A few words to producers with “a broken spirit”

A few words to producers who are frustrated with the “scene” and consequently tired of the whole music game. A few words to the producers with “a broken spirit”.
Jazzy Jeff did a good talk on the topic at Ableton Loop 2016 (I probably paraphrase quite liberally here)…he talked about this former rapper who had been doing really well with his musical career in the early 90s but who since had seemed to leave the limelight for good.
He had met him at a festival, and dudes were rapping at backstage just for fun. This guy (the former rapper) was asked to rap, because everybody knew he was a good rapper, and his comment was “Fuck rap, I don’t do that anymore” and everybody went “What, why? Why do you feel like that? You don’t rap?” and he had explained how he hated it, because he had failed to make a decent career out of it after all.
And Jazzy Jeff went, “What did MUSIC ever do to you? How can you hate the music if you once loved it?” and there’s an important distinction here: don’t hate the MUSIC if you end up hating the industry or whatever (me, I fucking hate the “scene” shit…I don’t really fit in it in very many ways and don’t feel like I’m a part of it in any way…there was a time when I wanted that a lot, but that’s long gone).
Jazzy Jeff used the expression “having your spirit broken”…there’s a lot of producers out there with a broken spirit, and they end up hating the music thing because they end up hating the industry. And they walk out of the music thing, which is sad, as a lot of those people are very talented.
A big point here is, it’s *never* the music’s fault if you end up getting frustrated. It’s never the music to blame. Always cherish the music, understand that you probably have a musical gift, and try to keep your passion for the music separate from how you’ll do in the industry and how you feel about it. Also, a point worth mentioning that usually “making it” in the industry takes so ymn long; it’s probably best not to expect it.
You’d be surprised how many of your favorite artists have a day job and they didn’t manage to create a “career” out of music. Still, they push on, inspiring a ton of people. That’s important and significant, whether it’s a career or not. Don’t ever think your music isn’t great or important even if it doesn’t become your job.
Me, I definitely don’t feel I have a “career” in (making) music. I think I have a pretty decent back catalogue and I know my musical output inspires a lot of people and I acknowledge I do have a following, but I don’t think I have a “career”. I mean, at least making music definitely does not put food on my table (mixing and mastering does), and in a way I’m quite happy about it, because I don’t have to make music for money, I dont have to expect to be accepted or to be sellable, as that often seems to come with quite a lot of compromises (I’ve been suggested musical compromises by bigger artists to advance), but I don’t want to sell my art and integrity. To me, it is too precious, and cherishing that passion is way more important than trying to have a musical, paying career.
When I admitted some years ago that I don’t have a career in music and it’s not looking like it’s going that way either, I felt a massive relief, and that was both liberating and inspirational.
I don’t mind being out there with my music, and I understand it resonates in people, but admitting to myself that I don’t have a career in it, as hard it was back then, lead to a great musical liberation in my case.
I suppose I’m glad I never ended up hating the music, and I suggest you never do that, either.

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