Guest Post: Isabelle

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Today’s post comes from a girl I met in real life because of music. We started going to all the same shows, so it was basically meant to happen that all of our friends would become friends. In the last two years we’ve gone to A TON of concerts together and had some amazing times.

She now works in the music industry and has some really great insight on how it works behind the scenes. I was super happy to have her write me a little blog post about the Montreal music scene and the effect we can have on the industry itself. We could all learn a little something from this- happy reading!

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When you are 14 years old, your idea of the music industry is that it is unreachable. It is that faraway world where only destined people are admitted into. I attended my first real concert when I was 14. I was counting down the days because I would finally see the band I’ve been listening to for so long. I was confident that I would see them from far, really far, but that I would never get to meet them. I am now 21 years old and I’m still unrealistically in love with that same band. But life changed a lot since that show during the summer of ’05. I learned a couple of things along the way.

Me VS the Music Industry

There is no textbook about the industry. You have to follow your instinct. The first few years, my friends and I only attended shows and then we were going home. Until one day, we made friends and our lives changed pretty quickly. I got to meet that person who would change everything and give me my first chance at being one day an important piece in the game. You need to have contacts. This is really the way it works and you need to work hard. If you want to be a journalist, write anywhere you can. If you want to be a singer, find any opportunity to sing.  Also, if you are like me and you are expecting to have a career in the industry, you seriously have to behave wherever you go as soon as you are surrounded by people working in the business. Especially if you are a woman. When we are standing by a stage, people assume that we are not hanging around for the right reasons. Once you set one foot backstage or in a setting that is anywhere but in the crowd, anything you do is being scrutinized. It doesn’t matter if it is an 8 million records selling band. They will find that blog entry with a huge picture of the guitarist and you posting that you will marry him one day…

Gaga VS The New Cities

I’m worried about the future of the music industry. I always tell my friends that we are 10 years too late. Back then, it was the last years where labels/artists still had money. The illegal downloading wasn’t so bad yet. Every day at work I receive updates. It is not getting better. Sometimes it’s what artists say. Why would you stand on a stage and tell your fans to get your record illegally? You are going to be the one not able to afford food next week. I understand the integrity that you want to show, but it’s not really the way to go. You have to understand that once an artist is signed under a label, the money that they make doesn’t only serve them. People seem to think that it doesn’t matter if you don’t pay for Britney’s or Gaga’s latest releases. You have to understand that Gaga and Brit are signed under a huge label, yes, but that huge label needs money to push smaller artists. For instance, Brit is signed under the same label as The New Cities. Katy Perry under the same as Take the Night. These 2 Montreal bands need the money. It is wrong to think that you are not going to pay for Pitbull latest CD but that you will pay for Marie-Mai. In the end…it’s the same same game.

But I’m hopeful. I know that we can’t live without music. Something will happen. Someone will have the miraculous solution that will save us all. I have no clue yet. But it can’t be just this. It is not true that all of those artists’ hard work  throughout the last 60 years will be lost just like that.

Time flies

I’ve been in the industry officially since June 2010 ( I was a witness since long before that though) and it keeps surprising me. I’m surrounded by people who know so much and who’ve been around since so long. Everybody has a story. Sometimes it’s a party with P!nk, getting to work with the Backstreet Boys or even being in charge of Freddie Mercury. My personal favorite; to bring to John Lennon the tape that would become Give Peace a Chance. There is NOTHING like this. and yay me, proud of a couple of beers with Simple Plan. Time flies.

Trust your instinct. I will never say it enough. I’m talking about music, but it is the same way in any business. If you want something, just go and get it! Work hard for it and make sure you deserve it. If there is one thing I learned, it’s that there’s no such thing as luck. You MAKE your own luck. People tend to be judgmental towards me because I’m extreme and when I love something, I am completely involved in it. But it pays! In the end, I am the one with the job in my field of choice on my way to my dream-job and nothing else. Indeed, all I had to go through wasn’t always glamorous; sleeping on the sidewalk, waiting outside during the first snowstorm of the year, torrential rain TWICE and not mention glorious fall in the sand on the Plains of Abrahams. You never know where you end up. If you would’ve told me when I was 14 years old that the band I was going to see would be first and foremost, really accessible and second some of the first few people to believe in me for real, I would have NEVER believed you. And yet here I am.

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