You’re an artist! You can’t handle a 9-to-5 job. That’s a spiritual death sentence. So what are you to do? You need money to live in between your Spotify payments. So what are your options? Well below are the most common ways I’ve seen musicians make it work.
1. Sell Drugs
It’s no secret that musicians love altering their consciousness. Drugs help with that. If you run a studio and have a number of musicians coming through your place selling them drugs would be pretty easy. Even if you don’t have a studio, if you simply know a lot of musicians you could become their hook up. I know a ton of studio owners/musicians who are/were able to fund their careers or parts of it through selling drugs. Obviously this is illegal, and we are not advising it. But as many in the electronic, hip-hop, and rock community prove it can work out well. Or you could end up in jail for life, or dead, so there’s that to consider as well.
2. Have a high earning partner
I have tons of amazing app ideas. One of them is a Tinder style app that matches musicians with doctors/lawyers/suits. These people live such a soulless existence that they need a freewheeling artist in their life to give it any sort of color. I could name you several high profile musicians who have this situation hooked up. They’re in niche genres that don’t make a ton of cash, but they are able to focus on their music and not about the finances because their sugar spouse foots the bill. It’s a symbiotic relationship and it is REAL LOVE so don’t let me lead you to believe otherwise. This is a classic situation. I say go for it!
3. Freeload from family
This is different from the spouse/partner freeload because this isn’t typically chosen. Either you have rich parents or not. You could marry-in I suppose, but that would be some long-con-shit and I have not idea if that would be feasible. Freeloading from family is really about your perspective of the situation. If you’re cool with it then more power to you. But at some point it’s nice to be able to be independent meaning at the very least there’s a market demand for your work which is something I guess.
4. Freeload from government
The welfare state for artists is nonexistent in many countries. But if you’re lucky enough to have a progressive government then this deal can be really sweet. For example the government of Sweden has one of the best welfare systems in the world. Pair that with an amazing music education shows you why they have ruled the airwaves for the last 40 yrs. In Canada we have arts organizations that give out millions to artists each year who’ve proved that they can write a good arts grant. It really is a controversial system but it occasionally works. You can read more about it here. If worked properly you can freeload on the government dime for decades.
So there are four alternative ways to fund your music career. You could argue that 2+3 are the same, and 4 isn’t available to everyone so really there is only one way, but that would make you a cynic and you’re not a cynic. If you have any other suggestions let me know in the comments.
In other words get a job!… You can also try to run some sort of online business selling digital products outside of music. This also takes time and sometimes requires a bit of money. But it’s an option.