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The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 949: Imagine Dragons
I get a lot of email from young musicians asking for advice. The most popular questions are “How do I get more people to know about my music? How do I get them to listen to my music? How do I get songs on the radio? How do I get a record deal?”
Listen, if I had the silver bullet answers to any of these questions, I’d not only be rich but I’d been worshipped as a god–which, come to think of it, would be kinda cool.
The hard truth is that it’s always been hard to make it in the music business. You can’t be just good. You have to be GREAT. And–never discount this–you have to be lucky, in the right place at the right time with the right sound, image, and attitude.
Since the internet started disrupting things more than two decades ago, it’s made things even harder. At the moment, there’s a split when it comes to artists. The majority of them made their bones and established their reputations before the internet hit–and then everyone else.
The internet–free-flowing digital files, streaming, social media, YouTube, and all that ilk–has not only made music accessible to everyone, but it’s also exponentially increased competition among musicians. It has never been harder for a new act to get heard when there’s so much noise coming from everyone else.
Here’s an exercise: Name all the rock bands who have emerged since 2000 and are capable of filling an arena as a headliner today. Arcade Fire, for sure. Music. Linkin Park (although they’re no longer with us). The White Stripes/Jack White. And then you start to run out of names.
Here’s one more: Imagine Dragons. They were formed in 2008 and have since become not just a big band but a global brand. How did they manage to do this? Let’s investigate.
Songs heard on this show (all songs by Imagine Dragons):
- Follow You
- Speak to Me
- I Need a Minute
- All Eyes
- It’s Time
- I Bet My Life
Eric Wilhite is in charge of the playlist. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0bbzhaUH28WrmjXFnF0QmW?si=uqu61OAgS4WFMbLntX_I8w
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
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