by 94twentyrhythmrundown


by 94twentyrhythmrundown


Guest post by Grace Briggs-Neal

Last month, the spotlight was turned on indie artist Braden Bales during a press conference held on July 12, 2023 by the 1824 Creative Group. But rather than focusing solely on his upcoming musical releases, the conversation took a deep dive into the intricate, and often harsh, realities of today’s music ecosystem.

A Symphony of Struggle: Living Out of A Car to Carving Out Artistry

Braden opened up about the hustle and hardship of being an artist in LA’s competitive scene. This isn’t your typical MTV Cribs storyline; we’re talking about living out of a car while trying to create, produce, and distribute music. In an era where the glitz and glamour are often highlighted, Braden’s experience is the unsung ballad of countless artists trying to make it big.

The Industry Ensemble: All Corners Connected

The press conference was a veritable who’s who of the music world, representing a harmonious blend of various industry elements. From music blogs like NOLA Concerts and The Music Enthusiast to production powerhouses like Jaded Productions, the gathering was a vivid illustration of the industry’s collaborative symphony. As Braden’s journey shows, each cog in the music machine—be it songwriting, production, marketing, or live events—is essential for turning individual notes into a melodious track.

TikTok and The Illusion of the Overnight Sensation

Braden’s single “Chronically Cautious” had its moment of viral fame on TikTok, sparking questions about the platform’s impact on the industry. However, he was quick to demystify the notion that viral equals victorious. According to Braden, the TikTok spotlight didn’t drastically change his life. Instead, it served as a sobering reminder that music, at its core, is a marketable product competing in a digital arena obsessed with numbers.

Yet, he’s not one to dismiss TikTok. In fact, he finds it a powerful tool for music discovery and artist exposure. With the advent of home-studios and social media, barriers to entry have lowered, but the floodgates have also opened to a sea of content, making it a herculean task for exceptional talent to rise above the noise.

The Emotional Strings of An Artist’s Journey

When it comes to the narrative often seen in the media, the spotlight typically shines on chart-toppers living the high life. But what’s grossly underrepresented are the Braden Bales of the world—artists scratching and clawing just to make ends meet in expensive locales like LA, NYC, and Nashville. Despite financial and mental setbacks, these artists use their struggles as raw material for crafting heartfelt, relatable tunes.

Braden divulged that his upcoming EP would be an emotional excavation, a collection of songs representing his most vulnerable states over the last half-year. When asked about the emotional labor invested in his music, Braden said, “Vulnerability is a muscle,” underscoring his commitment to tap into his deepest feelings consistently.

So next time you hear about an indie artist’s viral hit or struggle story, remember that behind every track is a complex orchestra of experiences, people, and industries. It’s not just about the final score; it’s about every note that got us there.

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