As an artist, songwriter and producer for 17 years, I can testify first hand as to the effect it has on a musician’s mental health having to lay open your arteries and ventricles for the world, while the business decides if it can sell you.
For me, as much as the continued exposure to rejection or false dawns eroded me, it was the constant attrition of fearing bills and bank balance; never knowing when money may come; and then having to fight, and often beg those who owed you those droplets of income - from venues to promoters, to royalty collection societies. I’ve said many times before, if HMUK had been on my radar back then, I’d probably still be an artist. The support is incredible.
Moving to the business side, I’m equally aware now of just how many people are critical to the artist succeeding, and what astronomical pressure they are under mentally too. Not just to deliver for the artists whose dreams they carry, and problems they try to solve; but to somehow make a living at the same time and support themselves and their famililes.
For every major label exec, there’s hundreds, perhaps thousands of music loving independent freelancers toiling away to support musicians. So many of the heroes in our business who help take the artists from scratch to the point of breaking through are living under constant financial stress, working late hours in studios, in offices, or in coffee shops behind laptops, and then having to attend events in the evening to network or see shows. Erratic eating habits, too much alcohol, lack of sleep. It all adds up.
Music Minds Matter is a crucial service not just for artists but for those who support them too. Particularly on the independent side, it is harder all the time to survive, and having a service like Music Minds Matter, and the HMUK services in general for managers, producers, engineers and of course artists, is something we should all support, celebrate, and fight for.
We are all in this for the love of music and those who make it. Those people need treasuring and supporting when it all gets to be too much, and I’m proud to be associated with the charity that is doing that, passionately.
Help Musicians UK is marking the one year anniversary of Music Minds Matter (4 December) with a dedicated hashtag #MMM1YearOn. Over the next two weeks, we'll be sharing some reflections & thoughts on the service so far.
Whatever you’re going through right now, you can contact Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008 or email us at MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk.Back