needs to be supplemented by another job.

I can’t make decisions for you, but I can offer you some insight. I can’t make you buy music, but I can let you know that if you don’t pay for music…the musicians can’t pay for food.

And to be very honest, a society without music is not a society at all. So let’s pull ourselves together, stop being so greedy, and pay R150 for that album that a musician has struggled and worked to create.

Without music, who are you? What is society?

Think about it…

Well whatever, that’s just my point of view.


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stevo Website Reply

Sean, while I do applaud you for still buying CDs, I think the whole industry is just delaying the change it needs to make.

Technology has made it possible to record an album for the price of a makro bicycle. 30 years ago you would need a porsche 911 to do the same.

Yet instead of music getting cheaper, it gets more expensive. I would still like to know who justified CD’s costing double than tapes when the manufacturing costs were less from day 1(no moving parts in a CD)?

So my message to the music industry when they ask for R150 for an album?
Go piss in a shoe
And fire all those middlemen in the industry who add little to no value. The musicians see a fraction of the return.

The glorious result is the barriers to entry are low, anyone with a pc, time and skill can launch a band. we don’t get untalented Britney’s clogging up the airwaves (well who listens to radio anyway). WE the public decide who makes it big, and not the industry. The stereotype of the struggling musician is no longer the one who can’t get a record deal, but the one who is incapable of working out myspace and facebook. The choice of music out there will be much wider too.

The guys at the top of the pyramid like robbie williams will just have to be happy with 5 million pounds instead of 100.

call it music ubuntu if you will.
(I do however still buy the odd CD from artists at their shows, and get them signed)

August 22 2010 20:46 pm Sean Lloyd Website

Hey Stevo

Ja look, the industry is a complete mess, I must admit. I was actually chatting to a musician buddy on Saturday, and he says the musician is the last person on the list when it comes to money.

You make a good point about the production costs of CD's vs tapes, I think there is way too much money being lost before a small portion goes to the musician. I guess the industry is at fault, and some serious change needs to be made. Especially in SA, where we don't have a proper place to buy music online, where we can buy anything. Our choices are limited, I don't know why we can't get access to the full iTunes here.

R150 an album is pathetic, but then again so is not paying anything at all. It leaves us stuck, and I guess no one is in the wrong, but the industry needs to move forward and get its act together.

The problem is, the barriers to entry are low, but then making it big on the internet also poses the problem of how to make money...with all your music online, and no one paying, you need to still play live gigs. Which musicians love to do, but people also need to still pay for music I believe.

I think there needs to be more transparency in the industry, I mean, having a breakdown of how much money an artist gets from a CD, and exactly where the rest of the money goes. Unfortunately there will be people who will probably not let this happen, because there are inevitably people in the chain who are doing very little for their money.

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