The music industry had gone through some pretty significant changes in the last two decades. Back in a time not so long ago, the music you listened to was very much tied to a particular place. Think of Grunge music forming under the rainy skies of Seattle in the early nineties before taking over the world. Local bands would get together and play in the same venues until popularity caught on. Record labels would take notice and launch the new bands worldwide creating a very special feel for those cities where it all started.
Nowadays though things have changed, which has begun to worry some people that the live music scene may be disappearing. DJ’s are taking a lot of flak for this turn whose popularity and numbers have skyrocketed in the last twenty years thanks to changes in the way music is made. To blame DJ’s entirely though for this change is to miss the point. The internet has been the main reason for this along with the affordability of computers and home recording equipment.
Back in those earlier days, if you wanted to find new music, you were very much dependent on the local live scene. People traded bootleg copies of early demos and went to see new bands perform live if they wanted anything new. Fast forward to today and now the internet had changed a lot of the ways we listen to music and find new artists. This has been great news for a lot of new artists; they no longer have to rely on record labels to get their work to a larger audience. It also means musicians are no longer tied to a physical place, they exist in cyberspace to a global audience.
DJ’s have benefited the most from this change. A DJ has full control over how their music sounds, can easily get it out through social media and blogs along with the added benefit that they don’t need to split their profits with other band members or a record label.
All this taken into account though there may not be too much cause for alarm. Every art evolves over time and the internet has certainly brought a greater deal of good than bad for music as an art. DJ’s may be benefitting the most from the changes but it’s a bit much to blame them for the loss of live band performances.
Either way, nothing still beats the vibe of a live performance. Musicians may be able to record and distribute their own music but playing live gigs is still an important part of gaining popularity and connecting with their fans. Great live music can still be found across the world even if our reasons for seeing it may have changed. People still want to see live music, we still look to people for new ideas and music suggestions. Many DJ’s still operate in their own home areas, DJ Krista is one who loves being a part of the local scene in Vancouver. Perhaps it will take another 20 years to see the full effects of these changes but recognising them may allow us to guide the process a bit.