Until I ended up in burlesque, I’d never worked with artists directly.
I’d worked in the music industry, but it was on the sidelines, working at the ‘mechanical end’, I guess, helping artists online but through the mediation of a record label whose real agenda was to sell product.
But I was very lucky to start working in digital at a time when it was all unchartered waters and together with Neil Cartwright at Sony, we had freedom to explore creative ideas – the B*Witched fact cat, the a1 compatability quiz etc – and we won awards.
But these days, you’ll be hard pushed to find a truly interesting music artist site. Because everything is sales-focussed, nobody just does anything because it would be, like, really great or fun or entertaining.
Even though people pay top dollar for those kind of things.
And even though, ironically, that’s the ethos of ‘entertainment’. The business we work in.
So, I’ve had to unlearn. And I thank burlesque for that. To work in an arena where loving what you do and trusting that you’ll get by has been an eye-opener. To let commerce dictate everything can squeeze the magic out of creativity.
And no-one quite articulates this quite like Amanda Palmer.
I am (un)learning.
Main image c/o artist, via npr.org