At least once a week someone asks me to perform for free. Some people even go as far as to say that I should because “I am an established artist that should give back”. Then there is the staple “if you perform you will get exposure”.
I don’t need exposure to people that don’t value my work.
The only reason I am established is because I don’t do things for free.
Teachers don’t work for free.
Janitors don’t work for free.
Doctors and Lawyers don’t work for free.
So why is being a musician, which is a job, any different from any other job? Because it’s something “we want to do” or are “passionate about”?
It doesn’t matter what job you do, you won’t be passionate about it if you never get paid.
When I was a promoter, I always paid artists. I never asked them to perform for free or reduce their fee. Even when they were performing at a fundraiser, they got paid.
This culture of “free everything” is bullshit and as far as I’m concerned there needs to be a mutiny among artists, especially the good ones, to stop performing and releasing their work for free.
No more filling clubs, so the promoter can hand you $100 and say thanks.
No more Napster and $.000005 cent spotify streams, Pandora, youtube and all this bullshit that’s making everyone else money but the creators.
If you respect an artist, pay for their work. Don’t be a cheap ass. If I hear you’re not paying for their work and listening to it, I’m going to kick your ass.
Point blank, bottom line.
Over and out.