April 22, 2020 — If you are an independent artist, the world is yours. There are no boundaries.
The idea of “making it” in music is defined differently by everyone. Making it is survival. If you can survive, you are succeeding. However, to those outside the music industry, “making it” means superstardom. Music seems to be one of the only professions where the sole definition of “making it” is superstardom. If your uncle Brad’s coworker hasn’t heard of you, then you haven’t made it in his eyes. Well, your uncle Brad’s coworker hasn’t heard of hundreds of bands you would probably deem to have made it. It’s all relative.
Regardless, making it as a full-time musician takes lots of hard work, as in an incredible amount of hard work. Last but certainly not least, you will need good timing plus a pinch of luck.
Some artists go on to be world-conquering superstars, while others make solid livings as regional musicians. Many younger artists opt for an independent “streaming-only” career, a strategy that in many cases has proven to be fairly lucrative.
Neither of the above approaches is “better” but shows how different success can be in this day and age.