By now you’ve surely heard about the difficult reality facing performers in the “new” music industry, based largely on streaming sites. Maybe you’ve even heard about how little performers are earning for those streams. But have you stopped to think about the talented songwriters hidden behind the scenes creating many of the songs that you know and love? This film lays it all out. The first half is all about those songwriters and how they create hit songs in Nashville. The last half is the bitter truth: they’re being forced out. It’s a painful, terribly sad, but important message.
I have no doubt that talented, hardworking indie singer/songwriters will always be out there creating great music and they’ll find a way for us to hear it. Music isn’t going to die. But it is getting more difficult and requires more and more sacrifice, and that will surely be a barrier for many. I wouldn’t wish the stress and uncertainty of a music career on anyone, but I’m so grateful every day that so many people are still crazy enough to give it a go. I need those people.
But like it or not, we also need a larger music industry that creates hit songs like the ones discussed in this film. You may not necessarily like those songs, but after watching this, you should have a whole new appreciation for where they come from, and hopefully you’ll have some understanding of the necessity of this industry, as well as the bleak future in front of it.
Watch this. If you care about songs, it’ll inspire you and then break your damn heart. It’s not an easy message, but it’s one that needs to be heard.
(of course, I realize all-too-well the irony of encouraging you to stream this wonderful piece of art for free…)
The Last Songwriter from Mark Barger Elliott on Vimeo.