Coming from a household that was centred on education, expanding ones mind, reading and all those wonderful things, I always knew my folks wouldn’t rest until I had a degree to my name.
What does this have to do with music?
I’ll tell you…
When I came to johannesburg almost 3 years ago with my degree in physiotherapy, I was under the impression that all our well known hip hop artists lived lavish lives and ate well because of music. It didn’t take long before I realised just what was happening.
A large chunk of the people I was working with would tell me that they would work on music after work. Work work. Other work. When I started asking around, I discovered that more and more people that i thought did music exclusively had a 9 to 5. Doctors, accountants, lawyers etc. I was just lost.
After I got over myself, I did a bit of digging and realised that the music industry isn’t built conventionally at all. Artists can go months with no income, they get royalty payments twice a year and the only real money they make is from performing (we know how dry the gig scene can be). I can imagine that these lump sums of cash don’t often last long with all the pressures to keep up appearances, get new equipment, build brands and what not. It would only make sense to have (legal)alternative income streams.
I’m glad my mother and father sacrificed and managed to push me through school and varsity. Not struggling to make ends meet with your music makes you make music differently. There’s definitely less pressure and it’s more enjoyable. I can’t speak for those that live off music because I don’t live off of my music alone. Unlike music, my physiotherapy career isn’t something that necessarily needs to nurtured *hides half-done masters dissertation away*. The one fuels the other and the other fuels itself.
I say if your a artist or composer, find a way to fuel the music until the music can fuel itself. I hope a full time musician reads this post and puts me in my place. 😛