Music is everywhere. It is a part of the vast majority of our lives and for many completely indispensable. It is inspiration and refuge at once, marking our life events and connecting directly to our emotions without buffer. The artists who create music for us are continuously digesting popular culture; commenting from their own perspective and for our benefit. They help to remind us of our humanity and our connectedness one another. Music is one of the primary colors of beauty and experience and while it comes in countless forms and sub genres, it itself is a un-splittable unified force created by those who have the rarest of combined human traits: vision and skill.
As we progress to an existence inextricably entwined with a digital reality, democratization and disruption have transformed much of life. We’ve seen efficiency and connection increase by orders magnitude and many a business landscape has changed completely. Been to video store lately?
The Music business is a much evolved business today. What used to be the prime-mover in terms of revenue for the music has lost virtually all if it’s value: the music itself. We are conditioned not to pay for music, and if we do it is usually at subscription rate which is much less than what would been spent in aggregate 10 years ago. This has fundamentally shifted the fabric of the business of music and uprooted what, while by no means perfect, was a structure in which artists could thrive or at least support themselves. The music business was driven almost exclusively by sales of recorded material and as the value of this content has been drastically discounted and so has the value of artists to record labels. Pre-digitalization, artists were seen as potential, entities which could be nurtured and supported and which would eventually become a source of income. Artists were seen as a good investment because eventually the art they created could be sold. While valuing art as a commodity strikes many as distasteful (and certainly not all worthy music has been supported this way) it none the less allowed artists the support they needed to do what they did best, make art. Nirvana was not signed by Sub Pop as a charitable donation, but rather because the visionaries at Sub Pop understood that people’s lives would be enhanced by the art created by the band and that people would pay to experience this art. The Chess brothers changed the world by bringing blues to the masses, and they were able to create so much influential art because they could sell that art and support the artists who recorded on their label. This system is was and is very far from perfect. Now, however, there is a much smaller version of this system and because revenues are so much less, it is not possible for labels to support artists as they gain their footing and popularity. Development for artists is now haphazardly supported by friends and family or to those lucky enough to have a willing fanbase, through crowdfunding. While this support is pure and admirable it is not enough and does not touch all artists equally. Artist development has disappeared and that is damaging to all of us. We can do better.
As one door closes, another opens. At BYGMusic our mission is to be that open door for emerging artists. We strive to bridge the chasm between dedicated musical artists and the support they need to nurture their work. We connect artists to those in best positioned to help them and pay them: sponsors. Only the diaspora of successful business has the financial clout to make a real difference for artists on a large scale. Musical artists have lost 10 billion dollars in collective support over the past fifteen years and only the business community has the resources to mitigate that shortfall. This is nothing new, musicians have been supported for decades by brands. But by and large this support has flowed to larger artists, which while worthy, are not part of a structure which significantly helps smaller emerging artists. At BYGMusic we take the collective voices of many emerging artists and combine them in a way sponsors can get behind. Our artists have received funds which have directly supported them and their artistic vision. We don’t trade artists hard-earned reach for exposure or future promises, we are a conduit through which sponsors give money for advocacy in real time. We believe that artists know best how to express themselves and how and where to spend their own resources to create and perform the music we all love. We simply want to give them more resources.
Sponsors are valuable partners to artists and ultimately the fans of those artists. As the information age has brought transparency to almost every aspect of life and business, sponsors have never been more in touch with the needs of the people who use their wares and are constantly striving to be better part of the global community as it evolves. Paradoxically, as we all have increased our connectivity digitally, brands are having a more difficult time than ever reaching those whose needs they are striving to meet. The scattered media environment poses a unique challenge to sponsors which artists and especially emerging artists are uniquely positioned to help overcome. Artists have loyal fans which appreciate the honest support of the artists they love by sponsors who recognize the importance of music. Rather than hide a message in the fun but ultimately disposable world of digital gossip, at BYGMusic we give sponsors the opportunity to support real artists and get the credit and advocacy they deserve for doing so. All parties benefit from this honest approach.
As founder of BYGMusic I am very proud of the support we have brought to artists thus far and am striving every day to do more. As a mixer, producer and engineer I have had the privilege of working with musical artists for the past 25 years. This journey has taken me all over the world, both literally and figuratively in the countless creative journeys I have been lucky enough to be a part of. My time with Rolling Stones has been a tentpole in this journey and I am humbled to continue our collaboration with their latest release, Blue and Lonesome. Check it out here: Album
At BYGMusic we have joined forces with some amazing artists and are proud to continually be expanding our reach and continuing our work with those already involved. Check out: