Being an electronic music artist used to place one firmly in the Avant-garde, but nowadays more people are making electric music than ever before. From DJs to synthesizer geeks, Midi composers to indie rockers, playing electronic digital music is for all sorts of different people. The question is, is it for you?
I never really considered myself an electronic music artist until recently. I was just sort of an experimental musician. Some of the things that I messed with were electronic instruments, but I also used a lot of acoustic stuff. I was as likely to pick up a guitar as a keyboard, an accordion as a theremin. Still, as I progressed, I got more and more interested in digital music processing. You see, nowadays it is much easier to make interesting electric effects by simulating them than by actually recording them in the field. Electronic instruments have gotten so good and so sophisticated that you can get pretty much any sound you want out of one. Of course, it isn’t quite that simple. It requires quite a bit of know-how and programming savvy in some cases. Even so, most experimental musicians – if they stick with it for long enough – end up as electronic music artists.
Of course, the electronic music artist scene is much different depending on what part of it you are in. If you’re an indie musician, the target audience is usually hipsters in their late teens through late 30s. If you’re a DJ, you can play for pretty much anyone. Club music is in, and there are gigs anywhere from weddings to raves. If you are a more experimental musician, however, you really have to make a niche for yourself. Not every city has an electronic music artist scene and the ones that do are often sort of insular. By networking and getting to know people within your scene, you can make a living and start to meet with some commercial success.
Like any musician, an electronic music artist has to get his music heard in order to succeed. In some ways, this is easier for electronic musicians. Because a lot of your music is digitally produced, people don’t necessarily have to hear you live to get a feel for what you sound like. Your live shows will be much closer to your recordings than with other musicians. This has both its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you never hear about electronic music artists who are only good live. Most electronic musicians learn to put together a good recording. On the other hand, this makes it harder to make an impression on people during a live show. You have to do something really spectacular to make the right impression on people.