When I hear people say “I’ve made it in the music industry”, it’s for all sorts of reasons. Some have released their very first song on a label and to them that’s their goal achieved. To others they’ve won a Grammy and have gained the respect of their peers. To me I define making it as that you are getting paid a good wage for what you do in your desired profession within the music industry. If you’ve always got work and every day you wake up and work doing something you enjoy. To be fair that’s pretty much making it in life in my eyes. I’m a firm believer that life is what you make it. If you sit around moaning about your job every day, do something about it. Change profession, change how you conduct your work. Don’t just work for the sake of working, to go on living not enjoying yourself.
The music industry is a very tough profession to be in. It’s full of talented people. The people that make it aren’t always the best at what they do but are the best at applying them self and making sure they do make it. Even the people you see who were just in the right place at the right time and got a big break. They still work extremely hard to maintain a lasting life in the music industry.
You will see a lot of people complaining about not making it and saying that the only way they can make it is sell out. This isn’t true. If you like what you do there must be someone else out there who likes it too. You may be ahead of your time and the industry isn’t ready for you yet. Imagine if a genre such as dubstep came around in the 70’s it wouldn’t have picked up like it did back then. That’s not to say there wasn’t a guy in darkened studio writing these types of songs on a minimoog somewhere. It’s entirely possible.
Myself I feel I’ve made it. I work every day with music in some way shape or form. From mixing to mastering to recording to writing this article at 2:00am. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of doing. I have a very well paid job as director and mixing and mastering engineer at Audio Animals, where I have the disposable income to buy all the equipment I could ever desire. To be in this position has taken years of hard work. Myself and nick have worked hard to achieve what we have achieved. We’ve been working 18 hour days in the studio for the past 3/4 years. I wouldn’t dream of working these hours in a office. The only reason I do work these hours is because I actually love working in a studio. Like I said before its all I’ve ever dreamed of doing.
People define making it in many ways. Some may say getting a no.1 selling record in the charts constitutes to making it. Yeah if that is your goal then great you’ve made it, made your money and can now live out your life in Thailand on a beach, that’s awesome. But to me as someone that loves mixing, writing, mastering music, I couldn’t imagine a life where I just stopped working with it. I’d quite honestly get bored. I’d like to think that when I’m in my 70’s I’ll still be working in the industry in some way shape or form. Most probably won’t be mixing music in the way I do now but I’d maybe do talks to young engineers at universities. Maybe even teach.
To conclude this question. Making it in the music industry is working in the music industry. If you are paid a good wage for a good service you have made it. If you work doing what you love you have made it. If you wake up every morning and can’t wait to get into the studio you have made it. If you work for yourself be it self employed or own a company you have made it. If what you do is respected by others you have made it. If you lead the life you’ve always dreamed of leading you have made it.
Basically what I’m saying is if you are here stamping your mark on the music industry big or small in my eyes you have made it.
Never give up if you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough for it you’ll make it. Won’t happen over night but will happen in time.
Written by Paul Ashmore ( director and mixing & mastering engineer at Audio Animals )