*Cover Photo by Cristian Ungureanu*
As the pandemic continues, it shows the industries that are more vulnerable and susceptible. The Music industry is being hit hard during the pandemic as their main source of income and customer interaction has been limited. Live music specifically has been hit rather hard.
“So many artists live so close to the bone. We’re really seeing just how vulnerable our artists are in a community. I think a lot of a lot of people are panicked and that’s really affecting any kind of validity to do anything meaningful to the creativity. So yeah, just overall this is definitely sort of a real cloud of anxiety,” Explains Miranda Mulholland, Artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council.
How can you support your favourite artists?
Talking with the musicians themselves. There are several ways that a fan can support their favourite artists. Cody Blakey; a local recording engineer, Leshan Masikonte; of Melafrique, Phillip Rodda of Medical Pilot, and Angeles Joselito; the owner of Apollo Entertainment Company in interviews with Switching Styles, discussed the best way to help artists during a crisis.
Support their Streaming Services
“If everyone has a much free time as the memes on Facebook are saying, looping songs on Spotify is always a great way to boost those streaming numbers!” said Rodda.
Bands put their music out there on various streaming services such as Spotify, Youtube Music, Amazon Music, Apple Music, ITunes and so on. Having a membership on a streaming service such as Spotify is a great way to offer support for a range of different bands. It allows access to countless songs without paying an exuberant amount. Yet artists are still paid for their work’s popularity.
“Even before Covid-19, the music merchandise industry was worth multiple billions of dollars worldwide and I would not be surprised if that remained the same this year,” Phillip Rodda, a member of the band Medical Pilot, explains that, “For a lot of local and regional sized bands, merch like t-shirts and CDs are the key to a band’s financial health. Even if the live shows have stopped, these bills still need to be paid and merch gives fans a way to help out as much as possible”.
This may seem fairly obvious but it’s the most direct way to pay the band for being the band you know and love. It directly benefits the band.
“If you have any spare money please contact a band directly to ask to buy their merchandise. Don’t go from a streaming service or Bandcamp unless they are extremely far. If you message a band and ask to buy their merch they would be over the moon! Every little bit helps,” Blakely admits.
Share & Engage
This is your time to show off your favourite band on social media. This can be as simple as liking an Instagram post or sharing a Facebook event. It can be as in-depth as signing up for newsletters or tagging the band in your own posts.
“In all seriousness, just engaging on social media goes a long way. Seeing comments from people showing support is one of my biggest mood boosters, especially when I’m stuck awake late at night thinking about how much it sucks not being able to play a show,” said Rodda.
Why is this important? What is it important to support the music industry?
The Music industry is one industry that provides an outlet not only for musicians but for music lovers. It’s a way to find comfort during these stressful times.
During the pandemic, Canadians report, through an Abacus Data Survey, they are consuming more music than usual and finding comfort during these difficult periods.
- 35% say they are listening to more music than before the pandemic started.
- 31% say they are watching more video content from musicians online than before.
- 31% say they are watching more music videos than before.
- 24% say they are watching more recorded live concerts than before.
- 55% agree they have found a lot of new content online about music and musicians they love during the pandemic.
- 43% say they have discovered new artists during the pandemic
“It’s an important time to be supporting locally when making money through performing isn’t possible,” explains Joselito, “The music industry is important because we keep the space we occupy from being boring. Imagine what the pandemic would be like if you didn’t have the opportunity to listen to music. While we aren’t an essential service, we are definitely important.”