In the internet age, you can be from anywhere and create interest in your music. Being in Los Angeles or New York doesn’t matter if you want attention. That being said, a recent visit to Toronto reminded me of the value of being face-to-face and the peripheral benefits you get from being in a larger center.
A friend, who’s a burgeoning hip-hop producer/multi-instrumentalist, and I were having a drink at this jazz lounge/Ethiopian restaurant where a soul/r&b band was playing. We were talking about how his being in Toronto lead to several opportunities he wasn’t even looking for. He tour managed a hip-hop act on a U.S tour without knowing anything about tour management. He just got himself into that scene and made some friends which lead to that opportunity. Doing a great job, he was noticed by the Agency Group, who gave him another opportunity to tour manage a new major label signed rock band. He turned it down, but was also considered to tour manage Xavier Rudd!!
He wants to focus on production, but those opportunities would not exist had he not lived in Toronto. The Agency Group interview was in Toronto and the first tour managing opportunity gig happened through Toronto made friends. Location definitely mattered.
Just as there were these benefits, he also mentioned how clicky the scenes are in Toronto. Every genre has a host of sub-scenes which only seem to get together with themselves. The melting pot of diversity doesn’t equate to everyone getting along. In addition, the larger center also has a lot of other artists competing for local attention and breaking through, even on a local level, is difficult.
So just like anything, there are pros and cons. There are different opportunities and barriers wherever you call home. If you’re making a move to create more opportunities to push your career forward, do some real thinking first.