With technology evolving so quickly over the past couple of decades, so has the way we record and produce music.
Professor of arts development and music business in the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe Michael Roth says that with so many musicians recording and producing their own work the responsibility of talent development no longer falls on the record label.
“The record companies are now just picking and choosing the artists that have made it on their own, and then signing them up and collecting whatever revenues they can get from them.”
He adds that a benefit of this system is that it allows anyone who has the ambition and the talent to develop their craft, as opposed to record companies having all of the power. For a few hundred dollars anyone can run a recording studio out of their computer, the new business model is that everyone is their own label. While the major labels still hold the monopoly over pop music, and control what makes it on the radio, there are other musical niches that indie labels can fill.
Second year MIA student Nick Reyno is glad that there has been a shift in power.
“Now we don’t have the labels telling us ‘Hey, this is what’s cool. You have to listen to this.’ …With streaming these days you can just explore such a wealth of material, but still help out the artists. Where as when it was just the labels fighting all of the fans, and people were just pirating music, everybody was losing.”
He adds that he’s excited about the industry becoming more do-it-yourself.
Graduate as well as as former employee of Recording Arts Canada Ryan Morrison says that with the industry shifting in that direction there’s more competition than ever. Being multi talented is a must.
“If you’re just a mix engineer you’re useless. If you can’t mix, master, solder, get coffee, and do jumping jacks all at the same time you’re out.”
Hopefully more room will open up in the industry for people who have both the drive and the skill to succeed.