The Struggle May Become More Real Than Ever For the Independent Artist
The above video is of an artist by the name of Brandon Cross; lead singer and rapper of an independent band outta Dallas, Texas called We Are Band Nerds. In the video, Cross speaks of the struggles of being an independent artist & the risks and sacrifices he feels he must make as a musician who chooses music as a career, not just a hobby.
For bands like We Are Band Nerds, & quite frankly, musicians all over the world; the pursuit of music is not just a hobby, it is a way of life. A tangibly-intangible dream with a life goal that is very real for the people who chase it. If you succeed, it could change your entire existence. It has the power to generationally restructure the status of your financial situation. The problem is, with great power comes great responsibility. Along the way, unfortunately this dream also comes with some deep-pocket consequences.
But You Broke Though
Ah yes, let's keep it really-real...chances are if you choose this life, in the early stages at least; you're probably broke asf. Your family gotta eat, but you can't afford groceries. Your kids need school clothes; but they walking 'round lookin' like a “What are thooooose?” meme. You can't afford to pay all your bills; you outchea dodging your landlord who has pretty much had it with your a**. Your baby mama b*tchin' about how you too damned old to be a rapper & how you need to go out & get a real job.... et cetera, et cetera.
Does that sound about right? Am I pretty close?
And yet somehow, you still managed to convince yourself that paying for studio time with your last dollar is the right thing to do. Naaah, it's cool...you don't gotta pay your rent. In fact, the sacrifices you made with your bill money by buying the music equipment and merchandise you need will all be worth it in the end because once you get, *please insert whatever your indie artist pipe-dream is here*, everything will be fine & you'll be able to take care of your entire family!
Yea okay. Sounds good in theory, but not in practice. Good luck wit' that. And now, as if you aren't struggling enough... in "walks" Assembly Bill 5.
Have You Heard of Assembly Bill 5 (AB5)
As if it's not already difficult enough to pursue a career in the music industry; for the independent artist, the struggle may become more real than ever. That's because a new bill proposed to go into affect on September, 13th is set to show you just how low to no-dough your budget truly is.
Assembly Bill 5 aka AB5 is a bill which states that: Any person who provides services that relate to the usual course of the “hiring entity’s” business is an employee of that entity.
In layman's terms, if you are an artist that works with, or, if you plan to work with:
Producers, engineers, musicians, publicists, managers, music video creators, dancers, background vocalists, etc. Under this new law, an artist in California could become the employer of all of these people.
That's right. Not only do you have to be concerned about your usual financial woes all in the name of music; now, you gotta pay everyone who comes in contact with you on your musical journey.
The bill will essentially become law on Sept.13th, 2019. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) vehemently opposes California’s AB5 Legislation, & supports the demand for an exemption to AB5 for independent artists. California today....the rest of the country tomorrow? Who knows. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
In the mean time, remember..."Success is born of struggle." Stay disciplined. Your rituals define you. Stick to your goals and your dreams will eventually come true. Until then, F-U...pay me.