I had the joy of growing up in a musical family. We’d travel around and sing at churches, and I learned young that you better not step on someone else’s harmony part. My Dad’s inclination to learn something new has lead him to pick up a variety of brass, woodwind, percussion & stringed instruments. My mother’s classical technique and astute ear still amaze me to this day. Looking through their portfolios of compositions inspires me.
And though they’ve had published works, taught music for many years, and composed entire musicals, their careers have lead them to new spaces. Currently, my dad is a TSA officer and my mom manages a department in higher education. They are both hard-working, driven, intelligent, and superb human beings and the fact that they aren’t full-time professional musicians speaks nothing of their caliber – but everything of the world we live in.
It’s not a profound or complex thing to understand: it is tough to make a living as a musician. This isn’t new. A person can work incredibly hard and master their art and yet, without meeting the right people at the right time, it may not bloom into a full career. And those who do land a contract with any of the major labels will find that the payout is not nearly the picture that’s painted. Unfortunately, it’s not rare to hear experiences of being taken advantage of, walked over, and directed to sacrifice artistic quality for the sake of profits.
At Rock It Man Entertainment, we want to resist this world. We not only want to meet the needs of our clients, but seek to build meaningful opportunities for the talented players we have the honor of working with.
We want to live in a world where musicians aren’t required to hold a side job in order to make a living. Where “doing what you love” does not require that you must take whatever pay someone may throw at you.
We know the value of our players and we want to help them make a living that is worth the decades they have poured into their art. And ultimately, we want to preserve this art for future generations, so that these opportunities don’t end with us.
So you’ll have to forgive us when we resist bargaining down our prices. Or when we stick to our policy of increasing the pay for increased time. Or when we factor travel costs into our packages. The bottom line for us is this: what kind of world are we creating? What kind of precedents are we setting for our players?
We’ll be honest – as a company, we have often been short-sighted and we’re grateful for those in our industry who have stood their ground and helped to shape the values we hold and the practices we will continue. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: hold us accountable in this because it matters.
Art matters. Music matters. People matter.
We know the value of this art and we intend to do what we can to preserve it in a world that would seek to devalue it.
One quote that has stayed with me is this: “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” - Yann Martel